Phil Hellmuth is back in the action today after getting the all-clear from his doctor. He has dived straight back into the action for 2022 WSOP Event #29: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw.
If you include Event #29, then of the 31 events that have completed or are underway Hellmuth has only been able to play four. A nightmare hat-trick of health crises has put him on the bench over and over again.
On arriving at the series Hellmuth was out of action with a stomach bug. This was followed by an atrial fibrillation event that he seemed to take in his stride.
Then, last of all, a lateral flow test followed the advice in Hellmuth’s book and stayed positive. This was four days ago and put the Poker Brat into quarantine until he could have a concierge doctor sent up to his suite and sign him off to play.
The sign-off happened just in time for Hellmuth to defend his title in the $1,500 2-7 NL Event, which he won last year.
“My Doctor has cleared me to play @WSOP,” Hellmuth tweeted, understandably thrilled with the result.
“Coming in at 9 PM: 7.5 days in isolation (ZERO times I left my suite at @AriaLV: which would normally have me feeling incredibly squirrelly!), and 3.5 days w NO SYMPTOMS and no medicine. Playing No Limit 2-7.”
Hellmuth made it through Day 1 of Event #29, having turned his starting stack of 25,000 chips into 121,000. That put him at 26th of the 122 remaining players.
There was still a long way to go to the bracelet when the action started up again this morning.
The field may be one of the toughest in the mid-stakes bracket. Of the 122 players that made it to day 2 around a quarter already had a bracelet. That said, no-limit lowball is one of those pure and relatively unsolved forms of poker in which Hellmuth’s ability to read his opponents carries additional weight.
437 players bought into the event putting $583,395 into the prize pool after the angels took their rake. First place, should Hellmuth make it, will be $127,809. Though it is hard to imagine that the money matters much to Phil.
After four days away from the felt, he’s coming back to the action hungry as all hell for a bracelet.
Featured image source: PokerGO