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Sep 04, 2015

5 Crazy Things that Phil Ivey has done Outside Poker

By RTR Dennis

Few poker players, if any, have achieved the kind of success that Phil Ivey has. You need merely look at his $23.2 million in live tournament winnings, 10 WSOP bracelets and untold cash game winnings to see this. But what truly sets Ivey apart from so many poker legends is all that he's done outside the game too. This being said, let's look at some of the big non-poker activities that ivey has gotten involved with over the years.

1. Baccarat Edge Sorting

The latest chapter in Phil ivey's life involves big lawsuits stemming from baccarat "edge sorting," where skilled players look for flawed card backs to gain an advantage. According to both Crockfords and Borgata, it went a little beyond this since Ivey enlisted the help of a partner (Cheng Yin Sun), asked that cards be rotated 180 degrees, and requested a special Gemaco deck that he knew was flawed. The end result was a $12.4 million profit from Crockfords and a $9.6 million profit from Borgata. Ivey lost his lawsuit against Crockfords and didn't receive the $12.4m - although he's appealing the matter - and his case against the Borgata is still ongoing.

2. World Series of Golf

Back in 2007 and '08, Ivey and a group of professional poker players competed in the World Series of Golf. The difference in the now-defunct WSOG is that every round winner was determined by betting on each hole, rather than just who had the lowest score. Aside from poker players, a number of average Joes, celebrities and athletes took part. Ivey did pretty well against this group of amateurs, taking third in the 2007 WSOG.

3. He slept under the Boardwalk and used a Fake ID at Casinos

The legend of Phil Ivey began in Atlantic City in the 1990s, when, as a teenager, he sneaked into poker rooms with a fake ID. The name on the ID was Jerome, leading to one of his nicknames, "No Home Jerome." The other part of the nickname comes from when Ivey failed to catch the last bus home, forcing him to sleep under the same Boardwalk that homeless people slept under. Times have certainly changed since then, though, because Ivey is routinely comped with penthouse suites at every casino he frequents.

4. Ivey Started a Promotions Company

Showing that he definitely has a business acumen outside poker, Ivey started a promotional company called All-In Entertainment. Co-founded with Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis and entertainment lawyer Jeff Fried, All-In represents athletes and sports personalities. Some of All-In's notable clients include boxers Andre Ward and Dusty Hernandez Harrison, NBA guards Ty Lawson and Isiah Thomas, and sports personality James Brown. Given this client list, it wouldn't be a surprise if All-In Entertainment continues attracting more high-profile celebrities.

5. Ivey was Cover Boy for Cigar Aficionado

Ivey has been featured in a number of major publications. But one that really stands out is when he graced the cover of the March/April 2010 edition of Cigar Aficionado, which has interviewed a number of celebrity cigar smokers. Ivey's edition dove deep into his lavish lifestyle of private jets, amazing hotel accommodations and celebrity friends like Jay-Z, Michael Phelps and Sean 'Diddy' Combs. The issue, which is still online, offers a great look into the life of a truly made poker player who can tip as big as he wants or fly wherever he wants because there are always lucrative non-poker opportunities waiting for him. Case in point, he once turned down a six-figure deal from Reebok.