Short Stacks: Hellmuth’s Entrance at World Series Poker Paradise, Asian Poker Tour Cancels Mid-Tourney

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Phil Hellmuth donning a blue wig for another poker pageant entrance and the Asian Poker Tour canceling a series while two tournaments we’re still running are a couple short stacks CardsChat picked up in its latest orbit of poker news.

Phil Hellmuth Paradise
Jeff Platt interviews the king off the oceans, Phil Hellmuth, at WSOP Paradise. (Image: WSOP)

Phil Hellmuth pulls a Poseidon at WSOP Paradise

On Sunday, hours into Day 1b of the $5,300 World Series of Poker Paradise’s Main Event, Phil Hellmuth walked into the room dressed as the king of all oceans, Poseidon surrounded by women dressed as his mermaid haram, 17 in total — one for each of his record-best WSOP bracelets.

It makes sense because the series is taking place at Atlantas Paradise Island. Dressing up and making these egocentric entrances late on the first day he chooses to play has become one of his many signature moves. This annoys some players who can get caught between making a critical tournament-altering decision and a mermaid, but Daniel Negreanu defended the Poker Brat via a series of Tweets:

“Every year Phil Hellmuth does a grandiose entrance to WSOP main event, and every year some people complain about what is ultimately a minor inconvenience during a poker tournament, saying it’s ‘disrespectful.’

Personally, I think those people should be thanking him for the color and outrageousness he brings to the game because in the end, these pros are all richer, in part, because of Phil’s antics both on and off the felt. You don’t have to like it. You can think it’s obnoxious and self-indulgent. I wouldn’t do it… but I’m glad Phil does.”

Asian Poker Tour pulls plug on series in Hanoi

Asian Poker Tour officials pulled the plug on the Hanoi Billions 2023 not only in the middle of the series, but while two tournaments where still running, citing “extenuating circumstances that have arisen, ones that, despite our utmost efforts, we are unable to overcome.”

The series was scheduled to run from Dec. 1-10, and was four days into its Main Event when the 47 remaining players were told the tourney would not be finished on Friday. Those players were paid according to their chip stack size, and since Van Sang Nguyen, of Vietnam, had the biggest stack when play was halted, he was declared the winner and was paid $180,000.

The tourney was shut down the same day the APT bragged that its headliner in Hanoi was the largest poker tournament to take place in Vietnam: 2,350 entries (1,334 unique).

Players in the series’ Double Stack were also affected by the shuttering. The tourney was ended and chopped 176 ways.

After the APT made the announcement via Twitter, it stopped people from commenting.

Here’s their whole statement that was released on Dec. 8:

“The Asian Poker Tour regrets to announce the cancellation of APT Hanoi Billions 2023 for the remainder of the series from December 9-10, 2023. All player funds are secure and the method for receiving funds has been detailed below.

The decision to cancel the remaining days of the festival has not been made lightly. It is rooted in extenuating circumstances that have arisen, ones that, despite our utmost efforts, we are unable to overcome.

The safety and well-being of our players and staff are of paramount importance to us, and we must prioritize these concerns above all else. We are truly sorry, and we appreciate your understanding during this challenging situation.”

APT has yet to explain why they had to cancel the series, but a clue may be with the venue, the Nation Convention Center, which isn’t a casino or card room.

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