While many have only heard of Phil Ivey from recent developments of his popularized edge sorting case against Borgata, the poker superstar remains an iconic character in the poker industry with thousands of fans admiring the 43-year-old pro. Regarded as one of the best poker players of all time, Ivey is still at the top of the food chain playing the highest stakes and a long list of achievements including 10 WSOP bracelets to back his reputation.
Phil Ivey. Credit: King’s Casino Rozvadov
Although not a frequent face in the spotlight especially with live poker at a temporary halt, the Hall of Famer has teamed up with Poker King for a special video interview on how he stays mentally sharp. An excerpt from an exclusive interview by Lee Davy with Timofey ‘trueteller’ Kuznetsov as released by Triton Poker likewise shows an exciting back story dating back to 2015 when the gifted poker player defeated Ivey in a months long mixed game cash game match.
The Phil Ivey Game – Truteller looks back to 5 years ago when he beath Ivey in his own specialty, live mixed game
One of the youngest prodigies, Timofey ‘trueteller’ Kuznetsov emerged as a very successful poker player before even hitting his 20s. The natural talent, being well versed in mathematics and critical thinking brought a significant advantage to the tables enabling him to build a bankroll of a whopping $10 million by 22 years old. Playing high stakes back when online poker was at its peak, Kuznetsov immersed himself in the games constantly, revealing he took only a total of two days off for a year and a half.
Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov. Credit: Antonio Abrego
Upon reaching the top level, Kuznetsov had the courage to take on the challenge of competing with “the Tiger Woods of Poker” in a mixed game cash game match. The game, which started in late 2015 ended up lasting for months end with the two playing against each other for roughly 25-30 hours straight at a time. Eventually, the match reached an end with Kuznetsov in the lead and claiming the overall victory. An impressive achievement, Russian pro Timofey Kuznetsov now sits at the top of the field, positioned beside the best of the best in the poker industry.
When asked how he felt about eventually beating one of the biggest stars in poker history, Kuznetsov borrowed a reference from the world of video games. He said he felt like he had played Mortal Combat for five straight years, eventually beating the End Boss “Shawkan”.
Video interview of Ivey released by Poker King
Mental health is a very important regard in the realm of poker and has a great effect on both a player’s gameplay and mindset. In this video interview with Barry Greenstein released by Poker King, Ivey talks about how he stays mentally sharp by focusing on this aspect and maintaining a healthier lifestyle as compared to his earlier years.
Meditation, praying and doing yoga are some of the practices Ivey commits himself to doing nowadays. He adds that while his focus back then was to generally make money, there were times he did not really feel he was successful. Considering the endless number of successes within his poker career, many would think that would automatically equate to an easy and problem-free life. Far to the case, Ivey admits that there were a lot of things that were challenging his mental health back in the day but regardless of his struggles, Ivey further highlighted that he would not change anything in his journey and was proud to say that he is in a good place right now.
Having spent a great deal of time playing live poker in Macau, Ivey shared with his viewers a few differences he noticed whilst playing in Asia. One of which was how amazed he was that Asian players could last 3 days sitting at a poker table and look fine. To end, he noted his decision to partner with Poker King as the brand targets to do good things for the industry as well as protect the integrity of the game. Working closely with its team, Ivey noted that the brand works religiously to prevent its players from being cheated and hires top level security to maintain fair play.
A familiar name for Asian poker players, Poker King additionally, is keen on making plans for the near future with the company’s Event & Marketing Manager, Adriana Rosario releasing a statement for Somuchpoker.
“Our goal is to bring action packed events to our valued players, providing some of the largest guaranteed prize pools and innovative events at all buy-in levels. We also highly focus on customer satisfaction.”
“We are currently planning on having a first ever Poker King Live Tournament in the not too distant future. As for the venue of the event, we will be sure to hold it at a safe place since the tragic situation of COVID-19 is still ongoing. We sincerely hope that all our players stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you in our tournaments very soon!”
In a second video posted today on Poker King’s Youtube page, Ivey reveals his personal tips and tricks that pushed him to be above the rest. A characteristic already embedded within his personality, Ivey is driven to become better at whichever path he decides to pursue. As for poker, he mentions that his drive to win so badly required him to pay attention to every detail of everything that was going on in a game. His natural intuition to assess people’s energies, body language and other attributes paved the way for many of his victories in the field of poker.
The video also showed Greenstein and Ivey reminiscing on Phil’s family roots and his experience with the lack of support to initially play poker, proving everyone wrong with his enormous success to show for it. Having won a Short Deck tournament in Sochi recently, Ivey’s outlook has changed completely as compared to a few years back. Presently, he makes a conscious effort to enjoy his victory as to feeling discontent or simply meeting expectations of winning.
Ending on a light note, Greenstein questions Ivey as to why he was always quiet, intense and guarded at a poker table, very much different from when he was with his close friends. Ivey reveals that this too, was a part of his strategy leading to players around him feeling uncomfortable and possibly ending up playing worse. To this day, Ivey is seen as a great poker icon, respected and beloved by many poker enthusiasts around the world.
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