9/27/09 – Marching Romans in full armour, white horses drawing a gold chariot and Phil Hellmuth decked out as Julius Caesar, breastplate and all, had the crowds in London's Leicester Square gaping Saturday as Vegas razzmatazz invaded the immediate environs of the Empire Casino.
A movie premiere, perhaps? No, it was the start of the main event of the World Series of Poker Europe and Hellmuth making his usual attention grabbing – and late – arrival.
155 players registered for the first day of the GBP 10 000 buy-in Main Event, among them many of the big names in the game. And more are expected when the second starter day kicks off.
Taking their seats at the Empire were Doyle Brunson, Erik Seidel, David Pham, James Akenhead, Mike Matusow, Phil Ivey, Vanessa Rousso and of course – eventually – Phil Hellmuth. Raring to get into the action were Bruno Fitussi, Brian Powell, Jason Mercier and Ben "Milkybar Kid" Grundy.
Martin Hansen and Roland De Wolfe were doing well as InfoPowa went to press, and Jonathan Aguiar, Viktor Blom, Sami Kelopuro and Tommy Pavlicek were all still in the hunt.
Not so fortunate were Phil Ivey, eliminated by Todd Brunson, and Tom Dwan, taken down by Mark Goodwin. Other early departures from the main event included Vanessa Rousso, Huck Seed, Robert Mizrachi, Patrik Antonius and Hoyt Corkins.
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