Phil Ivey Pairs Up With Online Poker VentureFriday, July 12th, 2013 by Ryan
Think about it for a second. What is one player in the entire world who you would want to have on your side as the face of your company in terms of professional poker players. I feel like it’s a pretty safe answer that you’d have to go with Phil Ivey. Ivey is considered to be one of the most talked about and most followed poker players in the world today, and it’s for good reason. He’s a polarizing figure at the poker table, and he gets a following in almost any tournament that he’s in. News came out recently that we could end up seeing a bit more of Phil Ivey’s name as well, since he is going to be the face of a new online gaming company that was created in California. The name of the company is Pala Interactive, and it is a joint company between an old online gaming executive in Jim Ryan and the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
The two sides have set up a deal with the company RTE, which stands for Realtime Edge Software, and they were contacted originally by Pala Interactive to see if they could provide both the casino and poker platforms, which they agreed to. RTE has worked for quite a few different companies before, including some big ones in bwin.party, ClubWPT, the California Lottery, and GTECH. While this is definitely good news from all angles for the new company, obviously the biggest news comes with the fact that they have added the name Phil Ivey with their company. Jim Ryan is going to be an interesting name to follow as well though, for a few reasons.
It starts with the fact that Ryan was actually the former CEO of PartyGaming, and he led the company through the merger that they had with bwin. From that point on, he then ended up becoming co-CEO with the bwin.party company, and his co-CEO was Norbert Teufelberger. He was with the company for a good while, but pretty much out of nowhere he decided to resign in January. The announcement was made in December, but it was pretty much completely unexpected at that point.
Ryan has had a few different jobs before that point though, one of which was the parent company of a site that had a massive amount of drama around it in UltimateBet. This company was Excapsa, and while he was a huge part of the company, it was stated that he had a big obstacle in his move from UB to PartyGaming, due to a non-compete clause that he had signed. This was all followed up by a superuser cheating scandal at UltimateBet, and Ryan had reportedly used his clout to get the ownership proxies released. To sum it all up, it turned out to be a whole lot of drama that he used some of the information that he had in order to get out of the non-compete clause. Ryan’s name was never mentioned along with cheating in any way though.
Now for Ivey, he was obviously a huge part of the old Full Tilt Poker, and was a part owner of the site. This was one of the biggest bits of news in the past few years, and something that we saw some serious backlash about. Ivey has never been pointed to in a negative way from the site though, and it seems as though he simply didn’t have any knowledge of what was actually going on at Full Tilt Poker from the financial side of things.
Ivey has been doing quite a few things away from the poker tables actually in the past year or two, and one of them was the creation of IveyPoker.com, and if you were in Las Vegas at any point during the 2013 World Series of Poker it’s likely that you saw some shirts, sweatshirts, and patches with the name “IveyPoker” on them. Ivey also brought the poker training site LeggoPoker.com up, and helped them build their brand. A few players who have joined up at IveyPoker include Greg Merson, who won the 2012 Main Event, Jennifer Harman, Cole South, Patrik Antonius, Christian Harder, Dan Smith, and Andrew Lichtenberger.