There have been few poker players who have achieved the same level of success as Phil Ivey. Most of this success has come at the biggest tournaments, in particular the World Series of Poker where he has won five bracelets. Ivey really burst onto the scene with some big wins at a very young age but recently he has stopped playing in tournaments so his profile has fallen off quite a bit.
After being born in California Phil Ivey moved to New Jersey with his family as a small child. It was his grandfather who taught him how to play poker. Long before he was old enough to start going to casinos Ivey started playing in backroom games. Even then he still didn't wait until he was old enough before he started going to casinos. He got a fake ID when he finished high school and started playing in the casinos of Atlantic City. In the early days he funded his poker by working as a telemarketer, he lost a lot of money while he was first learning so he really needed the job.
Although he struggled early on while he was learning to play poker he kept working at it and by the time he was old enough to legally play in the casinos he was already a regular winner. This encouraged him to start entering tournaments which is how he really made his name. In 2000 he would make two finals tables at the World Series of Poker winning one of them at the tender age of just twenty four. He would go onto win four more bracelets over the next five years including an incredible three of them in 2002.
After winning a number of World Series of Poker bracelets early in his career there were a lot of people who thought that Phil Ivey was well on his way to breaking the record for the most wins in the events history. This has not happened however as he hasn't actually won a bracelet since 2005. The main reason for this is that he does not really play in the World Series of Poker very much any more. The tournaments that he does play in these days are mainly invitational events instead.
The main reason that Phil Ivey does not play in a lot of tournaments any more however is that most of his time these days is focused on cash games. Professional players have long known that they can make more money this way than they ever could playing in tournaments so this is how Phil Ivey spends most of his time. He has moved to Las Vegas where you can regularly find him at the local casinos playing against wealthy players who want to test their skills. Few of them get the better of Ivey which is what makes this type of play so profitable for him.