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Phil Ivey’s 2015 Online Poker Losses Were Absurd

Phil Ivey may be a Poker Hall of Famer in waiting, but that doesn’t mean he can’t fail miserably at the poker tables. In the online poker world, this year has been one spectacular failure for the ten-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner. According to, Ivey is far and away the biggest internet cash game loser of 2015.

At this point, you may be saying out loud, “But 2015 isn’t over yet. He still has more than a week to win some money.”

True, but Ivey has left his opponents so far in the dust on the wrong side of the income statement that it would take an obscene week for both him and one of the other top losers for Ivey not to finish the year at the bottom of the money list. Ivey, playing under the screenname “RaiseOnce” on PokerStars, is down an astounding $ 2,481,266 on the year. At 126,026 hands, that’s $ 19.69 per hand. I get upset when I lose that much in a single session.

Speaking of single sessions, HighStakesDB recorded 622 sessions of Ivey’s, so he lost $ 3,989 on average per session. That’s more than two months of my mortgage. If I lost that much in a session, I would order my wife to leave me and take the kids because I clearly have no idea what it means to be fiscally responsible.*

Ivey was almost never in the black on PokerStars in 2015. He started down immediately, finally creeping up to $ 100,000 in the positive in April. He fell back down below breakeven, but then was up again for most of May. After that, though, Ivey tanked, dropping to nearly $ 1 million in the hole in June, where he stayed through the summer. He then had a volatile run into October, at which point he again cratered, almost steadily sinking to the point at which he sits now.

But wait, there’s more! If you thought losing $ 2.5 million in a year was bad, let me drop this bomb on you. That was only on PokerStars. On Full Tilt Poker, using the name “Polarizing,” Phil Ivey lost another $ 1,250,806, bringing his grand total to more than $ 3.7 million in losses. The vast majority of his Full Tilt losses came early in the year, as he was down $ 1.5 million by the second week of March. He sunk lower in May before making a few hundred thousand in gains by June.

On the flip side, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom has had a very nice year on the virtual felts. While he has lost $ 1,367,244 at Full Tilt, he has won $ 3,499,382 on PokerStars, for a net of over $ 2.1 million. Just as Ivey is the runaway loser of the year, Blom is the runaway winner.

*I am not saying Ivey is not fiscally responsible. He’s a poker god who has won countless sums of money in his career, so he can go ahead and lose however much he wants. He’ll always win more in the long run.

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