WSOP Main Event: Phillips squared

wsop2009_thn.gifIt's a moment we have been waiting for since Day 1 of the 2009 World Series of Poker, a moment of such serendipity and fabulous coincidence that we dared not script it in our own minds. It is the stuff Hollywood producers throw in the trash can because no one would ever believe it. It is the moment we pre-titled "Phillips Squared."

Sitting now at one of the last few tables in the Orange section of the Amazon Room are both Team PokerStars Pro Dennis Phillips and PokerStars celebrity player Lou Diamond Phillips. Separated by fame, geography, and life experience for so long, the LDP and DP have finally met across the baize.

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Lou Diamond Phillips became an icon some twenty or so years ago after portraying the ill-fated singer Richie Valens in the film "La Bamba." He's been a Hollywood fixture ever since. Dennis Phillips, for his part, was a complete unknown until this time last year when he made the final table of the 2008 WSOP. Since then, his St. Louis Cardinals cap and trucking company shirt have become iconic in their own right. Dozens of people can still be seen walking around the Rio in the same get-up. One of those clones, Bryan Swift, actually sat with Phillips yesterday and went on to make the money today.

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Dennis is just a few years older than the 47 year-old Lou, but their experience here at the WSOP has been pretty similar. A quick drop-in on their table finds a few similarities we didn't expect. Both men stack their chips in towers of 30, rather than the traditional 20-high stacks. Both players have around 600,000, well above the 400,000 average.

Oddly enough, when it comes to poker, they may not be the best known person on their table. Superstar J.C Tran sits in the seven seat and is pushing the action.

...and just as we write these words, our one shining moment has ended. The seemingly-arbitrary-but-actually-well-planned-and-not-at-all-arbitrary table break schedule has completely ruined our dream of having a double Phillips table for the rest of the Series. Nonetheless, both men have stacks good enough to get us to tomorrow where a new seat draw may allow us a similar joy.

We can only hope.

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TWEET OF THE HOUR

"ITM GL players! 571 remaining and I'm gonna give 223 of them a cold by just being here.." Lina, our Swedish blogger, the fifth member of Team Blog to catch the dreaded Rio Flu this week. So far, every English speaking, Dutch speaking, and Swedish speaking PokerStars blogger has been painfully ill. Watch out, Ivan of the Spanish Blog, it's coming for you next.

ONE-TIME CHIP ISSUANCE OF THE HOUR

"Hold just one time, dealer!" --a player adjacent ElkY's table


ELKY UPDATE OF THE HOUR


ElkY's stack has slipped to 1.4 million from a high of 1.7 million.

CLEAR ASSESSMENT OF THE HOUR

"It's been an up and down day. It's a bit crazy now."--PokerStars qualifier Peter Kremenliev, looking happy on 750,000.

ELIMINATION OF THE HOUR

PokerStars qualifier Alex Kostritsyn.


LONELINESS OF THE HOUR

The players on table Orange 91, the final nine players to be seated in the otherwise- deserted red and orange sections in one half of the Amazon Room


OUT OF CONTEXT QUOTE OF THE HOUR

"Okay, go take a shower and I'll see you at nine. They're gonna come, those girls, I swear." -- railbird's pep-talk to fellow railbird.

STATISTIC OF THE HOUR

Number of Dennis Phillips clones sitting around the out-of-use table 71: 4

JOE GIRON PHOTO HOUR

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ESPN commentator Lon McEachern, on crutches after knee surgery, chats up one of the two Phillipses

VIDEO OF THE HOUR


Watch WSOP 2009: Lou Diamond Philips on his WSOP campaign on PokerStars.tv
Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker