A night of charity with Phil Ivey

by , Jul 2, 2008 | 2:13 pm


The stars of poker filled The Grand convention center at the Golden Nugget Tuesday night for a charity event hosted by Phil Ivey. The recommended $1,000 donation with $500 rebuys and add-ons went largely to benefit the Budding Ivey Foundation, an organization started by Ivey’s mother and named after his late grandfather Leonard “Bud” Simmons. The money raised from the event for the foundation is to be allocated to a few charities, including the Boys and Girls Club, Springs Preserve and Empowered 2 Excel, a local academy for the underprivileged that focuses on improving the quality of life for young people by concentrating on academic success, social-growth, character education and health.

“It’s good to be able to give back to Las Vegas,” Ivey said before the tournament kicked off. “I’d like to thank the fans and all the poker players who came. I appreciate all of you guys support. Enjoy yourself and have some fun.”

Among the couple of hundred of people milling in the convention center for the tournament was a who’s who list of poker players, including names like Negreanu, Matusow, Ferguson, Zolotow, Gowen, Lindgren, Laak, Tilley, Phan, Bloch and many more. Fans walked around fetching autographs while players took prop bets on the tournament. Matt Savage served as tournament director and emcee.

The cards and alcohol were flying. Someone tossed a drink at Matusow during the very hearty craps game that took place during breaks in the tournament. Players were carried into the room, which included a few blackjack tables along with the craps tables, on the shoulders of others before it was their turn to shoot. One unidentified man ran laps around the room after a particularly good roll.

“It’s time to start back with the tournament,” a floorman told me during on break, “but my boss doesn’t want to tell them to leave the craps table.”

Players also wandered back and forth to the annual Howard Lederer/Steve Zolotow barbecue next door in the Nugget’s pool area.

The event also included auctions for prizes that included signed and framed Full Tilt Poker jerseys of players like Erik Seidel and Jennifer Harman.

Following my all night session in O8 at Binion’s until 7:30 a.m. Tuesday I was too tired to stay for the end of the event. As soon as I find out who won I’ll give you the low down.





27 Comments to “A night of charity with Phil Ivey”

  1. DanM

    Were you there yesterday Johnny? How did we miss you?

  2. Tuscaloosa Johnny

    Ha, no one ever tells me anything. I was at the tournament, but not the barbecue. Thanks for the non-invite…

  3. Bundas

    I didn’t even realize this was going on .. I was at binions doing my show on Holdem Radio and for sure would have stopped by and said Hi!! I even looked for Dan at the WSOP on Monday I was there for a few hours checking up on some friends in Event 52 but didn’t see Dan anywhere !

  4. mike g

    Was this the fundraiser to pay off Ivey’s enormous gambling debt?

  5. Bundas

    Mike, I don’t think Ivey has any debt at all. There was a Pokerati thread a few weeks back that talked about Iveys Gambling. and I Posted this…

    I heard that Barry greenstein had been asked about Ivey’s gambling and Barry stated not to worry about Phil. because Phil has more in CASH then Barry has in all his assets combined.

    And I’m sure Phil has a lot more assets if he has been buying property.

    And if this is true Phil must have a lot of CASH because I believe Barry’s a very rich person…

    here is the the link to that old thread

  6. DanM

    Johnny, we got the hook-up for you when needed. my bad.

    Bundas, I knew you were a “pirate” … but didn’t know you had a show! was that you i saw wearing a yellow holdem radio shirt the other day?

  7. Sue

    Are there pictures of the Ivey charity event up somewhere?

  8. bundas

    No yellow shirt here… and yes Tuesdays at 8pm the Realty of Poker. I do it with an On line Pro named Nick.. !

  9. DanM

    Dude, send us a link … we’ll check it out! So your show is about land development and poker?

    Sue, there were definitely lots of photogs — amateur and pro alike — but I haven’t found them yet, but I am sure they are out there. Pokerati forgot its camera at the Rio, and upon discovering that decided to check its bag with the bellman and got back to the party when jeff madsen started rapping only to realize its audio recorder was in the bag …

  10. Jack D

    I was at Ivey’s table in this tournament. Never had so much fun losing $ in my life. Anyone know who was filming this, and where I can view that and other pics? Trying to figure out a couple people at the table too. Seat 1 was John Phan, 2)Beth Shak, 3) Freddy(?) 4)Me, 5)David Oppenheim, 6)Ivey, 7)Matasow (although there was another pro there before him whos name I can’t recall) 8) Negraneau, 9) Irv Gotti, 10 ?.

  11. Sue

    Dan –

    Thanks for the photo updates. I’ve been looking, well not today, and I haven’t really found much. I read somewhere that the turn out wasn’t as good as expected, but other sites say it was good. Anyone know who won the poker tournament going on there? And if anyone finds pics please post the link, I will if I do.

    — Sue

  12. Tuscaloosa Johnny

    …and my camera was in my car in Binion’s valet. Sorry that the cell phone pics are the best I’ve got. I asked over at the GN yesterday morning, but the people there didn’t know who won. They leased the space but did not run the tournament.

