Hellmuth, Tony G. Making Noise at WPT Malta

Phil Hellmuth

Days 1a and 1b are in the books at WPT Malta and noted pros Tommy Vedes, Matt Giannetti and Antoine Saout are near the top of the chip counts.

The two players making the most noise however, in classic form, are Phil Hellmuth and Tony G.

Hellmuth, for his part, made the trip to Malta for the first-ever €3,500 WPT re-buy event in Europe to acclimate himself for the upcoming WSOPE and help in his quest for the WSOP Player of the Year title.

He’s also made his traditional late tournament entrance, showing up with just one level to play on both Day 1s.

His Day 1a effort lasted all of 14 minutes when he got called down on a big bluff with K7 by a player with ace-high.

His Day 1b effort today went a little better as he managed to make it through the level and finish with just above his starting stack at 34k.

Holding down the top spots on the leaderboard from Day 1b are Vedes (115k), Tony Sanguedolce (106k), James Sudworth (102k) and 2009 November Niner Antoine Saout (99k).

Busting out today were Kara Scott, James Akenhead, McLean Karr, Fabrice Soulier, Davidi Kitai and Vanessa Hellebuyck.

Of the 240 total buy-ins for the event, 154 players will return tomorrow for the combined Day 2.

Joining the chip leaders from Day 1a are Fabien Sartoris (127k), Franco Guastamacchia (120k) and 2011 WSOP November Niner Matt Giannetti (101k).

Also still alive from Day 1a are 2010 EPT London winner David Vamplew (32k), recent Malta transplant Justin Bonomo (29k) and the all-of-a-sudden Hellmuth-obsessed Tony G. (61k).

Guoga has posted a couple of videos on the Party Poker blog over the last two days centering around a supposed  €1m heads-up challenge between him and Hellmuth.

The first video has Guoga sitting on a couch in a full-size baby outfit, challenging Hellmuth to play heads-up for 10 days and 10 nights.

The second has Guoga greeting Hellmuth awkwardly in the casino lobby and Hellmuth begrudgingly agreeing to play a “clean rematch" if Guoga pays him $25,000 for the last time they played.

Check those out below.

Day 2 action from the Casino de Portomaso in Malta picks up at 2 pm tomorrow.

Catch the live updates on the WPT site here.

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