We passed by Phill Hellmuth's table and noticed him fixing his famously intense gaze on an opponent seated to his direct right, an opponent who happened to hold over 100,000 chips at the moment.
Jonathan Driscoll had raised to 1,700 from the button and Hellmuth defended his small blind with a three-bet to 6,700. While Driscoll thought over his options, Hellmuth put his hands to his face and stared his man down. The heat did nothing to dissuade Driscoll and he announced himself all-in.
The trademark theatrics began immediately as Hellmuth hemmed and hawed, berating himself for opening the door for a massive reraise. "You raise here and let 'em have a chance, that's why you just call" Hellmuth whispered to himself before tossing his cards into the muck. As we stopped to ask Driscoll for a count of his towering castle of chips, Hellmuth sternly reprimanded him, saying "Hey, it's your ante kid!"
Jonathan Driscoll has already cashed in two of this year's $1,000 buy-in events, including a 10th place finish for $38,128 in Event # 8. With his commanding chip lead here on Day 1, we expect him to keep his streak alive with a third cash in this tournament.
Phil Hellmuth, on the other hand, would tend to disagree. As we were departing the table we heard the Poker Brat telling the table, "It's OK, this is the guy that's going to get it in against me drawing dead." Seasons change and time marches onward, but it seems that Hellmuth will forever remain Hellmuth.