WSOP Main Event 2009: Phil Ivey Snubs Media As Bookies CelebrateNovember 9, 2009 9:09 am
Phil Ivey was always facing an uphill battle at this year’s WSOP Main Event final as he was low in chips right from the start and desperate for a double up. Unfortunately for him, when his opportunity arose and he was all-in holding AK against Darvin Moon’s AQ, fate dealt his opponent a Qd6c6s3c5c board and so was eliminated even before he had a chance to get going.
As Phil Ivey exited the WSOP 2009 final table in 7th place his frustration was evident as he chose to shirk his ambassadorial duties with the general media, to the chagrin of poker enthusiasts and fans alike, in favour of an exclusive interview with WSOP TV hostess Lacey Jones and WSOP media director, Nolan Dalla.
On the one hand it is understandable that a player may not be in a chatty mood ten minutes after their dream of a WSOP Main Event title is ended, especially considering this year’s media circus interviews conducted in the main corridor outside the theater.
However, all the other players dutifully gave their interviews with grace and good temperament, providing a unique and personal view on their own experience at the grand final. Ivey, however, decided to skip his planned interview with the general media such that an apologetic Harrah’s Communications Director Seth Palansky had to declare in front of the media:
“We made it clear to [Ivey] that we wanted him to come out and talk to you guys and he made it clear that he didn’t want to do it. What are you going to do? You can’t force a guy to do something he doesn’t want to do.”
Ivey could have made a brief appearance and chosen any number of messages to give the media which would have been of benefit and interest to the army of poker fans who were eagerly anticipating a few gems of wisdom from the “greatest player in the world.”
Instead, he simply shrugged off his part in the most anticipated WSOP final ever and within 30 minutes of leaving the Rio was playing $2,000-$4,000 Hi/Lo Split on Full Tilt Poker.
Despite an army of disappointed fans, one man who won’t be commiserating any time soon is Andy Bloch who would have lost a $2 million prop bet if Ivey had realised his goal. Furthermore, bookmakers stood to lose big from an Ivey victory. NordicBet.com, for instance, had originally offered 750 to 1 odds on Ivey for the victory and company spokesman Kim Rud Petersen, commented at the time:
“A victory for Phil Ivey will cost our company alone hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts, and I believe it’s the same for most bookies in the industry. If Ivey wins, this actually might turn out to be the most expensive poker tournament for bookmakers ever.”