Vanessa Selbst and Phil Hellmuth take down the day’s smaller events.
While the high roller and main events are the biggest draws at the EPT London, several other side events drew the interest of top name pros, most notably Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth and Vanessa Selbst. Both widely recognizable poker icons would prove successful at their very different endeavors, with Selbst winning the £2,000 High Roller Event and Hellmuth the £2,000 Open Face Chinese Poker tournament.
Selbst, who recently finished runner-up in the WPT Borgata Poker Open is having a sensational year that has also seen her win the PCA High Roller event and finish fourth in the EPT Grand Final High Roller. Her win in the UKIPT’s version of a high roller was good for £67,499 – paltry by Vanessa’s standards but a major victory nonetheless. She would defeat recognized pro Max Silver for the title shortly after the two struck a deal.
Vanessa was a bit surprised by the final table lineup, apparently expecting a much softer draw than the likes of Silver, Kenny Hallaert and Joni Jouhkimainen. In fact, her opponents were so tough that on several occasions she would need a bit of luck to survive. On one hand, in which she admits she “got lucky” on Twitter, Vanessa would suck-out with 6-6 against T-T. It appears that on this day, Lady Luck was with the lady.
But perhaps the most shocking moment at this year’s EPT London was the appearance of the usually absent Phil Hellmuth. After only participating in a handful of events over the past nine-plus seasons of the EPT, Hellmuth, after arriving at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden promptly entered in the Open Face Chinese Poker tournament.
London is one of the few locales to host a major OFC tourney, a game that is spreading in popularity among pros like wildfire. It is very well possible that the allure of winning a title in a new format enticed the exceptionally proud Hellmuth.
The £2,000 tournament would only draw a mere 21 players, but for Hellmuth a win is a win. His victory was good for £15,800 and of course, bragging rights. The other notable cash belonged to Barry Greenstein, who finished in fifth. Recognized pros Dan O’Brien and Daniel Weinman also participated.
Ironically, Hellmuth had no intention of playing in any other event but the main.
The one complaint players have about the EPT London is that there are simply too many great events to choose from. In total, 36 tournaments will be played over a mere 11 days. The £5,000 Main Event kicked off Saturday and will resume Day 2 action at noon. Several other major events, including the Super High Roller concluded over the weekend.