Ever the polarizing figure, Phil Hellmuth made his annual late entrance here at Day 1c of the WSOP Main Event complete with dancers and an entourage that included MMA fighter Wanderlei Silva.
The modest display featured Hellmuth arriving on the red carpet almost two hours late decked out in a fighter's robe. He was flanked by a dozen or more scantily clad ladies, Silva, ring announcer Bruce Buffer and hundreds of curious onlookers.
Mike "The Mouth" Matusow and Gavin Smith even took time out of their schedules to come and bear witness to the spectacle. "I guess Phil Hellmuth is going to force us to watch this crap again," a complaining Matusow said. "I can't believe I'm here for this idiocy."
Hellmuth has made a tradition out of showing up to the WSOP Main Event late and in recent years the shenanigans have only escalated. Last year he came in hoisted on a pedestal and dressed in Ancient Roman attire.
This year's entrance began when a truck towing a stage full of dancers pulled up in front of the red carpet. The girls shook their booties for the better part of 10 minutes before anyone got a glimpse of Hellmuth.
While the media feeds off of Hellmuth's antics, not all poker players are amused.
Doyle Brunson has said more than once that he believes it's bad for the game. "I'm not playing today so I won't see Hellmuth make a fool out of himself with his entrance," Brunson said on his Twitter page. "I can't help thinking it's terrible."
Daniel Negreanu joked about getting in on the act. "I play Day 1c and I'll be entering to 'Eye of the Tiger' wearing full boxing gear in a Rocky costume with US flag trunks and eye makeup," Kid Poker said via his Twitter account.
Say what you will about Hellmuth, he does have an uncanny knack for staying alive in mega-field donkaments. As always, we'll keep you posted on Hellmuth and everyone else's Main Event progress.