PartyPoker.com tourney accommodates Hellmuth's ego

PartyPoker.com Premier League Poker passed the halfway mark today with Phil Hellmuth positioning himself as the televised tournament's points leader and resident drama queen.

Hellmuth had barely made it across the pond when his notorious diva-like behavior started.

The Poker Brat threatened to quit the event after an exchange with the tournament director, he started a fight in the green room and has begun warming up for games by running circles around the tables, reports a PartyPoker.com release.

Later, drunk on his own success, Hellmuth's ego was at its best. Well into the tournament he commanded such a great lead over the competition he said he would raise the first 21 hands of the heat just for fun.

While his shine was buffed by some early heat bust outs - leading David Ulliott to remark, "If you keep playing like that they are going to have to put you in a straight jacket and you'll have to push all your chips in with that big head of yours" - Hellmuth's game improved.

He's now positioned in first place with 24 points after four games of play. Hellmuth's nearest competitor, Juha Helppi, has 17 points following three games of play and Eddy Scharf is in third with 15 points following three games of play.

The standings at the halfway mark are as follows:

  1. Phil Hellmuth: 24 points, four games
  2. Juha Helppi : 17 points, three games
  3. Eddy Scharf : 15 points, three games
  4. Vicky Coren: 14 points, three games
  5. Andy Black: nine points, three games
  6. Kenna James: nine points, three games
  7. Ian Frazer: eight points, two games
  8. Liz Lieu: seven points, three games
  9. Dave Ulliott: five points, three games
  10. Tony G: five points, three games
  11. Roland De Wolfe: four points, three games
  12. Kiril Gerasimov: three points, three games

The 12 pros are competing for a $500,000 pot in Premier League Poker which is filmed in Kent, U.K. and runs Feb. 23 to March 4.

After six preliminary games, the leading four players advance to the final table, while the remaining four wage a heads-up battle for the last two seats.

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