Max Steinberg Explains How he Busted Phil Ivey in Main Event

Published on 13 July 2013 by Pokerlistings 1988

Even before this Main Event American poker pro Max Steinberg was having an amazing summer. With two final tables and four total cashes Steinberg has earned over $300,000 at the WSOP this year. And that's not including the money he's already guaranteed to earn in the Main Event. In addition to holding the chip lead for much of Day 4 he also eliminated Phil Ivey. Steinberg walks us through that bustout hand and explains how he recently signed an endorsement deal with

Yeah, it's so much different than any other tournament. I got moved to the feature table in the middle of day 3. And I was thinking, "Oh, it's just going to be like some of the final tables I've been to." I've been on TV before and it really wasn't. I got there and I was a little nervous and it was just bizarre seeing Phil Ivey on my left. It just felt sort of surreal. I ended up getting comfortable after being there for a little while, and then obviously things went really well for me. So then I got even more comfortable, and it was just a really amazing experience.

Yes, so the busted hand with Ivey. Ivey raised under the gun. Player to my right called. He was a recreational player who was a little splashy. I called behind with tens in the hijack or cutoff. It's possibly a three-bet, but I just liked it as a call. It was just all three of us to the flop. Flop is Ace-Ten-Three. With two spades, obviously I'm fist pumping in my head.

Ivey's continuation bets. He's been continuation betting in multi-way pots a lot, so it's not that indicative of a strong hand. Player to my right makes a small raise. He's very splashy so that also is not indicative of that strong of a hand. I think he could have a weak ace or even bluffing sometimes. I called because if I raised, I feel like my hand is face up and I can now represent a flush draw. Since I have so many chips, Ivey will probably think that I might call a flush draw there. And then Ivey makes a...well, it's kind of a strange play by going all in. Obviously there's different ways to play it. I don't think he should call because he most likely has a hand and there's already 100K in the pot.

I think his logic for shoving was it just looks like a big draw to someone, and also he's Phil Ivey so maybe someone's going to hear [inaudible 0:02:03]. So I really don't mind the shove. The guy folded. He said he had Ace- Queen. I snapped call with tens, but I'm sort of worried that Phil has a combo draw like King-Queen of spade. Luckily he had three's and I faded the one-outer. So, yeah, that's how the hand went down. I think the play was fine by him.

Yeah, I had a very good summer. Two seconds. I had a seventh also. I don't really feel like there's really momentum in poker, but obviously I'm on a really good run. I think the experience just making day 2s and day 3s is as invaluable for a poker player because you just really don't know how people are going to react to how you're going to feel, and how you really should be playing them until you've played the final table or made several day 2s. And so I think that experience is going to really help me in the main event this point, I feel like the main event is sort of a perpetual day 3 until the final table because people are now so excited. They're nervous, they're experiencing something they haven't experienced before. And so I think I have an edge just given that experience.

Yeah, 888poker. I met one other poker room managers, Matan Krakow, when I was doing commentary with him during the 25K Six Max Event. I really liked him and we talked about the poker room. I do play there sometimes when I'm in Canada and I'm allowed to play. And I just really like their poker room. They're rising. I like how they're a rising poker room. They came from basically obscurity, and now they're one of the top five poker rooms. And I like how they sort of are trying to get away from the online poker mass multi-tabling mindset that a lot of poker sites are just letting the professionals do, but it's bad for the game. I don't think that amateur players really like when they're playing with a bunch of players who are clearly either a, just looking to play fish and then leaving, or b, playing like 24 tables in just in total autopilot mode. I feel like that's not very fun. And I feel like just 888 tries to have policies that tailor to the more recreational players, which is just great for a healthy poker room. And I'm really glad that they made me part of the team. It's sort of unclear at first what was going on, but I think the Ivey hand sealed the deal and they definitely are happy to have me, I think.