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Ivey Strengthens His WSOP Legacy
Phil Ivey could probably retire from poker today, and his contemporaries would still consider him the best of all time based on his accomplishments in the game through 2010.
Retirement, of course, isn't happening any time soon for Ivey, still only 34 years old and secure in his spot atop the poker world.
Ivey moved into rare territory with his bracelet win in $3k H.O.R.S.E. earlier this week, as he's now one of only six players in history to win at least eight WSOP bracelets.
The list reads like this - Ivey, Erick Seidel, Johnny Moss, Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth.
Winning WSOP bracelets wasn't one of the highest priorities for Ivey once upon a time, but he's won three bracelets in the past two years to climb higher and higher up perhaps the most admired list in poker.
"It's the World Series of Poker, and I enjoy playing tournaments," said Ivey from his $3k H.O.R.S.E. bracelet ceremony press conference.
"I enjoy winning bracelets. As I'm getting older I'm realizing my place in poker history."
As poker's popularity has boomed in the mainstream in the 2000s, Ivey has earned the respect of the public as poker's best player.
Ivey is equally revered by his poker peers, perhaps even more so.
"Obviously he's the best player in the world," said Seidel. "He's shown that in every category. Online, live, and tournaments."
Seidel says he thought it was inevitable that Ivey would catch him at eight bracelets, and in his opinion Ivey is actually underrated.
"I think everybody understands that he's the best player in the world, but I still don't think he gets enough credit," Seidel said.
"I don't think people have a sense of how complex all these games are, or that he's the best at every single one of them. It really is incredible."
We asked Seidel how many bracelets Ivey will end up with for his career, and the all-time great gave a staggering estimate.
"(Ivey) said 30 recently," Seidel said.
"That seems about right. If he plays for the next 30-40 years I could see that happening."