Phil Ivey is not only considered one of the greatest poker players in history, he’s also known as something of a pioneer for Black players in poker. Like Tiger Woods in golf (his other passion) or Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1, Ivey broke through and became an all-time great when not many people who looked like him were even involved at the highest level of the sport. Today Phil Ivey is not just a well respected player. He has broken several records and started his own poker related ventures.
Since the beginning, Ivey has done things his own way, and it seemed to have worked for him. He got a job in a telemarketing company were he practiced poker by challenging the other employees, and he was soon using a fake ID card to play in Atlantic City, which earned him the nickname “No Home Jerome”. He also developed an impressive ability in the grey-area practice of “edge sorting”, which earned him being sued by multiple casinos. He won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2002, and from then on he started dominating big tournaments. By the age of 38 he had won 10 bracelets, achieving the feat in only 14 years, beating the previous record held by Phil Hellmuth of doing it in 17 years.
After withdrawing from most events during the pandemic, Ivey made his triumphant return to the poker scene but surprised everyone by skipping the World Series Of Poker and choosing instead a high-stakes game in Los Angeles against players like Garett Adelstein. This year’s World Series Of Poker marked a pretty significant event for the professional game — the first time in two years that poker’s biggest occasion was held live. Yet Ivey simply saw fit to choose another event instead, explaining that the decision was made based on personal reasons.
Ivey’s next play has surprised even the most experienced gamblers. He partnered with Moments to auction an NFT featuring his battle with Tom Dwan, in what’s considered one of the most exciting bluffs in the history of the sport. The winner will also get a limited edition metaverse sneaker, created by custom designer The Surgeon, as well as a luxury trip to Las Vegas where he or she will have the opportunity to challenge Phil
to a game of poker.
It’s hard to tell whether Ivey’s Iconic Video Moment will achieve a substantial price in the NFT market, or even if there will be enough interest in the market for it to be sold. It all depends on Ivey’s popularity among fans at the intersection of poker and NFTs, which might not be a small number of people. The only thing certain is that if the NFT ends up being sold for a significant amount, it might start a trend among other poker players and even sports people in general. We might end up seeing both famous and infamous moments in sport history being auctioned and sold for incredible amounts, together with virtual baseballs and custom designed tennis rackets.