Poker News Roundup: Phil Hellmuth, Nick Pupillo, Esports


The world of poker is expanding and reaching out into the world of esports. That’s one of the headlines we’ve been following in this week’s poker news along with two other key stories.

Hellmuth Returns To King of the Hill

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth has agreed to return to Poker Night in America, which returns later this week. He is the defending champ at the King of the Hill and will return to defend his crown.

Hellmuth won $200,000 at the $50,000 Poker Night in America: King of the Hill back in August, in which he took out Doug Polk in the first round. He then needed a furious comeback to beat Daniel Cates to win it all. Hellmuth will be back to defend his King of the Hill crown at Poker Night in America on October 6-7 at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which will be streamed live on Twitch. Hellmuth will have to hold off the likes of Olivier Busquet, Shaun Deeb and Parker Talbot, all of whom are also well known in poker circles. Talbot has won $3 million from online poker, while Busquet has won $8 million in live tournaments, including a World Poker Tour event and a High Roller win in a European Poker Tour event. Deeb has won around $2.8 million in live tournaments and has a pair of World Series of Poker bracelets of his own, so Hellmuth will have to bring his A-game to keep the title.

Hellmuth won the 1989 and 2012 World Series of Poker main events, and has 14 World Series of Poker bracelets, along with 57 appearances at final tables. He has finished in the money 126 times at World Series of Poker events.

Pupillo Claims Thunder Valley Main Event

Nick Pupillo has won the WSOPC Thunder Valley Main Event tournament and as a result will take home $170,286 for his efforts. It was his second gold ring and it follows another strong performance for Pupillo, who came in second at a DeepStack event at Borgata at the beginning of September. Pupillo was followed by Dann Turner, who won $105,281, while Casey McCarrel came in third with $76,911. Paul Richardson won $57,016 for fourth place, while Jed Hoffman ($42,879), Paul McCaffrey ($32,710), Glenn Larson ($25,304), Steven Tabb ($19,855) and Roque Quiambao ($15,800) rounded off the final table.

A total of 528 players entered the $1,675 buy-in tournament, and 54 players got paid out. However, Pupillo was the star of the day and he has now won his two biggest payouts in his last three starts.

WPT Teams With ELC Gaming For Event

The World Poker Tour is venturing a little bit out of its realm. It will be teaming up with ELC Gaming to host an event that involves poker and esports. This will take place at Holland Casino in Valkenburg, Netherlands, and it is the first time that this has ever been done. The details are still a bit hazy but what is expected is a bit of a crossover event. There’ll be poker tournaments being handled by the WPT and then outside the casino will be a mobile esports arena where electronic gaming competitions will take place. Players can win different prizes and even seats in the poker events.

The thinking is that a lot of poker players will be into esports and vice versa. That seems logical but we’ll have to see if players care to have all of that at once. If it’s a success, expect to see more crossover events like this.