Phil Hellmuth Arrives, Doyle Brunson Survive in WSOP Main Event

Phil Hellmuth came dressed as a wizard, but the wise man of poker toiled a few more tables.

At age 88, Doyle Brunson continued his streak in the World Series of Poker Main Event on Tuesday in Rio. The ten-time WSOP bracelet winner and two-time Main Event champion had 129,800 chips during the dinner break on Day 2 for a share of the remaining field in the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em World Championship.

Brunson spent most of the day sitting next to Scotter Clark, who was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies. Meanwhile, Hellmuth entered the final takeoff flight of the Main Event with his signature marching band, dressed as Gandalf the White from “The Lord of the Rings”, with a series of models chasing him.

In previous Main Events, Hellmuth, the all-time leader with 16 WSOP bracelets, has arrived as a Roman gladiator, military officer and boxer, and he once crashed into a stock car in the parking lot. (The WSOP awards trophy bracelets for tournament victories.)

The Main Event will be held with six take-off flights and two Day 2 sessions. Day 1F was held on Tuesday in addition to Day 2 for players entering 1A, 1B or 1D. Day 2 for the players in the other three flights is Wednesday.

Players can still participate in the Main Event through Wednesday for the first four hours of play (approximately 3:40 PM). The prize pool, including the multi-million dollar first prize, should be finalized by Wednesday night.

By Tuesday evening, more than 6,400 players had already registered for the Main Event.

Brunson said he had a rough start, losing 60,000 of his 151,000 overplaying women. He later built up near that starting pile, fell back after losing with top pair to the nut flush, and regained those chips with a straight against a set of eights.

The WSOP Main Event is a grind, with nine match days needed to determine a winner. Brunson said he wasn’t sure how he would hold up if he continued.

“It’s hard to say,” Brunson told PokerGO. “I always had good stamina, but I don’t know. I just have to wait.”

Brunson’s table was again streamed live by PokerGO, a subscription video service. Sideline reporter Jeff Platt, also a veteran player who finished fourth in a previous WSOP event, said he was “terrified to chat” with Brunson “because I consider him such a poker royal.”

“There are few players who have such an aura as Doyle, where when he comes into the room everyone else just stops what they are doing,” said Platt.

International players arrive

The WSOP added two additional take-off flights to allow more international players to arrive after the US announced it would lift travel restrictions from Monday.

WSOP Vice President Jack Effel welcomed the international players on Day 1F on Tuesday.

“Thank you for being here! You are here!” he said.”…We really appreciate you coming all the way to Las Vegas to participate in the biggest poker tournament in the world.”

After the second day of Wednesday, the whole field will come together for day 3 on Thursday. Players are expected to reach the money early Friday.

Contact Jim Barnes at [email protected] or 702-383-0277. To follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

Leave a Comment