Phil Hellmuth plans to play WSOP and WPT events from the same table in Vegas

Jon Pill
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Posted on June 30, 2021 9:15 pm EDT

It doesn’t happen often that you can compete for a World Series Of Poker bracelet event and a World Poker Tour trophy simultaneously. But next week, players in Vegas will be able to do just that. In fact, Phil Hellmuth is planning that entire week around the prospect.

It’s not all that common that big events overlap in ways that encourage multi-tabling. Big events rarely are close enough — either physically or temporally — to allow it.

Every year at the Rio — 2020 excepted — there are always a few players who buy into parallel WSOP events and spend their time legging it back and forth across the Amazon room. However, to play in two totally different series at the same time will be a novelty.

Especially when both series are as big a deal as the WSOP and WPT.

The WPT Venetian series kicks off on July 2. The WSOP Online series for the combined player pools of Nevada and New Jersey kicks off July 1. As a result, anyone with a WSOP Nevada login, a Venetian loyalty card, and the scratch for multiple buy-ins can play both series at once.

Dates and times

Hellmuth tweeted about his personal plan saying: “I will be in Vegas the WHOLE month of July playing @WSOP online tourneys! AND playing Venetian @WPT AND playing “PokerGo Cup.” Staying at the World Class @AriaLV of course…”

Given Hellmuth’s branded hat, one assumes he’s getting comped pretty well at the Aria.

A slightly earlier Tweet from the Poker Brat suggested that there might be some controversy about playing both events. It will all depend on the Venetian’s policy on using electronic devices at the table.

Hellmuth wrote: “I’m playing @WPT Venetian July 2-7 AND @WSOP online tourney at same time! It’s the first time you can play in both WPT and WSOP at the same time: look for 60% of WPT field to have laptops, IPAD’s or phones out (IF they allow it).”

However, the matter was quickly cleared up by Venetian staff.

Lucky for Phil, the Venetian will allow him to play. Although there is a caveat. According to Tommy LaRosa, the Venetian’s Tournament Director, the WPT policy on phones etc… will be that “players can use electronic devices as long as they do not manipulate them when they have two cards in front of them.”

When you’re Phill Hellmuth, I suspect the Venetian would have allowed it regardless of their policy. #POSITIVITY.

Not being able to touch his phone while he has cards in the Venetian event might make smooth multi-tabling hard. However, if Phil plays as tight in the live event as his reputation might suggest, then he should have plenty of downtime without cards to make his decisions online.

As Phil points out in his Tweet, the PokerGO event later in the month will also allow players to play in their meatspace tourney at the same time as the WSOP cyber-events.

World Tour of Poker Series

There is actually another potential sticking point for Phil’s plan. The issue he raised of whether the Venetian will allow phones at the table was the most obvious source of potential friction. There is, after all, precedent with phones at the table causing a certain amount of controversy in the past (c.f. Postlegate).

But what may prove a bigger problem is actually whether WSOP.com will allow it.

Some websites are a tad leery of devices that connect to their servers from the same IP address. If there are a few dozen iPads sending data packets to the WSOP servers all from the Venetian’s poker room WiFi, that might spark a few alerts at WSOP.com HQ.

Plus, if the site allows players to login from the same location, it might make springing for a hotel room at the Venetian well worth it for any collusion stables.

The ultimate result would be simultaneous final tables. Both streamed live as Phil makes back-to-back wins within minutes of each other. It would be the kind of media circus Hellmuth lives for. Even without this best case scenario, keep an eye out for high-profile multitabling shenanigans from poker’s most effective billboard.

Full list of overlapping events

Below is the full list of events that players can enter online while the WPT Venetian is on. There is something there for most bankrolls.

Event NameBuy-inDate
WSOP Event #2 No Limit Hold’em MonsterStack$600July 2, 2021
WSOP Event #3 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Deepstack$500July 3, 2021
WSOP Event #4 No Limit Hold’em Super Turbo$500July42, 2021
WSOP Event #5 No Limit Hold’em 8-Max$1,000July 5, 2021
WSOP Event #6 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack$2,000July 6, 2021
WSOP Event #7 No Limit Hold’em Lucky 7’s$777July 7, 2021

Featured image source: Flickr by WPT