Phil Hellmuth: '80 or 90 Percent' on Playing World Series of Poker $1 Million Buy-In Tournament
Two Potential Backers Have Offered $250K Apiece
Eleven-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth will likely play in the $1 million buy-in event this summer, he told Card Player on Monday.
If he does enter, the 1989 main event champion will have sold the majority of his action.
“I guess I’m lucky,” Hellmuth said. “People have been texting me saying they want pieces. Two people have texted me saying that they would put up $250,000 for me to play — two very legitimate people. David Chesnoff, the world’s best trial attorney, said he would put up $50,000. So, it’s like $550,000 without even trying. There’s a good chance I play now, like an 80 or 90 percent chance.”
The $1 million charity tournament, which will award a bracelet, has a 48-player cap, and so far about 40 have confirmed their participation.
Hellmuth said he’s been working really hard on his no-limit hold’em game. He’s been playing a lot of cash the past few months, as opposed to his bread and butter of tournament poker.
“I feel really, really good. I picked up a few tricks that I hadn’t been using, which is great because the more weapons I have the better off I am.”
However, now that the WSOP is underway, the 47-year-old said he will be playing tournaments every day and then the side games only when he can’t sleep late at night.
Hellmuth is coming off a historic 2011 Series. He finished second three times last summer, but failed to add a 12th bracelet to his name. He was disappointed at the time, but he’s not letting the close calls linger. He’s not steaming.
The Wisconsin native is motivated in part by some of his peers who aren’t too far behind on the all-time bracelet list. Phil Ivey, widely regarded as the best all-around player, made a return to the WSOP on Monday after taking off 2011 in the wake of the Black Friday scandal.
Hellmuth is happy to have him back.
“Ivey is a wonderful player with an amazing amount of talent. He won four bracelets in two years, and is a threat to me in the long run. He has eight bracelets; I have 11. He might catch me. He keeps the pressure on me to play great and put some numbers up on the board.”
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
For complete coverage of the summer poker festival, check out our WSOP landing page.
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