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The notion of a poker hand representing a poker player is not a new one. For decades, ten-deuce has been known as the ‘Texas Dolly’. So-called after Doyle Brunson, the hand struck notoriety thanks to being the winning hand in back-to-back World Series of Poker Main Events in 1976 and 1977. Last week, Phil Hellmuth’s queen-four call for his tournament life - and subsequent suck-out success - went viral. Playing against Alex Foxen in the 2022 U.S. Poker Open, the so-called ‘Poker Brat’ become associated with the hole cards around the world... but how long will that last? From Will Smith-related memes to Hellmuth’s own reaction to the hand, how has a week in the spotlight given queen-four off the unlikeliest of popularity boosts? The Hand Takes Place Whichever way you look at it, Alex Foxen and Phil Hellmuth played out one of the most virally viewed poker hands in history on PokerGO during the 2022 U.S. Poker Open. With both men in the running for not only the Event title but the leaderboard victory at that stage, Foxen saw Hellmuth’s three-bet and four-bet enough to set the Poker Brat all in with a call. Hellmuth weighed things up as co-commentator Brent Hanks, working alongside Jeff Platt in the PokerGO booth, stated what every viewer was feeling. “This a guy who can dodge bullets but can’t get away from queen-four? I am shocked that he’s taking time making this decision. It is not a decision.” It was, however, and as Hellmuth declared ‘I guess I better play to win.” He put in his remaining chips, deciding not to leave himself with nine big blinds. Of course, a queen came on the flop and to add insult to injury, another queen on the river gave Hellmuth the crucial double-up. No nines arrived across the board left Foxen perplexed, and he shot a look of wonderment slowly around the PokerGO Studio. “What did we just witness? What the heck was that?” said Hanks. The whole world was about to provide a different answer to that question. Poker Twitter Blows Up No sooner had the hand played out were PokerGO themselves sharing what has become one of the most popular poker hands in living memory for people to watch. Quotes, retweets, likes and engagements alone sent the hand around the globe faster than you could locate your push-fold charts to prove the call 'wrong'. https://twitter.com/PokerGO/status/1507474159030321155 Some of the comments on Poker Twitter have predictably been brilliant. “I swear the next time I'm dealt a [queen-four], I am shoving my chips in,” said one Poker Brat fan. “Instead of calling for my 'one time' I will announce ‘For Phil!’”. Many Hellmuth supporters came out in defense not only of their man but the hand itself. “I secretly love [queen-four],” one said. “It's my oddball hand.” Another represented many dozens with their assertion that: “From here on out, the queen-four will be known as ‘The Hellmuth’ or ‘The Brat’ People will be playing it like the [seven-deuce] game. Poker rooms across America will be talking about the hand!” They already were. The Memes Take Over From the moment the clip was shot out of the PokerGO social media cannon, the poker circus that exists online was in raptures. Max Pescatori hinted that an element of jealousy would waft through high roller games everywhere https://twitter.com/maxpescatori/status/1507533575054409733 Hellmuth himself shared the effect that the internet had enjoyed having on queen-four. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1507669423636692997 Plenty of fans were on Hellmuth’s side, and more than happy to show this runaway train of a meme subject would not be stopped by anything in its way. https://twitter.com/FPLFledgling/status/1507831077762736128 When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Poker Twitter moved at speed to appropriate the action to Hellmuth’s hand. https://twitter.com/jsmith84poker/status/1508287597067468804 While intelligent debate was thin on the ground, that didn’t mean the very best couldn’t parody it, and Phil Galfond’s post was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. https://twitter.com/PhilGalfond/status/1507837664216567808 Hellmuth even shared an amended hand ranking chart, giving new power to this craziest of calling hands. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1507667976891166720 Could ‘The Hellmuth’ Stand the Test of Time? One fan’s assertion that Johnny Chan could have prevented Hellmuth winning his iconic WSOP Main Event in 1989 really set the controls of the out of control juggernaut to ‘crazy’. “Your 1989 WSOP win showed up on my YouTube feed today,” they said. “Funny thing is if he played [queen-four] against your [pocket nines] he would have won. I think there's something magical about your hand.” Magical or not, Hellmuth didn’t win either the USPO event or any other event with the hand in question. So can it really stand the test of time? Eager to show that it might, the Poker Brat was on the road to a meet up game later in the week, and what would his first hand be? You’ve guessed it. https://twitter.com/phil_hellmuth/status/1509035404581736452 There’s a 'Queen-Four' Facebook group, and before long, you just know there will be t-shirts. If the hand catches on at the World Series, then the memes will all come out for a second airing. Hellmuth himself, as is so often the case, seems in charge of the hand’s destiny. Doyle Brunson played ten-deuce in not one but two vital spots. Both times he won a WSOP Main Event as a direct result, but while Hellmuth may not have the opportunity to do so, what the Poker Brat has in 2022 is a much more powerful media machine to feed. If Phil Hellmuth makes a final table at the 2022 World Series of Poker, then the Poker Brat will be waiting for two hole cards in particular to go crazy with on a live stream. Setting aside the value he’s stacking up by less experienced hopefuls presuming he is playing queen-four along the way, Hellmuth should absolutely play it under the lights. If queen-four makes it to mainstream television, we might never hear the last of a hand that is living in the moment for far longer than anyone gave it the chance of doing. All in? You'd better believe it.
