Although the sum of the media attention surrounding the members of the November Nine could not be described as a furor, as the resumption of the WSOP main event final table on November 11th draws ever closer the media circus is beginning to ramp up. Despite the relative lull, claims he has kept a low profile since making the groundbreaking delayed, final table, 52 year old account manager Dennis Phillips has periodically found his way into the headlines.
Although his position as the table chip leader will naturally draw scrutiny, most of the media coverage seems enthralled by the fact that he falls outside the character of the stereotypical big money poker winner. Despite being plied by all the big name sites before he had even reached the final table the only sponsorship deals he allowed before play ended were two small Poker Stars patches on his hat and shirt.
Yesterday he unveiled plans to allow a second logo to adorn his apparel come November 11th, but he won’t be the one reaping the benefits. An auction on eBay, beginning tomorrow and concluding on the 26th October, will allow companies and individuals to bid for the rights to have their name advertised by the chip leader of the WSOP main event. All profits raised are going straight to a charitable concern close to Phillip’s heart – the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
His brother was diagnosed with the condition 10 years ago so it is no surprise to see that the worthy cause is the benefactor of his most generous donation so far. Having been involved with charities for a number of years, Phillips has leaped at the “opportunity of a lifetime” being on the final table presents him. He hopes that his good fortune can be used to “one day save someone’s life.”
In the short time since play ended at the Rio he has already donated money to the Pujois Family Foundation and promised 1% of his winnings to the “Put a Bad Beat on Cancer” fund. His Poker Stars sponsorship deal also comes with charitable strings attached. The online poker giant is obliged to match Philip’s 1% donation under the terms of the agreement.
Despite returning to his job at a commercial trucking company just days after reaching the final nine his resolve to win the main event does not seem to have wavered. Last month he announced that he would be enlisting the help of Oracle Consulting, the poker training company run by Roy Winston and Joe McGowan. Tasked with not only improving his game but also managing his public image, Winston has spent some time with Dennis and reports that he is “the real deal when it comes to poker.”