Ivey Sent Home on Day 2 of APPT Macau; Seet Gets Hot

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We recently ran a story about the living legend of poker Phil Ivey finally getting back to the live poker tournament circuit at the APPT Macau event, and he ended the day with just over 51k in chips. Day 2 has come and gone, but unfortunately Ivey was not able to make it through to Day 3.  It wasn’t fully due to rust, as Ivey was said to still be looking at the top of his game, but he just wasn’t able to hit his cards at the right time it seemed. To start off Day 2, Ivey got his chip stack a little bit higher than the 51k, but was never able to take it to the next level and put himself in contention.

Ivey wasn’t able to pick much up and found himself running low on big blinds, and he three-bet himself all-in with the King of clubs and the 9 of hearts, but was called by the Ace of diamonds and Jack of clubs. Ivey quietly made his way from the tournament, and we are hoping that we’ll get to see the man who has won over $14 million in live poker tournament earnings sooner than later.

While Ivey’s run didn’t last, one player that stuck out at the end of the day was Nataniel Seet, who is a player from Singapore. Seet had a nice chip lead at the end of the day, and held 774,500, which was an impressive five times the size of the average stack at the event. Seet is mainly a cash game player, but also has pulled in some good results in his poker career to this point; which includes a win at an event in Manila in 2008, which featured a very large buy-in.

It looks like the remaining field will have some work to do, and that includes the player who is sitting in second right now, Danny Park. Park is a pro from Korea, and has pulled in a strong stack of 478,100. One other player that may stand out to poker fans and players out there is David Steicke, who is a high stakes player from Hong Kong, and finds himself in the top five at the end of the day.

While the most well-known player Ivey was sent home, you’ll find one player who is almost as well-known as Ivey remaining in the field. Johnny Chan is a ten time bracelet winner, and he is holding a solid stack of 244,400 chips. Chan is definitely a player to keep your eye on, and if he gets on a run the rest of the field could be in some trouble.

Phil Ivey Returns to the Live Poker Tournament Scene

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Phil Ivey has been a tough man to find since Black Friday for any of you poker fans out there.  He was angry at the massive online poker site Full Tilt for not helping their players with deposits, and he saw his money stuck on the site, unable to get anything off.  He also went on to sue the site this past June, and “refused to accept non-action as to repayment of players’ funds”.  Ivey is essentially a legend in the game of poker, but he decided not to play in the World Series of Poker because he didn’t feel that it was fair that he could play when other poker players could not.

Ivey has won around $14 million on ONLY the live tournament circuit, which is one of the most impressive numbers out there.  He also has won an incredible amount of money in cash games, and the same thing goes for online poker in his career.  To top this all off, the  name “Phil Ivey” also has eight World Series of Poker gold bracelets next to it as well.  Overall, he is by far the most well-known and popular player in the game of poker right now.

This is where the story comes in.  Ivey apparently is back on the live poker tournament circuit, as he participated in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Macau.  Many people had said that he was in town and was actually registered for the event, but play went through the entire first level of Day 1A with no Ivey to be found.  It wasn’t until the second level when Ivey showed up for the event, and walked over to his seat to get back into the action; hopefully for good.

When all was said and done of the day, Ivey made it through the day (which we can assume that most people expected, or at least I did).  He rounded out with 51,200 chips, and in comparison, the chip leader from Day 1A was Shih-Chieh Su, who pulled in an impressive 171,800 chips.  While Ivey isn’t at the top of the leaderboard, it was still nice to hear that he ended his time off from the tournament scene, and we are hoping to get to see more of Ivey in 2012.

Phil Ivey Lawsuit & WSOP Boycott Raises Fellow Pros’ Ire & Support, Alternately

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By now it’s no big news that Phil Ivey is boycotting the 2011 World Series of Poker. Nor are there many poker fans who haven’t yet heard that Ivey is suing Tiltware, the company responsible for Full Tilt Poker’s failure to refund to its locked-out U.S. players their unused funds and gains. That’s because it’s been all over the press of late, enough so to catch the attention and interest of some of Ivey’s fellow poker professionals, some of whom – like Daniel Negreanu – support his actions and some of whom – like Mike Matusow – don’t.

Let’s start with the pro-Ivey camp, currently headlined by Daniel Negreanu (by simple virtue of him being most vocal about his support.) Of course, Negreanu is sponsored not by Team Full Tilt, from which Ivey also resigned in protest, but Team Poker Stars, a company that already paid back its dislodged U.S. consitutency. Nevertheless, Negreanu has come out in favor of Ivey’s standing up for his values, as has another poker pro, Eric Froehlich.

On the nay side of the debate is Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, who called Ivey self-centered, along with some other epithets we couldn’t repeat in this forum. Agreeing that Ivey’s actions were self-serving is another poker pro Andrew Robl, who said that if Ivey felt so bad for players affected by the situation, he shouldn’t sue the company for the $150 million they owe the players. He should take the example of his fellow former Team Full Tilt pro Tom Dwan who said that if Full Tilt fails to pay back U.S. players the money it owes them, he will do so out of his own pocket.

Phil Ivey Fed Up: Sues Full Tilt, Boycotts WSOP

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Just a year and a half ago, Phil Ivey was sitting at the final table of the World Series of Poker, one of the esteemed November Nine. This year, he’ll be sitting out the event entirely, in protest to what he sees as Full Tilt Poker’s unfair treatment of its American-based players. On top of all that, he’s suing his former sponsor, Full Tilt Poker for what could amount to $150 million in damages.

Actually to be precise, Phil Ivey is suing Tiltware, Full Tilt Poker’s provider of software and marketing.

