The PokerListings WSOP 3-Bet is a bag of frog warts, a bubbling black cauldron and just the right mumbo jumbo to conjure up a heady afternoon poker news spell.
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Today in the 3-Bet we dig into the hocus pocus that is Phil Hellmuth's WSOP dominance, find a familiar name back in contention in the Millionaire Maker and another familiar name back in the Limit game.
1) Phil Hellmuth: GOAT. GOAT? GOAT
Plenty of poker people will cringe at the idea of Phil Hellmuth being proclaimed the Greatest of All Time but that's certainly not the trend on Twitter today.
After waylaying another Razz field at the WSOP last night for his 14th career bracelet it's getting harder and harder for Hellmuth haters out there (and there are plenty) to disregard his lifelong WSOP dominance.
Fourteen bracelets is pretty sick anyway you slice it.
Also pretty sick?
With 52 final tables and 14 bracelets his closing rate is about 27%.
A few more astounding facts and figures about the king of the WSOP:
- 109 cashes, 52 final tables, 14 wins
- Most WSOP runner-up finishes: 10
- Never gone more than 5 years between WSOP wins
- Total opponents beat for his 14 victories: 6,191 (more than 7,800 if you count rebuys from the 1k NLHE in 2006)
- Average field: 443 players
You may not like him, but there's no questioning Hellmuth's infamous "White Magic" at least wields its powers inside Vegas city limits (and once in France).
2) Lindgren On Course for Big Payday
Irregardless of his questionable money management and well-known debt issues there's never been much of a doubt about Erick Lindgren's playing ability.
Already a two-time bracelet winner (and 2008 WSOP Player of the Year), Lindgren surfaced overnight as one of the chip leaders in the Millionaire Maker.
Heading into the day third in chips Lindgren has already bumped his stack up over 8 million and is the runaway leader right now with just 15 players left.
We can imagine the $1.2m first-place prize would be a significant breakthrough for his debt-reduction scheme but on a wider level also a significant milestone in the ongoing resurrection of his poker career.
Can an aging E-Dog put his old poker tricks to good use today?
It'll be fascinating to watch, and as luck would have it you can on the WSOP live stream.
3) Hawrilenko Back and Contending in $3k Limit Hold'em
Speaking of old poker names thrust back into the spotlight ...
Matt "Hoss_TBF" Hawrilenko similarly dropped out of the poker scene three or so years ago but for a decidedly different reason than Lindgren.
One of the game's best-ever Limit Hold'em player Hawrilenko (also, coincidentally, the guy who once completely owned Phil Hellmuth online) left to pursue a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology - which he's still pursuing today.
He popped back in to Vegas this year for old time's sake and plunked down $3k to see if he still had a few of his Limit chops.
As it turns out, despite some early rust, he most certainly does as he bagged up a stack in Event 19 last night with just 22 players left.
As much as Limit gets a bad rap for being a bore compared to NL, there's no doubt watching the game's best go toe-to-toe is a thrill for any true poker aficionado.
Follow along with the live updates today starting at 2 pm to see how it all shakes down.
WSOP Bonus Min-Bets
1) Ivey and Dwan: Lifting and playing Six-Plus Hold'em
While Tom Dwan has, as expected, been absent from the 2105 WSOP so too has Phil Ivey.
Which is, well, unexpected. The WSOP has mostly been Ivey's jam, save that one year in 2011 when, you know, things went to shit for Full Tilt.
We expect both to materialize in Vegas eventually but in the meantime, where are they? Apparently pushing something called Six-Plus Hold'em in Macau:
2) Gavin "Birdguts" Smith: Forever loyal to the old school