We were passing by Phil Hellmuth's table and he was engaged in some friendly conversation with the players at the table.
"Have you ever won a $1,500 or $1,000 event Phil?" a player asked.
"I've won two. One was a $1,000 and I think we had around 2,800 players. The other one was a $1,500 and I think we had around 1,700 players," Hellmuth said.
The statement piqued our curiosity so we ran to do some quick research. Hellmuth actually has three WSOP bracelets from low buy in events - one $1,000 event and two from $1,500 events.
He earned his first $1,000 event bracelet in a 2006 rebuy event that attracted 754 players. His most recent $1,500 bracelet came in 2007 and there were 2,628 entrants. Interestingly, Andy Philachack finished runner-up to Hellmuth and is seated only a few tables away.
His first $1,500 event bracelet came in a 1993 No Limit Hold'em event that had 284 entrants.
We came on this one with the board showing and a number of chips already in the middle. Mike Roche's opponent had pushed all in for his last 2,800. The tattooed Roche drummed the table for a moment with the knuckles of his right hand, the letters "G-O-O-D" visible as he did. Finally he used that hand to slide forward the chips to call, then, with his other hand — on which the knuckles read "E-V-I-L" — he turned over his hand.
"Just a set," he said, showing . His opponent stood as he showed his — a lesser set of fives.
The river was the , and we've lost another player. The next hand began, and Roche was raising before the flop, again pushing out chips with his "G-O-O-D" hand.
A player raised from middle position and it folded around to Phil Hellmuth on the button. "550?" asked Hellmuth, his image emblazoned on a trash can nearby as part of a WSOP Academy advertisement. Indeed that was the raise, and Hellmuth tossed out the calling chips.
The flop came . The raiser checked, and Hellmuth quickly declared a bet of 475. His opponent called. "Really?" said Hellmuth. "Okay."
The turn was the and once more the middle position player checked. Hellmuth made as if to bet, then said "okay" again and checked behind. Both then checked the river.
"I think I have the nuts," said Hellmuth, tabling his . He opponent turned over for the better pair of queens, and won the pot.
Today the field had 1,740 entrants that registered to play. The format with two Day 1s states that play will halt when 15% of the field remains. We don't have the number of active players at the moment, but our stopping point tonight will be at 261 players or 11 levels, whichever should come first.
A player limped in from hijack seat, prompting a "limpede" around the table as the cutoff, button, and small blind all followed suit. That's when Ali Eslami decided to go against the grain and shove his remaining stack all in, an action that caused folds all around.
He tabled his hand — — as the chips were slid his way. "The table's about to break, anyway," he noted with a grin.
It folded around to David Vamplew in the hijack seat who checked his cards and then set out all of his remaining chips in a couple of small columns, a raise to about 1,750. Vamplew got one caller in the big blind.
Vamplew tabled and needed help versus his opponent's . Help arrived on the flop that paired Vamplew's king, and after the turn and river he'd survived to continue here in Level 5.
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