Breaking news: Phillips, Schwartz join Team PokerStars Pro

Just a few days ago, we stood in a very long line at the Santiago, Chile airport. It snaked back and forth between the stanchions for 45 minutes. About five minutes behind us in line was 2008 WSOP third place finisher Dennis Phillips on his way home from the LAPT event in Vina del Mar.

"See you soon," we said several times as we made our way through the snake. It was more out of being friendly than actually expecting to see him soon.

That same week, we watched one of Phillips' final table companions playing in Vina del Mar. Fourth place finisher Ylon Schwartz did his best to make a deep run in the LAPT event. During the event, someone asked him if he was disappointed about the fourth place WSOP finish.

"You know, yes and no," he said.

Now, perhaps, we knew what he meant.

We've learned that both Schwartz and Phillips plan to join the elite Team PokerStars Pro this week. The team currently sits at 29 members. Phillips and Schwartz will make #30 and #31.

If you're not already aware, Phillips is an accountant from St. Louis, Missouri who has been playing poker for many years and is a regular in the gateway city card rooms. After making the final table of two WSOP Circuit side events in 2007, Phillips went on to capture the attention of his hometown and the world when he went into the WSOP final table with the chip lead. Known around the world for his trademark St. Louis Cardinals cap, Phillips won $4.5 million in the 2008 World Series for his third place finish.

Dennis Phillips

Ylon Schwartz is a born and bred New York City guy. A poker player for the past 15 years, he already had eleven World Series cashes before making the final table run in 2008. Schwartz is also an accomplished chess player who has made no small amount of money on the chess board. He once threatened to run off with his $3.77 million in WSOP winnings and disappear into South America. Now, he's joining up with the most elite poker team in the world.

Ylon Schwartz at the LAPT event in Vina del Mar

The announcements aren't quite up yet at or the Team PokerStars Pro web page. We suspect that announcement to come within the next 24 hours.

Until then, we welcome both Dennis and Ylon to the team. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news