Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


My Three Minutes with Mimi

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: May 17, 2005


Finally, there was a big poker tournament that I didn't have to leave my hometown to play in. I consider Bay 101 in San Jose to be right in my backyard, and the PPT (Professional Poker Tour) tournament held there to be a fairly significant event.

Of course, I managed to show up an hour late, which is right in line with my usual style. Having arrived late, I was informed that I was the 25th "alternate" – which meant that I would have to wait for 25 players to go broke before I could sit down and play. At 2:25 p.m., I sat down.

At 2:26 p.m., under the gun, I called $100 with the K♣ 9♣ on the first hand dealt to me, and folded on the flop. Still at 2:26 p.m., I was dealt my second hand; I was in the $100 big blind. The under-the-gun player limped in, and movie star Mimi Rogers raised to $850 to go from second position. Everyone else folded, and I asked Mimi, "Do you want me to call?"

She said, "Please call!"

I immediately decided that she didn't have pocket aces or pocket kings, based on the way she was acting and talking. Thus, I decided to move all in for $9,900, knowing that she couldn't call me. I was wrong.

She asked, "Do you have pocket aces?" I didn't say anything, as I started to feel that she may actually call me. Most of the pros know that I'm not stacking off on the second hand of the tournament without A-A, K-K, or A-K, especially into a $1,000 pot in which I have only $100 invested. Thus, it would give them pause when considering calling this bet with pocket queens. After all, I'm not going to show them J-J or 10-10 for all of my chips this early in this situation! But, Mimi is not a pro, and she called with pocket queens; it should be noted, however, that many pros would have called me with her pocket queens. I'm not saying that she made a bad call. Considering that I had A-K, it was an OK call, because she had $16,000 in chips and would have some left over if she lost.

Of course, at that point, they called every camera in the joint over to record the hand. With a flop of 9♠ 6♠ 2♠, her Q♣ Q♠, looked extremely strong against my A♣ K
. Now, I couldn't hit the A♠ or K♠ to win the pot. The next card was the 6, and the river card was the aforementioned A♠, which caused a second's confusion to some people, but I knew right away that I had lost the pot to Mimi's queen-high flush.

At 2:28 p.m. (it took a moment for the cameras to be moved into place), I was out of the tournament. I threw no tantrums, because I like Mimi and her call here was OK; also, I was a little too shocked to react too much. Two hands, a total of three minutes of play, and I was left wondering, "What the heck just happened?" Oh well, at least I could pick up my kids and get two days of rest before I had to be in Vegas to play in the $20,000 buyin National Heads-Up Poker Championship tournament at the Golden Nugget.

As for Mimi, she has been in more than 50 movies as an actress (she produces as well as acts); my sons remember her for her recurring role in the Austin Powers movies. A couple of years back, she very nicely told me, "Phil, I've read your book and I'm impressed with the way you play." And then she asked me for my autograph! Of course, it should have been the other way around, with me asking her for her autograph.

Mimi has been around poker a lot lately, and the word on the street is that her game has gotten very good. In fact, she finished 21st recently in the WPT Celebrity Invitational. Also, by all reports, she has shown nothing but class, and is extremely well-liked within our world. Mimi, good luck to you in all of your future endeavors.

Chat or play poker with Phil at To learn more about him or his books and DVDs, go to; for Phil's cellphone game, check out HellmuthHoldem