When Black Friday first occured, Phil Ivey came out asking players to have patience with the site as it worked out how to get its American players (now former-players) the money back from their Full Tilt Poker real money accounts. But since that missive, Phil Ivey’s own patience has run out. He now says Full Tilt’s actions have “embarrassed” him.

He says the reason he won’t be playing in the WSOP is because he finds it unfair that many other players who might otherwise be there too cannot be because the money they would have spent on travel and buy-in costs is locked up in Full Tilt Poker’s bank accounts.

Full Tilt Poker, meanwhile, is holding no punches either, calling Phil Ivey’s lawsuit against them “sanctimonious” since he stands to gain $150 million off of his fellow players’ misfortune, suing the site for the full amount that it owes all it’s other American former-players combined.

The reaction to Ivey’s actions in the poker playing community is decidedly mixed.

Tiltware – Full Tilt Poker Response to Phil Ivey

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Late Tuesday night Phil Ivey took to his Facebook account and his personal website to announce that he was leaving Full Tilt Poker and suing them. He also said he would not play in this year’s WSOP in solidarity of the player’s who have money stuck on Full Tilt Poker and cannot not play in this year’s WSOP. Late Wednesday night Tiltware – Full Tilt Poker issued the following response which to us seems to have been written by someone who was very angry….

“Contrary to his sanctimonious public statements, Phil Ivey’s meritless lawsuit is about helping just one player – himself. In an effort to further enrich himself at the expense of others, Mr. Ivey appears to have timed his lawsuit to thwart pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets. In fact, Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site. Tiltware doubts Mr. Ivey’s frivolous and self-serving lawsuit will ever get to court. But if it does, the company looks forward to presenting facts demonstrating that Mr. Ivey is putting his own narrow financial interests ahead of the players he professes to help.”

There is much more to this who saga and we will continue to work every angle in the hopes of finding out exactly what is going on. Much that has been reported is opinions and speculation on Ivey’s finances and contract with Full Tilt Poker.

Full Tilt Poker Bank Accounts NOT Unfrozen

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Last week we posted a story about the US Department of Justice releasing some Full Tilt Poker funds so that US players could be paid. As it turns out this is not true. Holdem Poker Chat along with most poker news outlets based the story on an article on eGaming Review Magazine which turns out to just be a lie.

The Public Information Office of the US Attorney’s Office has said that no funds have been released and that if any such action should be taken that it would be followed up by a public filing from their office.

Full Tilt Poker still has not repaid US players and the only announcements have come from low level PR spinners. Full Tilt Poker Pro Phil Ivey has announced that he is suing Full Tilt Poker software provider TiltWare and will not play in this year’s WSOP.

Phil Ivey Sues Full Tilt Poker, Won’t play the 2011 WSOP

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Last night Team Phil Ivey released a press release via the popular social networking site Facebook which left many in the online poker world scratching their heads and wondering if his account had been hacked. The press release is real and Mr Phil Ivey will not be playing in the 2011 WSOP unless all US and international Full Tilt Poker players begin to get paid. Ivey also announced that he has filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker parent company Tiltware for $150 million seeking repayment of player funds.

Overnight Ivey took a lot of heat for his statement from organizations like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Bryan Spadaro, of the PPA has this to sat via twitter “Never lost more respect for a person from a Facebook post than what Phil Ivey did today. Nice way to see short term and backstab. #jumpship” Once again the PPA doesn’t get it and at this point never will. Holdem Poker Chat privately pulled all support for the PPA following their post Black Friday comments. Now we’re doing it publicly. This organization has run it’s course and has achieved nothing but give poker players false hope.

Shortly after Ivey’s release went viral his good friend and fellow Team full Tilt Pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan also hit twitter offering him a pat on the back by saying “Yo @philivey poker isn’t a sport… Rest of your statement is awesome though.” Dwan will be playing the WSOP, but he has also gone on record as saying that if US players do not get paid that he will give back 100% of the income he received from Full Tilt Poker.

Here is a full copy of Phil Ivey’s Press Release:

For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.

I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm. I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.

My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.

I whole heartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.

I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.

Phil Ivey Final Tables Bellagio Cup VI

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Phil Ivey did not need to play the first two days of the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup VI. In a unique situation, The Bellagio Cup held late registration into the third day of play. Many pros waited and signed up on that day. They sat in with only 20 big blinds, but that was more than enough for Phil Ivey to drive his way to the final table of the event. He is, after all, Phil Ivey.

The final table of the World Poker Tour Bellagio Cup VI will begin play today July 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm local (pacific) time. thats 7:00 pm you people on the east coast. Because of the late registration available, this tournament attracted 353 players who paid up the $10,300 buyin. The prize pool of $3,424,100 was distributed to the top 50 players. Maybe the WPT is following an online lead here, but that 14% payout is a bit more than the standard 10% you see at most live tournaments. The more people paid means that the lowest payout gets only $13,594. The WPT used to have one of the more top heavy payout structures in live tournament play. They used to always try to make sure that the winner would pocket $1 million. They seem to have changed that approach by paying more of the field and only awarding $875,150 to the winner.

Of course, the real prize is getting to that six-handed TV table. That is where the exposure might get you a better deal from sponsors, or your play could garner you some instant fame. Your six players pursuing that dream and their chip counts:

1 John Caridad 5,120,000
2 Moritz Kranich 2,750,000
3 Justin Smith 2,100,000
4 Robert Akery 1,980,000
5 Phil Ivey 1,595,000
6 Eric Afriat 620,000

Though Phil Ivey’s stack is small in relation to the 30,000-60,000 blinds, he does have 26 big blinds to play with. Heck, that is more than the number that he began the tournament with. Good Luck gentlemen. Make sure you shower and dress well for your big date with the TV lens.