International Chess Master is seeking his second WSOP bracelet.

I've known Ivo Donev since late 1980s. Originally from Ruse, Bulgaria, Ivo now lives in Austria. Back some 20 years ago, Ivo visited me and our mutual friend Misha Gluzman (now lives in Australia) in Kiev many times. We've been to his house in Ruse and played in 1989 Ruse Chess Open. Oh' these sweet times, we were young and had a great time partying as well as playing. I managed to get the 1st place, winning en route games against the favorites who were future GM Dgebuadze and future super GM Bologan (see this game annotated). In the nearby building, there was an Invitational chess tournament event, where young Vesko Topalov (a native of Ruse) was trying to establish a name for himself. These days, Mr. Veselin Topalov, #4 player in the World and a former Chess World champion.

After a long 20 years, we (me, Ivo and Misha) all are now International Chess masters with various accomplishments in chess. We live on different continents and speak very very infrequently. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I got e-mail from Ivo saying that he will be making a stop in Philadelphia. Unfortunately the stop was very short. As I expected, he wasn't coming to attend the World Open (starts June 30, here in Philadelphia, e-mail me if you are attending as I will stop by there), but instead was en route to Las Vegas to seek a World Series of Poker bracelet, a treasured symbol of skill and fame, not to mention a fat paycheck.

For many years, Ivo has been a successful professional poker player, winner of 15 tournaments and a cash game specialist. Ivo has won his first WSOP bracelet in 2000 and played 5 WSOP final tables. He is hopeful to win one again this year.

From our latest video chat (thanks Skype!), after 2 weeks in Vegas, Ivo says that cash games seem profitable, whereas the tournaments are not, but he is looking forward to the Main event ($10,000 entry fee) which starts in a week or so. He is also playing two events this week.

I am routing for him!

Here are some pictures - see if you can recognize who is with Ivo (answers below):

Ivo: "2008 WSOP - with a friend"
Ivo: "1994 - with a friend, whom I assisted back in 1990" Ivo: "2007 WSOP - I dream of playing like him"


Send me your comments on Chess or Poker here. 


1. with Juan Carlos Mortensen AKA "El Matador"  - 2 WSOP bracelets including win in 2001 main event

2. with Veselin Topalov - former world champion (2005-2006) and currently #4 chess player in the world.

3. with Daniel Negreanu - Ivo's poker idol! 4times WSOP winner.


More about Ivo Donev:

Home page (in German) -





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