He comes in with just under a $1 billion in career earnings so it appears luck has been on his side for the greater portion of the last decade and a half.
The months between now and the final table will be grueling for Mr. Ivey. Unable to escape the unrelenting wrath of media hounds, Ivey will seek refuge. Ultimately he'll settle upon a place that will offer equal doses of seclusion and action.
The place, if you haven't yet guessed, is Bobby's Room at the Bellagio. Only peers, gambling, millionaires, poker, gambling, food and gambling. No media, no microphones, no autographs, no predictions. Just the way he likes it.
A cot and 3-person tent will be designated for Ivey in the corner of the room for intermittent 18-minute power nappings between sessions.
After the 3 months of living, eating, sleeping, showering, and pokering in the same place, Bobby Baldwin will ceremoniously relinquish sole titleship of the room as it officially becomes "Ivey's House."
Living off a strict diet of babyback ribs, diet coke and $2k/4k PLO, Ivey's lifestyle change will not bode well for his stamina and focus when the Main Event reconvenes.
His day will start slowly. He will be card dead for the better part of the first hour. Norman Chad will make a funny joke about how his cards need a resuscitator. People will laugh.
Fortunately for Phil, earning several million dollars playing poker tends to earn you some clout at the tables. With "living-legend" status on his resume, three pre-flop all-ins will go uncontested and allow him to remain in the mix.
A very sick hand reminiscent to this one will occur.
Spectators in attendance will rumble in the grandstand as suddenly the poker giant will find himself 4th in chips with just seven to go.
The stars appear to align for the fan favorite. Ivey begins to gain momentum. But like a lame club DJ, the Poker Gods drop some seriously bad beats.
He will then lose with KK to pocket jacks and with AK vs A9s.
More WSOP 2009 November Nine Predictions:
- James Akenhead
- Steven Begleiter
- Eric Buchman
- Joseph Cada
- Darvin Moon
- Antoine Saout
- Kevin Schaffel
- Jeff Shulman