Phil Hellmuth In Second Place After First Day Of Big One For One Drop Poker Tournament
Poker Pro Going For 13th Bracelet And $18 Million Top Prize
After the first day of play in the World Series of Poker $1 million buy-in tournament, 12-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth already has thoughts of capturing his next title. Hellmuth sits in second chip position with 37 left.
The seven-figure buy-in didn’t change Hellmuth’s famous habit of showing up late to a tournament. He missed more than a level of action on Sunday.
“It’s all about sleep for me,” the 47-year-old said. “I don’t mind anteing off, because you have to finish strong.”
Hellmuth got off to a rocky start once taking his seat. He was down to about 1.5 million, until he played a key hand against Daniel Negreanu that helped rebuild his stack.
“I got myself into a little jeopardy early, but then made a straight against Daniel,” Hellmuth said. “I was out there bluffing, and I actually hadn’t looked at my cards. After I won that pot I won a few more. It seemed like I was moving my chips really well.”
Once back at the starting stack, Hellmuth made an unorthodox play that ended up working out.
“Someone opened to 35,000, it went call, call, and I raised 650,000 more just to send a message,” Hellmuth said. “I obviously have to have aces to do that. Well, the other guy had kings, and he thought his only play was to move in. Then I was at over 6 million. Then I got to 8.8 million, but lost some pots and ended the night with 8.4 million.”
Hellmuth, who always cares more about the win than the prize money, said he isn’t sure what is worth more to him in this context — the 13th bracelet or the $18 million top prize.
Leading Hellmuth is Brian Rast, who beat Hellmuth heads-up in the $50K buy-in last summer.
Mostly professional players busted on the first day of action. Michael Mizrachi, Eugene Katchalov, Nick Schulman, Bertrand Grospellier, Erik Seidel, Jonathan Duhamel, Jens Kyllönen, Andrew Robl, Giovanni Guarascio and Justin Smith all dusted off their respective entries. Businessman Paul Phua also hit the rail.
The hand of the day involved a historic fold by Russian semi-pro Mikhail Smirnov. On a board of J 8 7 8 K, Smirnov mucked quads to an all-in bet by businessman John Morgan.
Morgan declined to disclose whether or not he had the 10 9.
The second day of play will begin at 1:11 p.m. local time on Monday. Action will stop once a final table of nine is reached. Ninth will take home more than $1 million.
Here’s a look at the end-of-day chip counts:
1. Brian Rast — 10,710,000
2. Phil Hellmuth — 8,395,000
3. Frederique Banjout — 7,070,000
4. Antonio Esfandiari — 6,880,000
5. Gus Hansen — 6,800,000
6. Sam Trickett — 6,700,000
7. Guy Laliberté — 6,555,000
8. Ben Lamb — 5,770,000
9. Mike Sexton — 5,740,000
10. Tom Dwan — 4,810,000
11. Brandon Steven — 4,770,000
12. Mikhail Smirnov — 4,680,000
13. Bobby Baldwin — 4,225,000
14. Jason Mercier — 4,210,000
15. Robert Bright — 3,880,000
16. David Einhorn — 3,795,000
17. Phil Ruffin — 3,750,000
18. Tom Marchese — 3,740,000
19. Alexander Gruissem — 3,600,000
20. Richard Yong — 3,430,000
21. Rich Salomon — 3,285,000
22. Paul Newey — 3,225,000
23. Dan Shak — 3,190,000
24. Noah Schwartz — 3,120,000
25. Roland De Wolfe — 2,960,000
26. Phil Ivey — 2,840,000
27. Cary Katz — 2,785,000
28. Talal Shakerchi — 2,760,000
29. Haralabos Voulgaris — 2,250,000
30. John Morgan — 2,000,000
31. Ilya Bulychev — 1,880,000
32. Vivek Rajkumar — 1,270,000
33. Tobias Reinkemeier — 1,220,000
34. Bill Perkins — 885,000
35. Chamath Palihapitiya — 635,000
36. Daniel Negreanu — 470,000
37. Phil Galfond — 445,000
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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