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Is Phil Ivey Still One of the Best in the Business?

When it comes to talk of the greatest poker players ever to grace the game, Phil Ivey’s name is always one of the first that comes up.

He is known for his all-around play, and his general consistency in major competitions over the years.

But has he achieved enough to gain the status as one of the all-time legends of poker? And is there a new brand of player emerging that could be considered better than Ivey and his generation?

Ivey Has Long Been Considered the Tiger Woods of Poker

Ivey gained the nickname the Tiger Woods of Poker, thanks to his peers generally regarding him as the paramount all-round player in the world.

On top of being highly adept at the felt, Ivey is a cool customer, which is another trait he shares with the golf legend.

In terms of achievements, there are few players who have been as consistent as Ivey has been over the course of his career. The 44-year-old has made four final tables at the World Series of Poker and earned ten bracelets. He has also had 13 money finishes in the World Poker Tour, and has claimed one title.

The Californian player deserves to be regarded as one of the best players ever, but his achievements don’t quite put him in the top spot. There are a few who have managed to win greater accolades and amass more tournament earnings than Ivey.

A Common Trait of the Greatest Players

On his path to becoming one of the greatest in the business, Ivey may have looked at past legends and replicated some of their techniques in improving at poker. Players like Stu Ungar, for example, could be considered better than Ivey.

Ungar spread his time between a number of different card games, and could have inspired Ivey to do the same. The Kid was renowned for playing gin rummy and blackjack, and this helped him to refine his mathematical skills. This is probably why he managed to win the World Series of Poker Main Event on three separate occasions.

Ivey isn’t really known for playing blackjack on a professional level, but he does have an interest in baccarat which he plays at high roller tables in Macau. Although the games differ greatly in how they are played, they both have a heavy focus on odds and probability. These are useful skills to bring back to the poker table.

Many poker players have followed in the footsteps of Ivey and aimed to improve their overall poker skills by taking up other card games.

A lot of Asian and Indian players may have been influenced by Ivey’s journey, as there are numerous professionals now emerging from the country who play in a similar style to the American.

Those following his path have found that baccarat is readily available to play online across the globe, and Asiabet India can be used to find the best sites to play at, for example. Players can choose based on ratings, along with the various welcome bonuses on offer.

A New Style of Player is Emerging

Some would say that the methods of Ungar and Ivey in playing other traditional card games are now outdated, though.

This is because there is a new style of player emerging who doesn’t have an arsenal of blackjack or baccarat ability under their belt.

These newcomers are rising up from the eSports industry, and are taking what they have learned about strategy to the biggest poker tournaments in the world.

One of the first players to follow this path was Bertrand Grospellier, otherwise known as ElkY.

The 40-year-old had great success at StarCraft: Brood War and Warcraft III before translating his skills to the poker table. The top two players in the all-time money list also entered the world of poker through this channel.

Bryn Kenney and Justin Bonomo both played Magic: The Gathering professionally before becoming legends of the felt. They have since earned just over $56 million and $53 million respectively. Modern players may feel that learning eSports is now a better way to develop the attributes needed for poker.

Ivey may have a bit more to do if he is ever going to be considered as the greatest player of all time.

The modern players coming through could be seen as a threat, as they have developed highly useful skills from eSports. Perhaps Ivey needs to play some competitive games to boost his own talents.

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