In the world of poker, few are more notable, or recognizable than Phil Ivey. His elite status in the poker community grew to worldwide fame in the early 2000’s during the poker boom that force fed poker into any household with a television. Grandmothers who never heard of Texas Hold’ Em, even knew names like Ivey, Brunson and Hellmuth.
Most players tried to capitalize on the wave of success poker had during this time. Every player with a computer wrote a book, started a brand, clothing line, or jumped on some one else’s bandwagon. Pretty soon, the market became over-saturated and was gone as quickly as it came.
With players looking to improve their game in hopes of winning the millions they saw being won on television, many players saw an opportunity to use their name power and create poker training sites. Mike Matusow attempted his hand by creating Deepstacks University; which did have a unique approach to the concept, but failed like all the rest. Phil Hellmuth, Phil Galfond and a few others also attempted this venture, but ultimately failed.
Phil Ivey began his dive into the poker training when he purchased LeggoPoker in 2012. LeggoPoker was one of a handful of already existent online poker training sites that had a small membership base. LeggoPoker would be changed to Ivey’s personal brand – The Ivey League.
The Ivey League was meant to be the best of the best when it came to online poker training. Following a plan eerily similar to Full Tilt, The Ivey League was marketed as a place where you could play and learn from the best pros in the world. The idea was to charge a membership and allow players to not only play poker with big names like Ivey and Patrick Antonious, but also learn from them through videos.
The long play for The Ivey League was to have a full-fledged online poker site like Poker Stars or Party Poker. Ivey’s hope was that online poker in the United States would be legal, and he would have an existing platform that was ready to jump right in.
However, due to slow legislation, among other setbacks, Phil Ivey has announced the closure of The Ivey League. On May 1st, despite guerilla-like marketing efforts, members will no longer have access to the poker training site.
Over the 3 years that The Ivey League was online only 30 videos were posted to the site. Many of which were not even training, or educational. Many pundits cite this as the real reason for ending the endeavor. It appears Ivey simply wasn’t committed to the project enough to make it take off.
When you compare some of the top poker training sites like CardRunners who put out what seems like 30 videos a week, it’s easy to see how little interest was shown.