What can you
say about Phil Hellmuth... that Phil hasn't said about himself a thousand times. Phil has eleven World Series of Poker bracelets
(all in Texas Holdem events, including one from the 1989 No Limit Championship event), and the maturity level of an embryo.
I first played with Phil in 1988, when he was at about one-tenth of whatever maturity level he is at now. Scary, huh? We were at the
same table at the Caesar's Tahoe Superstars. The game was
Lowball (also scary).
While Phil is a great player who
reads other people terrifically, his mass of insecurities and arrogant
self-absorption makes him often fairly
easy to read as an opponent. He raised my big blind from the button, and immediately began chirping about every poker glory under the
sun, except the winning of this pot. I had an A234Q, but alarms went off in my head due to his chirping. I drew one card and he rapped
pat. I caught a seven, making 74321, normally a very powerful hand in Lowball, one that according to the rules you must bet if you want
to get any action after the draw (if you check, you can still win the before the draw action though). I decided to check anyway, because
alarm bells were going off in my head, and because I was guessing he'd throw a tantrum if he thought he won and then lost the pot. Sure
enough, after he bet and I called he said "you can't win". I was dying for him to show me any rough seven like 76432, the kind
of hand that normally can't lose after a player has checked, because of the "must bet a seven or better" rule. Sadly though,
he rolled over a 54321 bicycle, the best hand in the game. Tilting Phil would have to wait for another day... but he did win a much smaller
pot than he should have, almost solely because of his easily exploitable weakness.
Windows - Mac
Phil Hellmuth Jr. is one of the best Texas Holdem tournament players in the world, but no better than a mediocre live game player because his
ego destroys him. He can't stand to lose. He takes losing
personally. Losing eats at his soul, but losing is part of the game. We all lose more tournaments than we win. Despite being a nice guy away
from the table, Phil is poker's biggest crybaby (and that truly
is saying a lot, given all the whiners in the game). If Phil ever gets control of this massive leak in his game, someday instead of being the
biggest baby, Phil could possibly be what he has occasionally claimed and always wishes he was: the best in the game.
See Shirley Rosario's Phil Hellmuth bio, available in
Danish, plus Poker Pages
Phil Hellmuth tournament results