Example of Top-Pro Favoritism in Event #55

Hellmuth gets drunk, tourney purity spoiled

by , Jun 30, 2009 | 10:25 am

@Phil_Hellmuth

UB party starting at Studio 54 at MGM! On my way, i am making my entrance on a trapeze!! also i signed up for 2-7 tourney, c em a 11 pm
about 13 hours ago from txt

Drinking Dom in VIP booth with wife. Trapeze stunt from 5 stories up at 10:40 pm…Scary!
about 12 hours ago from txt

I am pretty drunk!! Chris Ferguson just called me and told me they picked me up in 2-7 tourney!!
about 9 hours ago from txt

Sunday July 5 i show up to WSOP as ‘Caesar: with 100 models, 11 muses w body paint, a chariot w 2 horses, and a drummer dropping rose petals
about 8 hours ago from txt

15,200 extra chips are in play going into Day 2 of the $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw — roughly a third of which belonged to no-show Phil Hellmuth before tournament officials removed his remaining stack (in level 5) and refunded his late buy-in.

Plenty of grumblings about this situation from the rail …

Hellmuth bought into WSOP Event #55 by proxy — presumably near the last possible minute — with his 7,500 starting stack brought to the felt shortly before the end of the break between levels 2 and 3. His seat in the Brasilia Room remained empty for hours as he attended a much-ballyhooed Ultimate Bet party at Studio 54 in the MGM.

Hellmuth’s stack had been blinded down to about 2,500 when the event TD approached Chris Ferguson, who was playing, and asked if he had Hellmuth’s phone number. Ferguson did, and the TD called but got no answer. So he then called his supervisor, who apparently instructed him to remove Hellmuth’s chips from play.

Shortly thereafter — in Level 5 still — the number of entrants on the screen was reduced from 258 to 257, and prize payouts were downgraded accordingly.

At the end of Day 1, the 73 remaining players bagged a total 1,942,700 chips, even though the appropriate number for 257 players in a $2,500 event would be 1,927,500. No word yet on where the 10,000 chips that didn’t belong to Phil Hellmuth came from.

Click here to follow the action in $2,500 2-7 Triple-Draw when play resumes at 2 pm pacific. Plenty of interesting big-name pros and 2009 bracelet winners still in the hunt — Negreanu, Ankenman, Sung, Mueller, among them — along with a few dozen lesser known mixed-games grinders … all competing for a $166k $165k bracelet.

Tom Schneider is long gone (of course), but Team Pokerati’s more successful Schneider, Julie, is still alive and in the middle of the pack with 25,700 chips. Pat Poels is hanging at the middle-bottom with 21,900. And Pokerati pal/TP-rushee Rick Fuller is near the chip lead.

Thanks @haribo22 for the twitpic of Phil from Studio 54.


7 Comments to “Example of Top-Pro Favoritism in Event #55 ”


  1. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    It’s probably a mix of coloring up and people reporting their stack size in error.

    I assume one of the things that gets fixed next year will be late registration. I’d think the 2007 policy would work just fine, late registration was one level, and players lost up to 3 rounds of blinds/antes from their stack.


  2. DanM
    says:

    Indeed, late registration has been the biggest complaint from players and floor people alike this year. And that’s the real issue here. It’s not likely we have an extra-chips situation akin to the 2006 main event (when I believe 2 million were brought into play.)

    But even if we assume you are right about the extra chips being a matter of reporting error, we know that’s not the case for at least 5,000 of them.

    Though not accusing Hellmuth of doing anything wrong here, there are reasons why this situation is bad in theory/practice.

    For one, a buy-in+no-show could be used to dump chips onto a table. Also, a late player could get word (via twitter or otherwise) that he happened to have, say, 5 of the toughest 2-7 players in the world at the table, and then decide to back out. Level 5 seems too late for that.

    Even if the courtesy extended to Hellmuth was offered to all players, it would create an incentive to buy-in late and get a read on your table before deciding if you really want to invest the money into the event.


  3. DanM
    says:

    btw, i’m pretty sure they don’t color up, but rather race off.

    even if i’m wrong on this, coloring up green chips wouldn’t lead to such a difference.

    i think it’s interesting that phil lost 5,000 chips during his time at but not at the tables … and 15,000 chips is the disparity.


  4. Poker Shrink
    says:

    Just another spin-off of explosion of late registrations. But this one comes with a twist. If you register and your chips are put in play, then either they stay in play and you get no refund. Or they are picked up at some pre-determined written-down-in-the-rules time during the event and still you do not get a refund.


  5. DanM
    says:

    unless you’re phil hellmuth?


  6. Kevin Mathers
    says:

    Lee Watkinson in a blog on CardPlayer earlier this month said players could unregister and reregister at will in the first two hours. I’ll pull up the link shortly, but I don’t think people would go to that extreme to go table shopping. Especially in the later days of the WSOP when players who registered late, who were the more well-known players were all seated together.


  7. Poker Shrink
    says:

    If you have a rule and you write it down and you don’t change it. Then there are few problems. Rules should not have grey areas; “Acting in the best interest of the game” often means doing what the pros want when they want it. Not the players fault. Rules are either made to be broken or made to be enforced, depends on the authority of the rule maker.