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Author: Peter Fryers

WSOP Main Event : Hellmuth, Holz and Chip Leads

We have reached day 41 of World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the $10,000 Main Event is well underway.

One of the bigger stories of the week includes Phil Hellmuth making yet another grand entrance, just as he has in the past, showing up for Day 1f of the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings complete with white costume and full length beard.

Joined by 16 models, each representing a bracelet win, and a pair of elves, Dan "Jungleman" Cates was also in the group and in fancy dress as another character from the popular film franchise.

Earlier on in the week, Cates took down the Event #60: $50,000 Poker Players Championship to win his first career WSOP gold bracelet.

The "Poker Brat" arrived late as usual, something he put down to fatigue in a Twitter discussion with Daniel Negreanu.

That was in response to Negreanu’s claim that allowing top pros register for events late can be advantageous to the rest of the field.

‘Lord of the Bracelets’ Hellmuth, who has five final table appearances this year, is hunting for his 17th bracelet and second Main Event win, having won his first back in 1989.

His 16th bracelet win was collected last month when he took down the Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw.

Hellmuth is currently sitting in seventh place in the Player of the Year race, but, just as inevitable as him blowing up and winning a bracelet, is his arriving in style.

Indeed, this is not the first time he has turned up in costume.

In 2007, Hellmuth arrived dressed up as a NASCAR driver, and he has also arrived in a boxing robe, as General Patton and in a Thor costume, but the most famous shot of him is when he dressed up as Caesar in 2009.

Moneymaker Back At The Main Event Tables

In other WSOP Main Event news, three months after suggesting he would not be attending this year’s Series, 2003 Main Event champion Chris Moneymaker bought in to 2021 Day 1f of the Main Event.

That was due to worries concerning Covid-19 exposure at the Rio but the vaccination requirement at the WSOP has allayed such fears and the man credited with sparking the online poker boom has now taken his seat.

Other notable names to come in on the last starting flight include Fedor Holz, Scotty Nguyen and Michael Mizrachi, the latter two of whom were playing at the same table throughout the day.

German Holz was taking full advantage of the lifting of the US travel ban and was joined by many other international players making the trip to Las Vegas to catch what is left of this year’s World Series.

The final pair of starting flights were added to the 2021 WSOP schedule after the US government announced that flying visitors would be allowed into the country from Monday onwards.

Rameez Shahid tops the leaderboard at the time of writing, sitting with 731,700 chips ahead of David Mock on 679,700. Shahid’s Canadian compatriot Damien Steel is currently holding the third biggest stack 649,000 with Farhad Jamasi in fourth with 635,000.

Other big names sitting – at the time of writing – with big stacks include Nick Petrangelo, David Williams, Mustapha Kanit and Jason Koon.

One player that won’t be heading into Day 2 is GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu whose pocket kings failed to save him from Ayman Mahfoud’s trip aces meaning his best in this event remains his 11th place finishes in both 2001 and 2015.

Fresh from his recent Twitter row with Justin Bonomo, Chris Hunichen, now fully recovered from Covid, knocked out Ryan Leng who leaves the event along with Smith, Jon van Fleet and Maurice Hawkins.

Day 2abd Top Ten Chip Counts

1Rameez ShahidCanada731,700
2David MockUnited States679,700
3Damien SteelCanada649,000
4Farhad JamasiUnited States635,000
5Raul MartinezSpain628,100
6Steve FouttyUnited States620,000
7Mitchell HalversonUnited States617,600
8Scott DaviesUnited States615,100
9David ColemanUnited States613,500
10Kayvon ShahbazUnited States599,200

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