Ivey Vs. Ungar
Nolan Dalla was recently asked to give his thoughts about who was the better player between Stu Ungar and Phil Ivey. Ultimately, Dalla stated that over the long haul, Ivey would have the advantage due to his ability to stay focused. However, if it was a one shot deal, such as the WSOP Main Event, he hinted that he thought Ungar would have the advantage.
Dalla brought up a great point regarding the final table. Ungar made the WSOP Main Event final table four times, and won three of them. The only time he failed to win was the year that he didn't show up on Day 2. That year, Ungar had a massive chip lead after the first day. When Day 2 started, Ungar did not show up and was later found to have OD'd in his hotel room. His stack was blinded off. He had such a massive stack that he still made the final table.
Of course, in my opinion, Ivey is in a different league than most every poker play in the modern era. I still would have liked to seen him play Stuey. I personally came into poker after Ungar's death so I have point of reference to his play, but from what I heard, I think that Ungar would have been a stiff challenge and if properly focused, may even be more than a match for Ivey.
Of course, we will never know this. What we do know is that when Ungar showed up to the final table, he won. So far, we have yet to see what Ivey can do at the final table. Yes, the event is different than when Ungar played. However, the players as a whole are generally weaker. For a single game or tournament, I personally would have to lean towards Ungar to win as well.
Of course, after the tournament was over, I would bank on Ivey winning Ungar's prize money in the cash games.