Want the latest news and gossip emanating from the center of the poker universe in Las Vegas, Nevada? Here's where it's at.
Today in the 3-Bet we find Phil Hellmuth drifting into either a meditative state or the early stages of a breakdown, George Danzer shows Oleksii Kovalchuk what's what and a well known poker pro joins the prestigious $10m in live earnings club.
1) Hellmuth Gets Heavy
After a gangbusters start to the 2014 World Series of Poker, including a runner-up finish in Event #7, Phil Hellmuth has slowly drifted back to the poker pack a little bit.
He's had a few more solid performances, sure. But nothing bordering on a real bracelet run.
Has the lack of a bracelet started to get to him? A poker-brattish episode with Jonathan Duhamel suggested his nerves were fraying and now, well, who knows what his latest tweets say about his current mental state:
How do you know you are unlucky when you don't play perfectly until the last chip is spent? -PH— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 19, 2014
I'm the only player in #WSOPNLHoldem3K listening to the band "Ambrosia!" Songs: Biggest Part of Me, Your the Only Woman & How Much I Feel— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) June 19, 2014
The zen-like koan we can make some semi-sense of. But Ambrosia? Keep your eyes peeled on our WSOP page; a major Hellmuth crack-up might be brewing.
2) George Danzer Says Oleksii Kovalchuk Who?
This was such a strange call-out when it happened we didn't know quite what to make of it, but it seems George Danzer got Oleksii Kovalchuk's message loud and clear.
Short cliffs: In an interview with PokerListings Germany's Dirk Oetzmann at the recent WPT Kazakhstan, two-time bracelet winner Kovalchuk took a few shots across the bow at Danzer's bracelet prospects.
Specifically, he said Danzer would never win one - or, strangely, ever finish higher than 7th.
An odd mistake in translation or not, fast forward three weeks later and Danzer has made the 2014 WSOP his own personal stomping ground.
Bracelet win? Check. Two final tables? Check. Leading the POY race? Check. Now leading the $10k Stud Hi-Lo Championship with 13 players left? Check.
We don't know if Danzer even saw Kovalchuk's contempt but he's easily been one of the most impressive players in Vegas this summer. He even taught German footballer Max Kruse how to play Lowball and watched him run it up all the way to a third-place finish in Event #36.
Whatever the reason, Danzer has the WSOP magic right now and you might want to go by his table to see if it'll rub off. Check back later today for an interview with Danzer too.
3) Joe Cada: $10m Man
Only 26 players in poker history have "officially" (read: based on Hendon Mob tracking) earned over $10m in live poker tournament cashes.
Joe Cada is now one of them.
Yes, his $8.5m take from the 2009 WSOP Main Event is a large share of it. But an extra $1.5m in live tournament earnings is nothing to sneeze at.
Vanessa Selbst's bracelet win earlier this summer also pushed her over the $10m mark and made her the first woman to accomplish the feat.
On the brink and likely to get over the hump himself this summer? Erick Lindgren, who sits at $9,990,341. Also in the neighborhood are Joe Cheong, Phil Gruissem, Sorel Mizzi and Tony Gregg. Check the full list here.
More from the 2014 WSOP right here.