By Matt Kaufman, Rakeback.com Poker News Editor
The 2012 World Series of Poker (there's still time to qualify!) is nearly two thirds of the way through.
It should come as no surprise that Phil Ivey, widely considered the world's best poker player, is at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year leaderboard. That said, the fact that he has reached his 5th final table with over 20 events remaining is wildly impressive - even for him.
His previous 4 final table results were:
• Event #15 - $5,000 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo - 7th for $34,595
• Event #17 - $10,000 PLHE - 2nd for $275,559
• Event #24 - $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo - 3rd for $136,046
• Event #32 - $10,000 HORSE - 5th for $99,739
Today, Ivey will play the final table of Event #35, a $2,500 Mixed Hold'em tournament. He'll enter the table 7th in chips. You can watch the final table via a live stream at WSOP.com.
To add to the legend that is Ivey - he was playing hands in this tournament during the breaks of his Event #32 final table. Successful multitabling of live tournaments is not something often seen.
With Ivey at his 5th final table, we decided it was a good time to look into the record for WSOP final tables in a single year.
Although we can't be 100% positive, after extensive searching the only player we could find that made 6 final tables was An Tran in 1992.
A handful of elite players have reached 5 final tables in the past, including Phil Hellmuth (1992), Daniel Negreanu (2004), Johnny Chan (2002), Chris Ferguson (2003), Men Nguyen (2003 & 2004), Mike Sexton (1995), and Ivey himself (2002 & 2012).
With over 20 events to go this year, Ivey has an amazing opportunity to tie or break An Tran's record of 6 - although we imagine even if he does that he won't be happy unless he goes home with a bracelet.
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