Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey Vying for Bracelet in World Series of Poker $10K H.O.R.S.E.
Poker Legends Going Head-to-Head at Final Table
On Monday evening in Las Vegas, Nevada, 12-time World Series of Poker champ Phil Hellmuth and his arch rival, eight-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey, made the final table of the $10,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E.
Just eight days ago, both players made final tables in separate events. The potential swing in the bracelet race could have been enormous if Ivey won the $10,000 pot-limit hold’em. However, he finished second while Hellmuth went on to win the $2,500 razz about an hour later — capturing his record win at the summer Series.
Hellmuth was distracted briefly by Ivey’s final table down the hall. “Then I laid down for a second and started meditating and said, ‘What is wrong with you?’ Ivey is going to do what he’s going to do. I needed to worry about what I was doing,” Hellmuth said after his win.
He has no choice but to pay attention to Ivey this time around.
At around 8 p.m. local time Monday, Hellmuth was chip leader and Ivey sat in fourth with seven players left. While the winner will scoop $451,779, the prize money is likely to be an afterthought for the two grizzled veterans. After his last win, Hellmuth said he had no idea what first place paid. Rumors that Ivey will win millions in side bets have swirled like the arctic breeze in the Rio Convention Center.
The deep run is also Ivey’s fourth final table in just 10 days. He sat out 2011 amidst the noise of the alleged Full Tilt Poker heist, but this year has quietly made a fierce return to poker’s biggest stage.
“It’s not fair how good [Ivey] is,” high-stakes pro Phil Galfond Tweeted this week.
Hellmuth’s parents made the trip to Las Vegas this week and have been sweating their eldest son. On Sunday evening, his mom was holding up a paper napkin with the number “13” artistically drawn. It was right in Hellmuth’s field of vision as he continued trying to somehow satisfy his unquenchable desire to win.
Ironically, on Monday, portraits of some of the WSOP’s all-time best players were plastered to the windows of the hallway going up to the Rio’s casino floor. Both Hellmuth and Ivey have their respective bracelet totals printed right next to their heads.
Roger Hernandez, who was using a blowtorch to cement the murals to the glass at the same time the final table was underway, won’t mind if the photos are outdated in less than 24 hours.
“It’s alright with me if one of them wins. It’s more work,” Hernandez said.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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