Phil Hellmuth arrived in style and fashionably late (as always) on Day 1f of the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The “Poker Brat” came decked out in a Gandalf the White costume, flanked by 16 models, two elves, and Dan “Jungleman” Cates, who was also dressed in Lord of the Rings character.
A crowd of fans and media members crowded the Pavilion room inside the Rio Convention Center in preparation for the poker legend’s entrance. Upon arrival, numerous players snapped photos of the poker great.
Hellmuth, seeking his 17th bracelet, dressed appropriately for the occasion — as a wizard. Shortly after his grand entrance, he took his seat and attempted to use the same sort of wizardry on his opponents that helped him win this very same tournament 32 years ago.
At the end of his first orbit around the table, the 16-time bracelet winner was at 59,000 at the dinner break, just a smidge below his starting stack. He didn’t play any eventful hands early on, mostly folding or limp-folding preflop.
Hellmuth won his 16th bracelet last month, in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, extending his previous record. He has five final table appearances at the 2021 WSOP, and sits in seventh place in the Player of the Year race. A deep run in the Main Event could catapult the Poker Hall of Famer back to the top.