new phil ivey interview

How Did Ivey Become The Best?

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Yet again we bring you the finest picks from the internet, this time we have stumbled across some content of the GOAT, Phil Ivey sitting down with Barry Greenstein talking about life, poker, his come-up story and mental health, let’s dive in…

Staying Interested

It’s easy to like Poker and want to play it and maybe we have a few little wins along the way, but when the bad times hit we can become jaded with the game.

The key is to not let failure become an option and that was exactly what Phil did with the game. Always looking to improve. Phil even shares this love with video games “I have to set a timer because I will play the game all day”

Right now however he is looking to stay balanced and live a balanced life which he says takes some discipline.

You can see Phils commitment levels by the way that Barry mentions casually, well when you started playing golf you got up at 6:30 am for a year and played every day. But the story behind that is that Ivey reportedly lost $1.5M on the courses in a year, so he obviously needed to improve.

What Makes you Good at Poker?

Being attentive is Ivey’s first key pointer, he paid attention to every little detail that was happening in a game.
He would try and pay attention to things like peoples energies and body language at the table… are they on tilt? Do they want to bust and go home? Are they looking to bluff people?

He picked up some extra drive from his family thinking that he would be a failure at poker and gambling, Ivey took this as more fuel to work harder and crush his games even more.

The Joy of Winning

This is a good point that Phil makes, where he says “When I play a tournament, at the end of it I just feel relieved, I don’t experience joy”

This is the gambler’s curse, with so many near wins, by the time we finally make a big score it just feels like a relief that we finally closed out a tournament or booked a big cash game win.

Ivey speaks about face-timing his girlfriend and consciously made a decision to enjoy it. He also says that he doesn’t want it to never be enough, so it seems he is shifting from trying to get all the chips in Bobby’s room and start to enjoy the fruits of his lifes work.

Being Guarded at the Table

Being quiet at the table Phil says was a part of his strategy, when you don’t talk you make others uncomfortable and when people are uncomfortable they play worse according to Phil.

This is a good way to be at the tables in general, just trying to soak up information that is out there without giving any away yourself. It’s debatable in cash games where a more loose flowing friendly environment is better, especially for newcomers and recreational players, but if you are playing in a tough line up, you don’t want to be the one talking to the person next to you about sports.

View the short interview with Barry and Phil here