Phil "Gandalf" Hellmuth Makes Grand Entrance in 2021 WSOP Main Event
Phil Hellmuth arrived in style and fashionably late (as always) on Day 1f of the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. The "Poker Brat" came decked out in a Gandalf the White costume, flanked by 16 models, two elves, and Dan "Jungleman" Cates, who was also dressed in Lord of the Rings character.
More footage from @phil_hellmuth’s entrance into the 2021 #WSOP Main Event! https://t.co/Now4s1QefE— PokerNews (@PokerNews)
A crowd of fans and media members crowded the Pavilion room inside the Rio Convention Center in preparation for the poker legend's entrance. Upon arrival, numerous players snapped photos of the poker great.
Poker Celebrity in Action
Hellmuth, seeking his 17th bracelet, dressed appropriately for the occasion — as a wizard. Shortly after his grand entrance, he took his seat and attempted to use the same sort of wizardry on his opponents that helped him win this very same tournament 32 years ago.
At the end of his first orbit around the table, the 16-time bracelet winner was at 59,000 at the dinner break, just a smidge below his starting stack. He didn't play any eventful hands early on, mostly folding or limp-folding preflop.
Hellmuth won his 16th bracelet last month, in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, extending his previous record. He has five final table appearances at the 2021 WSOP, and sits in seventh place in the Player of the Year race. A deep run in the Main Event could catapult the Poker Hall of Famer back to the top.
Hellmuth's Most Memorable Main Event Entrances
Phil Hellmuth has a lengthy history of unique and goofy entrances to poker's world championship event. Each year, he chooses a different theme, but one part of his routine remains constant — a late arrival. Let's take a look back at some of his best Main Event entrances prior to 2021.
In 2006, not in costume, he pulled up to the Rio in a black limo, headed straight to the feature table where he was to be seated, and then proceeded to shake hands with the other players at the table, perhaps buttering them up before he inevitably berates their poor play later on.
"Is Phil running for office?" ESPN announcer Norman Chad joked. "It's like he's looking for a reception line, so he just goes out and creates one."
The following year, then an 11-time bracelet winner, Hellmuth arrived dressed up as a NASCAR driver. But he should have just stayed in costume instead of trying to actually become one.
Perhaps, his most memorable appearance to date came in 2009 when the "Poker Brat" showed up in full Caesar costume, of which the ESPN commentator poked fun at.
"If Tom Brady came to the Super Bowl this way, the NFL would shut down, but we embrace this," Chad said on the TV broadcast.
In 2010, he arrived in an Ultimate Bet boxing robe, promoting the now-defunct poker site he once repped. Eight years later in 2018, Hellmuth went all in on his Thor costume with a dozen models dressed as Wonder Woman following him to his seat in the Amazon room.
In this Series
- 1 WSOP 2021 Schedule: 88 WSOP Bracelet Events, Sept. 30 - Nov. 23
- 2 WSOP 2021: Best Events to Play on a Budget
- 3 WSOP 2021 Main Event Satellites From $80 Hit GGPoker
- 4 WSOP 2021: Former Champ Chris Moneymaker Set to Miss This Year's WSOP
- 5 WSOP 2021: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Players, Update on Staff
- 6 WSOP 2021: Best Hotels in Las Vegas
- 7 WSOP 2021: Try These 5 Hidden Gem Las Vegas Restaurants
- 8 WSOP 2021: Read Phil Ivey's Top WSOP Tips
- 9 WSOP 2021: 8 Things Poker Players Should Definitely Bring to the WSOP - and 2 You Shouldn't!
- 10 How to Enter the WSOP 2021 Freezeout Events
- 11 Is It Worth Playing Cash Games During the WSOP?
- 12 What Game Should You Pick in Dealer’s Choice?
- 13 What We've Learned from the First Week of the 2021 WSOP
- 14 Hands That Helped GGPoker Ambassador Jason Koon Win 1st WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 15 GGPoker Successfully Brings Online Flip & Go Concept to Live 2021 WSOP
- 16 Jason Koon, Connor Drinan Lead 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Race
- 17 Anthony Zinno in Exclusive One-Player Club Following Fourth WSOP Title
- 18 Looking Back At The Illustrious History of the Poker Players Championship
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Blows Up AGAIN; Rails Against WSOP POY Rules
- 20 Poker Fan Loses Job, Twitch Streamer Gifts Him WSOP Main Event Package
- 21 WSOP 2021: Are the Fields Tougher or Softer than Recent Years?
- 22 Doyle Brunson Treats Crowd to Surprise WSOP Return on Halloween
- 23 Spooktastic: Best & Worst Halloween Costumes from the 2021 WSOP
- 24 Phil Ivey NFT Launch Party a True 'What Happens in Vegas' Night
- 25 Poker Community Buys Man Facing Terminal Cancer into WSOP Main Event
- 26 Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 27 WSOP Temporarily Goes on Lockdown Over Suspect's "Suspicious Item"
- 28 Did Phil Hellmuth's Sex Ban Lead to 1989 WSOP Main Event Glory?
- 29 Doyle Brunson Arrives; Defending Champ Salas Busts Before 1st Break of 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 30 Aces Cracked Leaves Kevin Campbell as the 2021 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 31 Quads Vs. Quads Sends Chang Liu Home Near WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 32 The Muck: Mike "The Mouth" Matusow Wants to End Max Late Reg
- 33 Doyle Brunson Proves He Still Has it Despite WSOP Main Event Exit
- 34 Phil "Gandalf" Hellmuth Makes Grand Entrance in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 35 Chris Moneymaker Makes Late Decision to Play WSOP Main Event
- 36 Who is GGPoker Ambassador and YouTube Vlogger 'Greg Goes All In?'
- 37 The Muck: Poker Twitter Debates Potential Angle-Shooting in WSOP Main Event
- 38 Nick Rigby Plays the 2-3 "Dirty Diaper" in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 39 Is Josh Arieh Running Away with WSOP Player of the Year?
- 40 'Wedding Crashers' & 'Old School' Star Vince Vaughn to Join WSOP's Move to Strip in 2022
- 41 Eli Elezra Selected as 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee
- 42 Master of Ceremonies Vince Vaughn Suffers Bad Beat in His First WSOP Tournament
- 43 Players Implement Covid Contract During WSOP $250K Super High Roller
- 44 How Much Money Did Players at the WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Make?
- 45 Phil Hellmuth Breaks WSOP Single Series Final Table Record
- 46 Daniel Negreanu's Most Mind-Boggling WSOP Stat at the Rio
- 47 Josh Arieh a Surprising 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Winner