WSOP Diary Day 21: Love to hate Phil Hellmuth? You gotta see this

wsop2010_thn.jpgIf sitting on the fence were a paid profession, I'd be right up there with the highest earners of all. Ladies only poker tournaments, good or bad? I don't feel strongly either way. Lakers or the Celtics for NBA final glory? Again, no real view on that one. But how about the split between those poker fans who love supporting players for their 'bad boy' image rather than players who let their skill at the felt do the talking? Now, this time I do have an opinion. Give me the player and not the 'image' every time.

That said, both sides of the debate agree on one thing - it's rather enjoyable when the bad boy gets mashed. And it's even more fun when that player gets done over on TV. You may have heard this was coming, now you can see what happens to 'Poker Brat' Phil Hellmuth in The PokerStars Big Game. In the episode that aired across the US last night, Hellmuth was crushed by one of the most horrible beats you're ever likely to see. Lovely.

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That's Phil Hellmuth under there

Thanks to the folks at pokerstars.tv, you can now enjoy every second time and again. The video below shows the whole episode, but if you want to get to the nitty-gritty quickly, then let the video load up and fast forward to the 11 min, 10 second mark. Enjoy...

Now, wasn't that fun? The action on The PokerStars Big Game is only just getting started. If you want more information, including a veritable feast of great stats and clips not shown on TV, visit The Big Game website.

In related poker-player popularity news, yesterday the WSOP announced the results of the public voting to determine who should play in the Tournament of Champions, a 27-player 'freeroll' event with a whopping $1million prizepool up for grabs. 20 seats would be determined by the public, and more than 350,000 took the trouble to vote. Here are the winners, which contain a healthy selection of top Team PokerStars Pros:

1. Phil Ivey
2. Daniel Negreanu, Team PokerStars Pro
3. Doyle Brunson
4. Phil Hellmuth
5. Chris Ferguson
6. Allen Cunningham
7. Johnny Chan
8. Scotty Nguyen
9. Barry Greenstein, Team PokerStars Pro
10. John Juanda
11. Erik Seidel
12. Jen Harman
13. Huck Seed
14. Dan Harrington
15. TJ Cloutier
16. Sammy Farha
17. Howard Lederer
18. Greg Raymer, Team PokerStars Pro
19. Joe Hachem, Team PokerStars Pro
20. Antonio Esfaniari

Five players were automatic entries:
2004 ToC Champion: Annie Duke
2005 ToC Champion: Mike Matusow
2006 ToC Champion: Mike Sexton
2009 WSOP Main Event Champ: Joe Cada, Team PokerStars Pro
2009 WSOP-E Champ: Barry Shulman

Finally, Team PokerStars Pro ElkY won a sponsored one-table play-off to win his seat, while online qualifier Andrew Barton completes the line-up. Congratulations to all.

All of which brings us back to the WSOP action at the Rio in Las Vegas yesterday, which saw mixed fortunes for Team PokerStars players. Germany's Sandra Naujoks, a former EPT Dortmund champion, came 25th in day two of the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha for $9,842, with France's Thomas Bichon falling a little earlier for $5,304.

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Thomas Bichon

Joe Hachem and ElkY were in with a shout earlier in the day, but both failed to make it to the money. Just 12 of the 596 starters remain, with Miguel Proulx topping them with 877,000 chips.

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ElkY

PokerStars had high hopes in day two of the $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship. Canada's Van Nguyen and Greg DeBora, Andre Akkari, Barry Greenstein, Bill Chen, Vanessa Rousso, Pat Pezzin, Chad Brown and Lex Veldhuis all returned to the felt. In the event, only Van Nguyen made it through, and he sits in tenth place of the 13 survivors as they prepare for today's day three. Van Nguyen is already guaranteed $27,069 for his efforts, but he'll have his sights set on the top prize, $425,969, and the WSOP bracelet.

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Barry Greenstein

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Vanessa Rousso

In day 1 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event, a name familiar to those on the EPT circuit appears near the top: Pierre Neuville is a Friend of PokerStars from Belgium who was dubbed the 'Serial PokerStars Qualifier' by PokerStars Blog HQ for his happy habit of qualifying online for EPTs.

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Pierre Neuville

He sits with 80,000 chips, in 20th place of the 288 survivors from 2,394 starters. Also coming back today are Team PokerStars Pros Pieter de Korver (17,800), the Dutchman who won EPT Monte Carlo in 2009, and Martin Hruby (15,300).

The second starter event yesterday was the $1,500 HORSE. A healthy 828 entered this one, with 280 making it through successfully. Among them Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis on 30,100, not a million miles behind chip leader Ming Reslock with 50,000. Johannes Steindl sits on 19,900, Victor Ramdin 19,100, Jose 'Nacho' Barbero, fresh from his back-to-back LAPT victories, 16,400, Jason Mercier 16,000, George Lind (Team PokerStars Online) 15,000 and Pat Pezzin 12,200.

As well as those events returning today, we have two new tournaments, the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em 6-handed and the $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em/Omaha.

Good luck to all.

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Tweets of the Day
@RaSZi: Finished day 1 of #wsop31 HORSE with 30,100!! Feels really good to make back to back day 2s and finally I have some chips now. w0oot

@FossilMan: Ugh. Lost huge pots in razz and holdem, then all-in with AAJJ in omaha, lost to queens full. sigh.

@RealKidPoker (Daniel Negreanu): Stud hand guy folds a 6 I say "was that a 6?" To remind everyone. I had a 6 up... With 66 in the hole! I get rolled up so much its scary

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Thought of the Day
Run it four times - lol

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Previous WSOP Diary entries
WSOP Diary: Classic rub down for Daniel Negreanu
WSOP Diary: Maria Mayrinck, something in the water
WSOP Diary: Who needs a rest anyway?
WSOP Diary: An apology
WSOP Diary: George Danzer just misses first bracelet for PokerStars
WSOP Diary: Negreanu, Danzer eye $10K Lowball bracelet
WSOP Diary: Hold me, darling - this is going to be BIG
WSOP Diary: Why Peter Eastgate is missing from the World Series
WSOP Diary: Ville Wahlbeck joins Team PokerStars Pro
WSOP Diary: Durrr misses biggest-ever poker payday, pros overjoyed
WSOP Diary: Poker's clean-up operation begins again
WSOP Diary: Manchester United soccer star Darren Fletcher tackles World Series of Poker
WSOP Diary: $10,000 Stud Championsip draws big names
WSOP Diary: Nh, gg, wp Daniel Negreanu, k?
WSOP Diary: Grinding out $1.5million with perfect timing
WSOP Diary: Team Pro Maridu needs Baker, Baker needs dough
WSOP Diary: Viva la revolution in Las Vegas
WSOP Diary: Safari, so good for Noah Boeken
WSOP Diary: Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the $50K
WSOP Diary: Going supersize in Las Vegas

Contact: blog@pokerstars.eu

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in World Series of Poker