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Poker star tests positive for COVID at WSOP

Updated June 9, 2022 - 7:27 pm

Phil Hellmuth’s rough start to the World Series of Poker was made worse this week.

The 16-time WSOP bracelet winner posted on his verified Twitter account Tuesday night that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Hellmuth has entered only two tournaments this season for health reasons, cashing in the $1,500 buy-in Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event over the weekend. He also played in the $10,000 buy-in “Dealers Choice” tournament and lasted until Day 2 on Monday when he was eliminated shy of the money.

Hellmuth, 57, was seen Saturday wearing a face covering as he took his seat for the start of Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better. He replied to a comment on his original post Tuesday and noted he has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

On May 31, Hellmuth tweeted that he vacationed in Mexico for a weekend before the start of the WSOP and returned with “travelers diarrhea,” which he said kept him from playing the $100,000 buy-in High Roller Bounty No-limit Hold’em event.

At the start of the Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better tournament Saturday, Hellmuth posted that he was experiencing atrial fibrillation (abnormal heartbeat) but was able to play.

The WSOP Main Event begins July 3, giving Hellmuth more than three weeks to recover and prepare for the $10,000 buy-in tournament.

Hellmuth is at least the second high-profile player to reveal that they tested positive for the coronavirus at the WSOP, raising concerns there could be an outbreak during the series at Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s.

Two-time bracelet winner David “ODB” Baker tweeted Sunday that he contracted COVID-19.

PokerGO announcer Lon McEachern also said May 30 on Twitter he tested positive for the coronavirus before the WSOP began. He has since tested negative.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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