Phil Hellmuth is one of poker’s most accomplished players, the winner of an unprecedented 14 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and 115 tournament cashes including the 1989 Main Event.
The legend is additionally one of the game’s most philanthropic individuals who routinely lends his celebrity to charity poker events. He’s also now lending his talents to November Nine short stack Federico Butteroni.
In an 888poker video press release, Hellmuth says he will coach the Italian newcomer for five days in early November leading up to the World Series of Poker Main Event’s final table commencing on the 8th.
The Friday before cards are put in the air at the Rio in Las Vegas, Butteroni will compete in Hellmuth’s “All In for Kids” poker fundraiser in New York City, a charity tournament raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I think Federico, 16 big blinds, doesn’t have a lot of chips but he thinks a lot like I do,” Hellmuth said. “He has a great story, and let’s see what happens.”
Though Butteroni will be guided by one of poker’s most accomplished players, the Main Event rookie will need all the help he can get to emerge from the bottom of the table.
The November Nine was born in 2008 in an effort by WSOP organizers to build excitement for the final competitors. Since its inception, no short stack entrant has climbed his way from the basement to finish in the top four.
Jeremy Ausmus performed the best as a ninth place entrant, finishing the 2012 Main Event in fifth place.
Arriving with just 6.2 million chips, a far cry from Joe McKeehen’s 63.1 million big stack, Butteroni’s chances of running it up are slim, though he isn’t a total rookie to big money felt.
The 25-year-old landed his first and second WSOP cashes this year. He placed 20th at the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Monster Stack for a $45,633 take and 114th at the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event for a small win.
Fresh off the country winning the Global Poker Index World Cup, Italians seem to be upping the ante in their poker talents.
“I think the Italian players are very strong,” Butteroni told PokerNews in July. “We have a few players who can play with the best players in the world.”
Butteroni hopes to best his countryman Filippo Candio’s fourth place finish at the 2010 WSOP Main Event.
“I am so happy that I can play November to represent my country,” he stated. “I really would like to improve on the position of Filippo Candio.”
Regardless of whether he ascends the November Nine ladder, Butteroni’s 2015 has already been a life-changing year. The self-declared professional poker player amassed just over $100,000 in recorded cashes over the last five years according to the Hendon Mob database.
Reaching the November Nine has guaranteed Butteroni a minimum of over $1 million, a payday that will be ten times what he’s produced since 2010.