Deal Me In - Phil Ivey.

In its pages are never-before-revealed details of the lives of some of the biggest names in poker. Phil Hellmuth’s new book profiles 20 of the biggest poker players in the world, giving the reader an intimate look at the game’s biggest celebrities.

Deal Me In, a collection of autobiographical accounts from many of poker’s elite, is now available to order online exclusively at The book highlights the struggles, obstacles, and tragedies that 20 of the greatest poker pros have overcome in their journeys to the top. is providing exclusive excerpts from the book each Sunday. This week’s passage focuses on Phil Ivey, widely regarded as one of the best to ever play the game. Ivey talks about his willingness to gamble and his belief that you need to throw caution to the wind in this passage:

“People frequently ask me what amount of money is at risk before I begin to be nervous: there is no amount of money that makes me sweat. You must remember that I don’t come from money. To me, when I’m gambling, it’s what I do — it’s who I am. I don’t get nervous when I’m betting big money. I just try to make good decisions. I feel that no matter how much I lose, I can always recoup it — without exception. I might have to play a little smaller or a little harder, but I always know that if I lose it, I’ll get it back. That’s how I’ve always felt, my whole life. So if I have it and I’m able to bet it, I will.

“When I first started playing $400-$800 back in the day in Atlantic City, Henry “The Toy Man” Orenstein used to beat me all the time. That man kept me broke for six months. But I would drop down and build it back up in the $75-$150 game for a week in order to get back in the $400-$800 game. I’d play and he’d break me again! This kept on happening. I don’t think I beat him in one hand in six months. But I never gave up. I kept on coming back. I knew I’d get there.

“In order to be one of the best poker players in the world, it’s important to be able to put everything on the line — that’s gambling. To be really good at poker, you can’t be too tight or cautious with your money. No one is saying you should play recklessly, but too much caution can cost you as much as being too reckless. The overly cautious player will lose just as much as a reckless player — just more slowly. Because you’re always gambling for big amounts of money, you have to have a certain disregard for money. You have to believe that you will get it back if you lose.”





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