Phil Ivey is red hot this April, with two titles won, five final-table appearances, and nearly $2.9 million in earnings so far this month. The 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner’s most recent victory saw him top a field of 32 entries in the 2022 Super High Roller Series Europe $50,000 buy-in pot-limit Omaha event. The 45-year-old Poker Hall of Fame member defeated reigning Player of the Year Ali Imsirovic heads-up to secure the trophy and the top prize of $640,000.
Ivey increased his lifetime tournament earnings to more than $34.6 million. As a result of this latest win, he leapfrogged Fedor Holz ($34,373,043), Mikita Badziakouski ($34,570,712), and Cary Katz ($34,630,541) to move into ninth place on poker’s all-time money list.
Ivey had not registered a live tournament cash in 2022 prior to making his way to the Merit Royal Hotel Casino & Spa in North Cyprus for back-to-back high-stakes series. He final tables three of the five Triton Poker Cyprus events, including winning the $75,000 buy-in short deck event for nearly $1.2 million. The Super High Roller Series kicked off at the same venue directly after the Triton festival wrapped. Through the first four events, Ivey has made it down to heads-up twice, with this victory and a runner-up showing in a $50,000 buy-in short deck event for $504,000.
Thanks to his incredible run in Cyprus, Ivey has shot up the standings and into ninth place in the Card Player Player of the Year race sponsored by Global Poker. He now sits in second place in the PokerGO Tour rankings, having earned 384 PGT points with his latest title run.
Ivey came into the second and final day of this event in third chip position behind Imsirovic and Joni Jouhkimainen. There were seven players remaining to start, with only the top five set to make the money. Tomas Ribeiro was the first to fall, followed by Iakov Onuchin. Imsirovic made a flush to burst the bubble, guaranteeing a six-figure payday for the remaining five contenders.
Bracelet winner Dylan Weisman’s run in this event came to an end in fifth place, with Ivey sending him to the rail. Weisman earned $112,000 for his fifth final-table appearance of 2022. His lone title this year came in the $25,000 buy-in PLO event at the U.S. Poker Open just a couple weeks prior to this event.
Like Weisnman, Eelis Parssinen earned his first WSOP hardware in 2021. The Finnish poker pro got the last of his stack in on a K108 flop holding AQ43. He was up against the K986 for Imsirovic. The 6 turn changed nothing, but the 7 river improved Imsirovic to a straight to secure the pot. Parssinen was sent home with $176,000 for his fourth-place finish.
Joni Jouhkimainen lost the majority of his stack when his sixes full of fives ran into the tens full of sixes of Imsirovic. He got his final few chips moments later and was called by Imsirovic, who made a broadway straight to take down the pot and eliminate Jouhkimainen in third place ($256,000).
Heads-up play began with Imsirovic holding 2,705,000 to Ivey’s 2,095,000. Ivey turned the tables when Imsirovic turned a busted wrap draw into a bluff. Ivey called the river bet with trips to take the lead, and never looked back from there. The final hand of the event saw Imsirovic limp in for 50,000 total from the button with KQ62 off of a 10 big blind stack. Ivey raised to 150,000 with AA84 and Imsirovic called. The flop came down QJ3 and Ivey bet enough to put Imsirovic all-in for his last 350,000. Imsirovic made the call with top pair, but was trailing Ivey’s aces. The turn brought the 4 to give Imsirovic a gutshot draw along with his other outs. The 7 on the hand locked up the pot and the title for Ivey, eliminating Imsirovic in second place ($416,000).
This was already Imsirovic’s 16th final-table finish of the year, with four titles won and nearly $2.9 million in earnings accrued along the way. The 27-year-old is the reigning Player of the Year for both the Card Player and PGT points races and now has a healthy lead on both of those leaderboards as he looks to make history as the first back-to-back POY winner for either race.
Here is a look at the payouts and rankings points awarded at the final table:
Photo credits: Merit Poker.