Phil Ivey Shakes Down the Hendon Mob

by , Mar 16, 2007 | 4:51 pm

In golf … not poker. Anyone watching semi-live poker on TV is aware that the pros have been joshing [tag]Phil Ivey[/tag] about his emerging prowess on the links. The snickers usually attached to the props now make a little more sense …

Here’s a seemingly reliable thread (and well-written recount by Blair Rodman) about a recent outing he had in Las Vegas with Hendon Mobster Ram Vaswani, phenom internet kid Eric Sagstrom (aka Eric 123), and Marc Goodwin, an accomplished poker Brit. Apparently Ivey ran a classic hustle on these guys, and as the story goes, Goodwin and Sagstrom stormed off the course, stuck $450k each … while Vaswani, a fellow Full Tilter, stuck out the beating for 18 holes, even though he knew way before then that he would end up owing Phil $900k.

Supposedly Ram didn’t have the cash readily available, so he worked out some sort of payment plan. No word on whether or not he’s being charged interest.

Now the debate on the forums is whether or not Ivey “cheated” by misreporting his golf abilities before the round started … or if gambling is simply gambling and Vaswani is the only guy who honorably handled his mistake of placing a big bet without doing proper research.

Here’s a story about Ivey running a similar golf-course hustle on Mike Sexton almost a year-and-a-half ago …

ALT HED: Ram Vaswani = Phil Ivey’s Beyotch?

7 Comments to “Phil Ivey Shakes Down the Hendon Mob”

  1. Donkey Bomber

    This is very intersting stuff to me. Here’s why, I’m a pretty decent golfer…6-7 handicap for most of my life. I have only bet big on the golf course once in my life. And when I say big, I have only won or lost more than $500 twice in my life. Why is that? Unless you play with someone on a regular basis, you don’t know who is doing the hustling, and frankly, with an established legitimate handicap, it’s hard to be the hustler.

    The reason I don’t bet big on the course is the same reason I’ve never been in a fight in my life. If my life depended upon it, and I had a rock in my hand and thought that I should hit the other guy with it, I don’t know if I could. I would think too much about the consequences. Telling someone that I’m an 11 handicap would be like having that rock in my hand…don’t know if I could use it.

    Prop bets on the golf course are a totally different thing. I played with Negreanu in Lake Tahoe, and at the time, he had a false sense of his own abilities. I managed to make some money off of prop bets that he proposed. Like, “your $5,000 to my $1,000 I can get up and down from the trap”. I would be more than 5 to 1 from the trap so I doubted that he was better than that.

    Just because you have an established handicap doesn’t mean you are not a cheater. I know a few guys who post every score, but I doubt when they are playing hit and giggle with their wives twice a week they are grinding over those 4 footers. Try too hard in that spot and you might not get laid very often.

    Winning Wisdom: If you have a conscience, you will have trouble winning money on the golf course. Stick to playing in the ladies bridge club.

  2. DanM

    I think the phrase “Winning Wisdom:” might go better one sentence earlier.

  3. Karridy

    I do believe that a healthy conscience truly can be traditional handicap. I’ll wager that I’m not the only guy to crank up the calls after having dragged some serious suck-out pots, which was my way of making it up to the player/table. Especially against friends. And then there’s the idea of playing against people that you know can’t lose what you just took. I’ll save that, and Tom’s response, for the first episode of the NEW Beyond The Table.

  4. dremeber

    Hi DanM,

    Great site/blog you have here.
    Feel free to add it to the new Poker Bloglisting on


  5. Donkey Bomber

    Karridy, the coolest thing about this whole blogging thing is that you don’t have to use full sentences or use punctuation correctly?!

  6. zach

    here is a video of Marc goodwin trying to steal phil Ivey’s golf clubs.

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