WSOP Event #7: The low-key return of Dennis Phillips
The last time we sat at the Rio with Dennis Phillips he had an incredible 300 supporters, all decked out in his trademark white shirt and red St. Louis Cardinals cap, cheering his every move at the 2008 WSOP Main Event final table. Many carried hand fans bearing the face of the man who went on to finish third for $4,500,000.
Nearly six months on, and Phillips is back, having spent the time between enjoying himself, joining Team PokerStars Pro, and heading around the world with PokerStars to play poker. It's a whole new life, as the fact that I bumped into his lawyer in Monte Carlo would testify.
His return to the Amazon Room has been a bit more low-key. He did not make any huge inroads in the $40,000 No limit event, and today at the $1,500 No Limit was no better - he bust on day one having never been able to get his game going.
But the former truck salesman remains upbeat, waving a cheery hello to this blogger, knowing that the WSOP has only just got under way, and he'll have plenty of time to make a deep run again. If he does you can bet the folks in the picture below will be back.
Also having a slow start to his series is Team PokerStars Pro Dario Minieri. The diminuitive Italian can be deadly at the tables, so he'll brush it off as a blip and be back later for a shot at another event.
Doing very much better in the $1,500, which has already lost half of the field at the dinner beak, are ElkY, Sandra Naujoks and Humberto Brenes. While ElkY and the Costa Rican have near 15,000 from their 4,500 starting stack, Naujocks, who won her home EPT in Dortmund in March, is up to nearer 30,000.
Today also saw the start of one of the more obscure poker games to grace the WSOP - the $2,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball. It's a three-day event that attracted 148 players, including Team PokerStars Pros Greg Raymer, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin (our first Ramdin sighting of the series so far) and Minieri, fresh from his bustout from the $1500 no limit event.
As he sat down, Minieri gave his table companions, including David Rheem, a tip.... "I've never played this game before," he said.
Also playing is Team PokerStars Germany Pro George Danzer.