The complete schedule for this summer’s 2022 World Series of Poker has been announced. The series will contain 88 live gold bracelet tournaments to be held at its new home on the Las Vegas Strip of Bally’s (soon to be Horseshoe) and Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino plus another 14 online events for players in regulated states. "This year is particularly historic for the WSOP with its move to the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and debut in the best facilities we’ve ever had," said Ty Stewart, the WSOP's Executive Director. "We’re ready to welcome players from all over the world to our housewarming party at Bally’s, soon-to-be Horseshoe, and Paris. The schedule is jam-packed with first-class events and we expect this to be the biggest and most anticipated WSOP yet.” The series is anchored by "The Main Event", the $10,000 event - generally considered to be the ultimate tournament of any calendar year - returns to its traditional time slot around the 4th of July holiday. There are four starting flights from July 3-6 with the final table taking place over the course of two days on Friday, July 15th and Saturday, July 16. One of the biggest tournaments on the schedule will be "The Housewarming". In the footsteps of 2019’s "The Big 50" and last year’s "The Reunion", "The Housewarming" welcomes players to the WSOP’s new home on the Las Vegas Strip with a $500 buy-in bracelet event. With four starting flights spread out over the opening weekend and a $5 million guarantee, this event will be a target event for all recreational players looking to check out the new layout between Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. There are plenty of new offerings for the new era, however, plenty of old marquee favorite events are returning to the schedule. The Monster Stack, Millionaire Maker, Colossus, and The Closer all headline weekends during the series in an effort to bring out weekend warriors. Bounties events are well represented including the featured bounty event, the Million Dollar Bounty. This event, which was originally conceived by the WSOP in 2020, is finally going to happen. It comes with a $1,000 buy-in and gives players four starting flights in an effort to make Day 2. That's when the bounties begin to pile up with a mystery bounty being awarded for every player KO'd and a top bounty prize of $1 million. High rollers have plenty to look forward to as well with 28 events (including Championship events) posting a buy-in of $10,000 or more. There’s a $100,000 High Roller Bounty on the very first day of the series, plus the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship, a mid-series $100K, and a $250,000 Super High Roller on June 23 among other events. 2022 WSOP Live Schedule of Events [table id=290 /] The move to The Strip includes all of the convention space from both Paris Las Vegas and the soon-to-be renamed Bally's. According to the WSOP, it will have 200,000 square feet of space and roughly 600 poker tables of action. Live coverage of the action will be handled by CBS Sports and PokerGO with 18 gold bracelet events covered and a minimum of 15 hours of start-to-finish Main Event coverage. WSOP Online bracelet events are back as well with 14 in total., Players in Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will have the opportunity to battle for bracelets from the comfort of their homes. There are online events every Sunday throughout the series plus three "Double Up Bracelet Days". Check out the WSOP Online bracelet schedule below. 2022 WSOP Online Events [table id=291 /] In addition to all of the bracelet events, the popular Daily Deepstacks will also be available. Most days at 2 pm, 5 pm, and 9 pm in the Paris Ballroom. COVID-19/Vaccination Note This year the World Series of Poker's COVID policy will reflect local, state and CDC guidelines. There will be no proof of vaccination requirement, and currently there is no mask mandate in effect. "Players will be accountable to follow CDC guidelines appropriate to them as individuals."
The worst kept secret in the poker world is now official news as the World Series of Poker announced that the 53rd annual WSOP will be moving to Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino when it takes place from May 31 - July 19, 2022. After 17 years at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, the WSOP has found a new home on the Strip in Bally’s and Paris for 2022. “As we approach the Final Table, we look back on yet another successful Main Event that exceeds expectations,” said World Series of Poker Senior Vice President, Ty Stewart. “We are absolutely thrilled with this year’s turnout, both domestically and internationally. As we close out this chapter at the Rio, we are excited to have the iconic Vince Vaughn usher in a new era of WSOP at Bally’s and Paris next summer.” The announcement was made on Tuesday night during the early moments of this year’s WSOP Main Event final table when actor Vince Vaughn (“Wedding Crashers”, “Swingers”) turned up in his new role as the WSOP Master of Ceremonies and broke the news on the PokerGO live stream. “I have such a strong connection to Las Vegas and am honored to be selected as the Master of Ceremonies for what is set to be the most anticipated World Series of Poker tournament ever,” Vaughn said. “Poker has long been one of my favorite sports, so to be a part of something as historic as the WSOP finally moving to the Strip is an absolute dream. Vegas baby, Vegas!” It will be the shortest turnaround time between series in recent history with the opening weekend of the 2022 series kicking off just a little over six months after the end of the current one. The 2022 WSOP schedule of events is expected to be announced in January.