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Hellmuth makes grand Day 1D entrance

9 July 2007

Phil Hellmuth redefined being fashionably late for a tournament today, arriving for the World Series of Poker Main Event in a racing uniform and flanked by eleven beautiful women, one for each of his gold bracelets.

Although he's usually late for tourneys, Hellmuth raised the ante for the Main Event.

He was supposed to arrive in an Ultimate Bet racing car, but he and the automobile were involved in an accident at the Rio last night. A limo played substitute for the car. The helmet, the suit and the smile remained.

"We were supposed to make Phil look like a pimp," one of his escorts said. She refused to give her name, but said they waited quite a while for Hellmuth to arrive.

Hellmuth told media members he was sore from the accident, but only had minor injuries and was comfortable enough to play. He arrived two hours after the tournament's start and will play at the secondary ESPN featured table.

More than 1,700 other players will try and prevent Hellmuth from capturing his 12th bracelet. The large crowd today will ensure the 2007 Main Event will be the second largest live poker tournament of all time with more than 6,000 participants.

Only the 2006 Main Event was larger (8,773).

Ted "Ironman" Forrest was among the Day 1D players.

Forrest said he picked this day because he doesn't want to take more than a day off between playing days. Forrest is known for playing marathon poker sessions and winning improbable proposition bets with his iron will and constitution.

"I just don't want to get out of the flow," Forrest said.

The day's toughest table featured Cyndy Violette, David Benyamine and Issac Haxton. Not even the 170 plus table spread could keep three top pros from competing on the same felt.

Violette, a Stud game expert, is right beside Benyamine, who is famous for high-stakes play. He is dating model turned poker player Erica Schoenberg, who is also playing Monday.

"It will make me a better player," Benyamine said about his table draw. "Plus, it gives me someone to talk too."

Benyamine's tough draw continued after the break when he was moved to Antonio Esfandiari's table.

Defending champion Jamie Gold also begins his Main Event today. He is at ESPN's main featured table and has attracted dozens of fans. Professional Steve Zolotow is playing with Gold.

Freddy Deeb, Layne Flack, Gus Hansen, Eric Lynch, Erick Lindgren, Carlos Mortensen, Gavin Smith and Brandi Hawbaker also started their Main Events today.


Mucking McLane
Hellmuth makes grand Day 1D entrance is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.