2009 WSOP November Nine: Phil Ivey

The November Nine: Phil Ivey
By Loki Luchs of Predictem.com

As we begin to draw closer to the big betting seasons, those of us that are blessed and cursed with this gambling love begin to look at where the investments are If you’re on Predictem, you’re one of the smart people who want advice from professionals when it comes to looking for those investments. The problem with sports betting is that people bet with their guts, not their heads. There are only a handful of people that are precise enough to weigh all of the details to any one game and come out with a specific enough prediction that they can consistently fight the Vegas odds.

More often, if a guy likes the Lakers, he’ll bet the Lakers. It doesn’t matter if there’s a 40 point spread, that’s his team, and that’s who he’s going to bet. At worst, that guy will just not bet the game as opposed to bet against his own team. This is a FATAL flaw when it comes to this business. Choosing the best bet is the only thing you care about. Leave emotion at the door.

Phil Ivey. If, by some chance, you’re reading this and never heard of him, I assume you’ve never played poker before. Let me put it into context for you: Tiger Woods is the Phil Ivey of golf. (NOT the other way around.) Phil Ivey winning this series would bring a whole new excitement to the game that has been lacking since Jamie Gold won the bracelet in ’06. It’s said that his reading ability is unparalleled, making even the most disciplined player flip their cards over and run from the table screaming. At the age of 33, he is tied for 6th place with Billy Baxter for the number of bracelets won in the WSOP. He is one of the most regular players at the “Big Game” in Bobby’s room, $4,000/$8,000 mixed limit, at the Bellagio. He was the player that destroyed Andy Beal, the Texas billionaire, in the $100,000/$200,000 limit game, which was a 20 million dollar match-up.

I’ve been monitoring the player polls on the websites and the lines in
Vegas, and their saying the same thing: gambler’s emotions are getting away
from them. One poll of over 5,000 people had 87% voting for him to win.
It’s clear by the Vegas Lines that people are betting the same way. My emotions
pray Phil Ivey wins the Main Event. I think that with some early cards,
he might just have it in him! That being said, he has the WORST odds to
bet on. Every poker player in the country is betting on him to take down
this thing, running odds at as high as 3:1 and as low as 6:5. Pretty steep
for a guy who is currently in 7th place.

Despite this, he is AT BEST, a 6:1 underdog. It doesn’t matter that this will be his 39th cash in the WSOP. It doesn’t matter that he has two bracelets this year, seven overall. What does matter is that with less than ten million in chips, he is looking at a table with 1/20 of the money. When he has to face a showdown and the cards are flipped up, they don’t care who he is.

With bullets flying and him being on the short stack, it’s very likely that he’s going to get shot down early. He is a phenomenal player, often considered the single best in the world, but the odds that Vegas is laying is not justified by the chances that he’s going to win. If you can’t bring yourself to bet against him, don’t bet.