Phil Ivey Bluffs at WSOP Final Table

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A hot hand from the World Series of Poker 2009 Main Event, Final Table. Thanks to the wonders of TV we know the players’ hole cards and so the fact that this was a bluff by Phil Ivey at a very high-tension, expensive moment makes great poker theater. Ivey, in a heads-up match, manages to get it past former Bear Stearns exec Steve Begleiter. Ivey is the BB, with A9; Begleiter holds a pair of 7s. Darvin Moon, Jeff Shulman and others are included in this hand at the start. If you’d been in Begleiter’s place, would that Phil face have fooled you?  No established pro, at the time of this game, had won the Main Event since 2001, when it was Carlos Mortensen — and so far that still is true. The percentages against his victory, plus the millions he was betting for, make this a classic wonderful bluff by Ivey.

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