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Ivey Dominant, But Aloof Toward Poker Community

Ivey at one of his last celebrity

Phil Ivey is broadly considered the match ‘s best player, but he’s also unaware to the poker world.

On Tuesday evening, the eight-time WSOP bracelet winner was closing in on his fifth final table after all June 8. He also ‘s cashed for over $500,000 and now sits in the 2012 Player of the Year race.

Despite being among the most recognizable faces from the gambling world, he doesn’t know the faces, or even names, of his peers. On Tuesday, Ivey met Vanessa Selbst for the before all else time. It was also the before all else time he had heard of her, according to Ivey’s long-time friend Daniel Negreanu, who introduced the two.

One may wonder if Ivey’s lack of enthusiasm for the poker community is a giant level – meaning an elaborate prank designed to accomplish some purpose – but it isn’t, Negreanu said.

“He doesn’t have lots of friends in poker,” Negreanu added. “He attempts to keep away out of all of the gossip. He only wants to acquire. ” Ivey’s career goal is 30 bracelets.

In the Omaha eight-or-better event a week ago, Ivey was seated next to high-stakes cash game pro Brian Hastings. Hastings said that Ivey thought his name was “Brian Madsen” – a blending of his before all else name and the last name of 2006 WSOP Player of the Year Jeff Madsen.

Hastings said he wasn’t offended from the confusion. Hastings believed it had been “hilarious. ” Both guys had logged several hours together on Full Tilt Poker, the defunct site Ivey formerly worked , in addition to competed in person on the TV series Poker After Dark.

“I don’t believe he cares about his public image,” Hastings said. He also called it “suspicious ” that Ivey remembered that they had played together even after he corrected him on the “Brian Madsen” mistake.

Rumor is that Ivey, at one time, didn’t understand that Joe Cada won the 2009 major event. Ivey completed seventh that year at the no-limit holdchampionships championship.

Ivey’s self-immersion is logical because he doesn’t need the help of other players. Thomas Marchese Tweeted on June 8: “Asked phil Ivey when he wished to swap for a single fall and that he didn’t know what swapping was. Guess when your the best you don’t switch to frequently [sic]. ” Marchese was referring to the $1 million buy-in event starting July 1.

The 36-year-old has so far declined to give interviews this summer. When there is a break in play, he quickly leaves for his trailer parked outside the Rio. He hasn’t openly discussed Full Tilt Poker, though it appears the high-stakes community isn’t yet bothered by his silence. He’s never been accused of a crime in the alleged Full Tilt Poker fraud.

At around 9 p.m. local time in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ivey was third in chips with 22 left in Event No. 35 ($2,500 mixed hold’em).

Update: Ivey made the final table early Wednesday morning.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter – @brianpempus