WSOP Stories: Ivey Back, Negreanu vs Polk, Hellmuth’s mark-up controversy

Ivey returns

phil ivey wsop
Phil Ivey – Photo Joe Giron

In what is arguably the biggest piece of news to come out of the first few days of the WSOP, Phil Ivey has once again returned to the biggest tournament stage of all, entering the $100,000 High Roller event.

His presence will surely have sent ripples around the Rio, especially as he made the money in the $565 Colossus event. The fact that he is playing a small buy-in event suggest he will be hitting the schedule hard this year and playing many events. He has already played several events so far, including the $10,000 Omaha Hi/Lo.

The ten-time bracelet winner will certainly be on Phil Hellmuth’s radar, as Ivey is the only player who could realistically get close to Hellmuth’s tally of fourteen bracelets anytime soon. Ivey did not have the best tournament during his comeback, eventually losing a big coinflip, but it seems highly likely we will be seeing him in more events over the coming weeks.

Phil Hellmuth’s mark-up controversy

The WSOP’s most prolific winner has been given a grilling on social media recently after selling 30% of his action in the $10,000 Turbo event at a mark-up of 1.8. Scott Seiver was one of those to post a response, mentioning the word ‘defrauding’ and calling Hellmuth “absolutely pathetic”. Hellmuth quickly responded to the uproar, pointing out that in the two previous cases where he sold action on YouStake he cashed for over $50,000 both times. As the leading bracelet winner of all-time, the poker brat clearly feels he is well worth investing in at the stated price.

Doug Polk’s billboard berating of Negreanu

Not content with sitting beside Daniel Negreanu in a ‘more rake is better’ T-shirt during the Super High Roller Bowl tournament last week, Doug Polk went a step further as the WSOP kicked off, buying up a huge billboard close to the Rio emblazoned with the same words. While Polk’s commitment to teasing Negreanu is always enjoyable, his latest stunt begs the question of whether his point has now been as well-made as it will ever be and whether he is taking things a bit far. Few would doubt that Negreanu’s comments were foolish, even though they were made through a sense of blind loyalty to PokerStars, but hopefully by now, he gets the message.

Bracelet bets back on?

The debate of whether Phil Hellmuth is a better bracelet bet than Daniel Negreanu is one that surfaces from time to time, and this year, Twitter has been buzzing away about the issue ever since Doyle Brunson weighed in with a $100K endorsement. Ten-time bracelet winner Brunson offered a bet up to $100K, taking Negreanu’s side against anyone wanting to make a bracelet bet against the six-time winner.

Brunson clearly feels that Negreanu is more likely than anyone else to pick up some gold wristwear this summer, which is surprising in some respects, given how consistently Hellmuth bags bracelets at the series. The coming weeks may go some way towards giving us an answer to this debate, perhaps even offering an unexpected twist, with Ivey back in town.

Article by Craig Bradshaw