Phil Hellmuth has had quite a few memorable entrances to the World Series of Poker main event, and he attempted another Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas.
In typical Hellmuth fashion, the 16-time bracelet winner was making a late arrival to the tournament, starting on day 2. With an announcement from Tournament Director Jack Effel and John Williams’ Imperial March playing over the loudspeakers, Hellmuth entered the room dressed as Darth Vader.
Perhaps some were upset with the distraction of Hellmuth’s entrance, or maybe it was the presence of the dark side, but either way, Hellmuth was booed as he took his seat.
Hellmuth bought the costume the day before, also considering Superman, before settling on Darth Vader. He decided to wear his cape off one shoulder, just like he does with his jackets, and even supplied his own lightsaber noises.
A little bit of behind the scenes with the dark lord himself @phil_hellmuth pic.twitter.com/9GcCSjiO6a
— Warren Lush (@warrenlush) July 7, 2022
Wooo kissshhhh (Darth Vader breathing!) https://t.co/NxCLweAahK
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) July 7, 2022
Vader is, of course, a villain in the Star Wars universe. But perhaps Hellmuth identified more with the good guy trapped underneath the suit. Like Vader, Hellmuth’s tunnel vision has sometimes gotten him into trouble.
He’s not even the first to wear a costume this summer. For the second year in a row, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates won the $50,000 Poker Players Championship in disguise. Last year he won as an anime character from Dragon Ball Z and this year he went as Macho Man Randy Savage. (Of course, last year the series was held during Halloween.)
Unfortunately for Hellmuth, the dark side failed to bring him any luck on the felt. He was forced to change when he realized he couldn’t actually see his cards through his mask.
He lost a big pot with pocket kings against another player’s wheel and couldn’t get anything going after that. According to him, he didn’t win a single pot during his approximately 90 minutes in the tournament. On his final hand, Hellmuth was all in with K J against Jeff Frerichs’ pocket sixes.
The flop of K 10 7 was great for Hellmuth, as was the J on the turn improving him to two pair. But the 6 on the river ended his day.
“The force was not with you today,” joked recent $1 million mystery bounty winner Matt Glantz.
After his quick exit from the main event, Hellmuth gave himself a pep talk with a side of junk food, reminding himself there’s still a lot of tournaments left on the WSOP schedule. The main event won’t end until Saturday, July 16.
Well, “Poor Phil” Busted WSOP</a> Main Event in 90 mins, <a href=”https://twitter.com/MUZIKconnect?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>MUZIKconnect headphones broke & 2nd in $3K Sat night: 2nd! Feeling sorry for myself as I drown my sorrows w 8 Nutter Butters @AriaLV pool. MAN UP PH! 2nd was $370,000, your “In form” & two more weeks of WSOP tourns pic.twitter.com/3Wt1IYp0ng
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) July 7, 2022
It’s been an overall good series for Hellmuth, who has cashed six times despite a limited schedule. He was affected by COVID to start the summer, but bounced back with an eighth-place finish in the $10,000 Triple Draw Championship and a ninth-place showing in the $10,000 2-7 Lowball Championship.
Then in the $3,000 no-limit hold’em event, Hellmuth battled hard from a short stack at the final table to find himself heads-up for bracelet no. 17. At one point, he even managed to take the chip lead, but a few misplayed hands saw his run end in second place.
He earned a consolation prize of $369,698. Hellmuth now has more than $25 million in career tournament earnings, which is no. 24 on poker’s all-time money list.
Hellmuth has always arrived late, but his costumes started in 2007 when he crashed a racecar in the Rio parking lot. Sometimes he even has women to escort him in, as he did last year when he came in as Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.
The Poker World Reacts
Heard Phil Hellmuth almost went as himself this year pic.twitter.com/6Jzqv50Qs9
— David Williams (@dwpoker) July 7, 2022
Hellmuth intro absurdly disruptive and annoying while players are in pots
Jack announces his arrival
A few people in bally’s clap, quickly over taken by boos
— Gags30 (@Gags30poker) July 7, 2022
Me: “Mom can we get Darth Vader?!”
Mom: “We have Darth Vader at home”
At home: @phil_hellmuth #discountdarthvader pic.twitter.com/NhpMcafhCU
— PokerBEAST (@PokerBEAST_) July 7, 2022
I don’t care, I love @phil_hellmuth so much…..always the goat to me #DarthVader #WSOPMainevent
— Bobby Schmidt III (@BobbySchmidtIII) July 7, 2022
So instead of the white magic he’s going to the dark side.
— Flicker on Discord (@GrindingNGround) July 7, 2022
Thats the worst darth vader costume ive ever seen wth phil
— Yuhyyyhhh (@Yuhyyyhhh1) July 7, 2022
.Phil_hellmuth</a> goes down at the <a href=”https://twitter.com/WSOP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>WSOP! https://t.co/tHaAK1xzvT pic.twitter.com/up5W41qEo2
— The Game Day Casino (@TGDcasino) July 7, 2022
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*Photo courtesy of PokerGO