Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ivey in Front

You’ve no doubt noticed how out of 1,864 players left in the World Series of Poker Main Event to begin Day 3, the one with the most chips of any of them is none other than Phil Ivey with 505,000.

Amid my work this summer I’ve been writing up WSOP recaps and previews for PokerNews, and over the last couple of days for those I’ve been doing a little digging around regarding recent Main Event history.

As I noted yesterday, Ivey has cashed four times before in the Main Event, and in fact when making the money has never finished lower than 23rd. His best finish was of course his seventh-place showing in 2009, the last time he made the money.

Then today I spent a little time seeing how other start-of-Day-3 leaders have done in the WSOP over recent years, and doing so produced a kind of interesting list of players and results. Probably the most interesting Day 3 chip leader among the list (going back to 2000) was Sammy Farha who was on top after two days of the 2001 WSOP Main Event, then in fact didn’t last through Day 3 and missed the money altogether.

Last year Mark Kroon was on top heading into Day 3, but he’d crash in 458th relatively early on Day 4. But the previous two years saw deep runs from those players, as Gaelle Baumann would finish 10th and Ben Lamb third. None of those start-of-day-3 leaders ever won the Main Event (since 2000, anyway), but Julian Gardner did finish second in 2002 after having led after the first two days.

Ivey’s fast start certainly gives some focus to the early 2014 WSOP Main Event narratives. I heard that ESPN isn’t even going to pick up its coverage this year until Day 4, however, which is kind of a bummer. We’ll see if Ivey continues to be headlining once the event gets to that point.

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