Is Phil Ivey playing on PokerStars?

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 04, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

After a return to the online poker tables following a significant absence, the identity of a particular online poker player at PokerStars is coming under scrutiny, with many people believing it is Phil Ivey. The 2+2 Poker Forum has long held the belief that the anonymous high-stakes player on PokerStars, known only as “RaiseOnce”, is none other than poker superstar Phil Ivey, and it seems the evidence is mounting towards a possible confirmation that it is in fact Ivey’s PokerStars account.

Honestly, the NVG posters on the 2+2 Poker Forum should be hired out to vet politicians and all manner of public figures since they can connect the dots and dig up obscure information on virtually anyone; often better than the FBI or the CIA! If you don’t believe me, take a look at the recent evidence put forth in the 2+2 thread on the identity of “RaiseOnce” that points to the account belonging to Ivey:

* Both players (Phil Ivey on Full Tilt Poker and RaiseOnce on PokerStars) have similar playing styles, and both participate in ultra-high-stakes games focusing on a couple of tables. Both players also dabble in high-buy-in tournaments.

* The following statistics were found to be consistent for both accounts: calling preflop 48%, flop cbet 93%, flop check-raise 32%, call river bet 49%, and fold BB to steal 34%

* The chat styles of the two players appear to be similar

* RaiseOnce’s account is located in Mexico where Ivey is said to own property

* According to some posters an incident in 2010, when both Phil Ivey and RaiseOnce were online at the same time, saw both players disconnect and reconnect at precisely the same time

Obviously the evidence is very circumstantial, but the high-stakes community playing $200/$400 PLO and $1k/$2k Mixed-Games consists of a very small group of players, and for a random player to simply show-up every so often, play at an extremely high-level, and then simply vanish is extremely rare.

So, who is RaiseOnce? On PokerStars RaiseOnce first drew attention after winning Event #39, the $25k Heads-Up Championship, of the 2010 PokerStars WCOOP (worth nearly $350k). The account has apparently been online since sometime in 2008, and has logged just over 22,000 hands in that period of time (even on Full Tilt Poker Ivey was never considered a high-volume player) with a total loss of around $100k according to

While the evidence points to Phil Ivey –a proficient high-stakes player capable of excelling in multiple formats including tournaments—and even though the 2+2 forum has an excellent track record for connecting these kinds of dots and coming up with the correct answer, we’ll have to wait for the concrete evidence before we can say RaiseOnce is definitely Phil Ivey! Much like we did in the Who is Isildur1 debate; even though the entire community knew it was Viktor Blom.

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