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November 22, 2014

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Here comes Phil Ivey: Poker star is chip leader at World Series of Poker Main Event

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Phil Ivey takes part in the $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold’em event during the World Series of Poker on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at the Rio.

WSOP Main Event: Day 1

A man walks by a sign on the first day of the World Series of Poker main event Saturday, July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas. Players are vying for the $10 million first-place payout at the poker tournament. (AP Photo/John Locher) Launch slideshow »

2014 WSOP Main Event final table payouts

  • 1st: $10,000,000
  • 2nd: $5,145,968
  • 3rd: $3,806,402
  • 4th: $2,848,833
  • 5th: $2,143,174
  • 6th: $1,622,080
  • 7th: $1,235,862
  • 8th: $947,077
  • 9th: $730,725

Last 10 Main Event champions

  • 2013: Ryan Riess ($8,361,570)
  • 2012: Greg Merson ($8,531,853)
  • 2011: Pius Heinz ($8,715,638)
  • 2010: Jonathan Duhamel ($8,944,310)
  • 2009: Joe Cada ($8,547,042)
  • 2008: Peter Eastgate ($9,152,416)
  • 2007: Jerry Yang ($8,250,000)
  • 2006: Jamie Gold ($12,000,000)
  • 2005: Joe Hachem ($7,500,000)
  • 2004: Greg Raymer ($5,000,000)

Phil Ivey is playing how one of the world’s best poker players should be — he’s dominating poker’s biggest event.

It’s just this event is rarely won by professionals.

Ivey is the chip leader after two rounds at the World Series of Poker’s Main Event, finishing play Wednesday in the Amazon Room at the Rio with 505,000 chips. Of the 1,864 players remaining just seven have a stack of more than 400,000 chips. And, at the dinner break Wednesday, Ivey had more than 100,000 chips than his nearest competition.

Considering 6,683 players are entered in the $10,000 buy-in Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, navigating past all the amateurs, especially when they target knocking out notable pros, has proven to be an impossible challenge.

Ivey, fittingly, would be the one player to buck that trend.

Earlier this summer, Ivey won his 10th World Series bracelet in an 8 Game Mixed Event to join Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth as multi-bracelet winners. The World Series, played each summer at the Rio, is more than 60 poker tournaments. The last tournament of the series, the Main Event, is considered poker’s Super Bowl.

It’s not the first time Ivey has been in contention to win the Main Event, finishing in the top 25 three times since 2002. He finished in 23rd place in 2002, the same year Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event to help start the poker boom and bring more players annually to the Main Event.

In 2005, he finished in 20th. In 2009, he reached the November Nine — the final nine players return in November for the final table — before being eliminated in seventh.

The tournament, which has its largest field since 2011 and with a prize pool of $62 million, pays out the top 693 players. They should enter the money Friday with payouts beginning at $18,406 for 693rd place. The winner gets $10 million.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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