EPT10 London: Hellmuth eliminated but the egos remain
Phil Hellmuth's arrivals are usually lengthy affairs. But his departures are not exactly brief.
The big man started the day on the feature table in only his second ever European based EPT Main Event. But a short while ago he busted, walking slowly off the stage to talk to Jeff Gross, on the outer feature table.
As he spoke Dan O'Brien interrupted.
"Where are you staying?" he asked. Hellmuth didn't answer at first. His eyes darted around, as if trying to discover from which direction this question had come from. Actually he was watching five cameras moving into position around him, including the one on the end of the boom, the only one high enough to reach Hellmuth at eye level.
"There are cameras on man, ask me later," replied Hellmuth, anticipating the hordes of autograph hunters descending upon the Holborn Travel Lodge as we speak.
Phil Hellmuth in action yesterday
Hellmuth, dressed in black, with a cap and long leather coat, talked quietly to everyone at the table. Dave Ulliot said something to make him laugh. Then, when the conversation ran dry he began to leave, walking that Hellmuth walk in which his head remains at a perfectly even height, as if he is being pushed along on a skateboard.
He reached the door, nodding to the security guard along the way. Then, he was gone.
Only he wasn't really gone. Instead he'd stopped a few paces beyond to talk to a member of the TV crew about recording some footage, which he agreed to without protest. Hellmuth may be out, but he's not gone.
Back at the table though, one player was gone.
Dario Minieri's tournament is over. He shoved his short stack with pocket nines, only for Gross to call with pocket kings, turning a set. Minieri extended his hand to Gross with a warm smile, but it's another early exit for the Italian.
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot
Not so for Devilfish, making a rare appearance on the EPT, who leads his table with a stack of more than 160,000. His hair is a little more grey and his clothes less glitteringly youthful, but the "Devil" and "Fish" rings remain, and the cockiness. That's all that really counts.
Hellmuth may be gone, but happily, the field is not without its egos.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.