  13. Jack D

    I cannot BELIEVE I didn’t hand my camera to someone and get a pic of me siting at that table. %^$#@! There were a zillion people taking pics though, and someone was filming the whole thing, so hopefully something will turn up. REALLY love a picture (to frame/hang in my office) that shows me playing cards with Pham, Negraneau, Ivey, Matasow/etc…cuz I suspect there are those who will not believe my wild poker tale.

  14. DanM

    From what I understand, Beth Shak won that event. And John Hennigan won Ante Up for AFrica.

  15. Sue

    Jack D –

    Was the Freddy guy in seat 3 a pro player?

  16. Jack D

    I don’t believe he was, and I didn’t recognize him. Black guy named Freddy is all I know. Nice guy.(As was “Opie” on my left)He lasted longer than me though, cuz Matasow knocked me and Ivey out on the same hand shortly after the (insane) rebuy period ended.

  17. edbucks

    To the guy who is starstruck because he’s playing with idiot pro players, no one gives a flying flip about you sitting next to them if you didn’t win the tourney. They were probably complaining about not having more fish like you. Just trying to bring you back to earth a bit, man, it’s common that you are surrounded by people you recognized on TV, esp during WSOP, that’s where ALL of them are. My biggest advice is to play to win, not be distracted by people who have some bracelets under their belts.

  18. Sue

    Jack D –

    I think I know who you’re talking about, the freddy guy had on a blue polo or something? I think I saw a pic of him w/ ivey someplace before.

  19. Jack D

    Sue: Yes, blue shirt. Thanks for *not* being clueless and rude. Sadly, I can’t say that about everyone here.

  20. Sue

    Lol! Your welcome 🙂

  21. edbucks

    So here’s how it will go down

    “Hey, check this out, this is me playing in a tournament with all these pros!!!”
    “oh nice, did you win?”
    “No, man, but look who I was up against! Daniel f*cking Negreanu and Phil superman Ivey!!”
    “but you busted out, right?”
    “yeah, but I almost won a hand against Ivey, if I would have hit that Jack of spades, it’s over for him and I would have been chip leader, it was soooo close man”
    “better luck next time man. nice photo though”

    it’s sad that you will live your life wishing that you have that photo of you and the pros, verses going out there and making a name for yourself.

  22. Jack D

    Hmmm…clueless, rude *and* not funny. Since I make it a policy to never get into the mud with pigs, and given that you obviously “live” in your Mom’s basement and have all the time that your non-life affords you to sit around typing your amazing ignorant rants, this will be the last 2min of my life I waste on you. You have NO idea who I am (clue: definately non-fish, most definately non star-struck), but I totally know who YOU are: a jobless high-school drop-out leach on society who’s jealous of anyone else’s success or even happiness, two things you will NEVER have. Your dream is to collect enough aluminum cans to turn in so you can afford a stack of lottery tickets for your Big Score. But that would involve leaving the basement, so that’s unlikely. Your only hope of even minor celebrity will be the day your dumbass falls into a wood-chipper. “Local dumbass leaves Mom’s basement long enough to fall into wood-chipper.” I pity your mom. Buh-bye now.

    To the non a-holes here, if anyone finds out who was filming that event, please let me know. Thanks.

  23. Lisa Wheeler

    Hi Everyone,

    Here are some links to photos and video of Phil Ivey’s BIGNC and the WSOB 08. Sorry it took so long to get these posted. Just catching up on everything.




  24. DanM

    ***Thanks for *not* being clueless and rude.***

    Dude, being clueless and rude is what I do! Without that, I got nuthin’, man!

  25. donkey

    Jack, I hate to say this, but Buck is right, you are a little pathetic bro. This must be your first rodeo, because if it’s not, I’m surprised that you haven’t played with some of these guys, cash or tourneys. Three years ago, it was my first WSOP, and I was at the featured table with Phil Gordon, Blair Rodman and a host of Asian pros. I regretted it afterward that I didn’t hand my camera to my buddy who was watching me play to nab a photo. But I realized that since then, it seems like every table I was at, there was at least 3 or more familiar faces. I wasn’t starstruck but I admit that by putting them on a level that I was not, it intimidated me and affected the way I played my hands. Hope that helps man, I hope you get your photo, but if you don’t, don’t worry, if you play well enough, someday someone may be starstruck when they see you.

    I’m playing in the World Series of Poker on Sunday, first place is a million bucks, does it have my name on it? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.

    Hey Dan, I may wear one of your damn patches. How much you pay’in, at least lunch right?

  26. DanM

    Donkey, you really think first will be just $1 mil? I’m thinking $5 mil minimum. No matter what, they ain’t going below the Greg Raymer payday.

    And hey, give me a buzz when you get here. We can talk bidness.

  27. Kevin Mathers

    Posting to see if this works:

    5,500 entrants would make 1st place almost 7.5m