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The Scoop: Adam Levy Discusses Battling Hellmuth and the ‘Queen-Ten’ Rant

by Erik Fast |  Published: Apr 04, 2012


Adam Levy, known to many by his online screen name “Roothlus”, has been a regular on the tournament scene for years, with his earliest live cashes dating back to 2006. Since then, he has garnered lifetime tournament earnings of more than $3.4 million, with his biggest score coming from his 12th place finish in the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event for $635,011.

Levy was first introduced to the televised-poker viewing public during ESPN’s coverage of the 2008 WSOP main event, where he finished 48th. During his deep run, Levy become involved in a big hand with Phil Hellmuth that sent the 11-time bracelet winner on one of his classic tirades, bemoaning his fortune to his wife saying, “they called a raise with queen-ten, honey!” Levy stopped by the set of Card Player TV’s “The Scoop” to discuss the hand in question and Hellmuth’s ensuing rant.

“The hand was just weird, because he raised to 12,000 preflop with pocket eights and I called with QClub Suit 10Club Suit. On the flop of JHeart Suit 9Heart Suit 6Diamond Suit, he bet like 15,000 and I called. So the 8Diamond Suit came off on the turn, bringing two flush draws. He checked, and I bet, but perhaps my bet was a little small, but I thought that he was just going to give up a lot of the time. I felt that if he had a flush draw, he would have bet, if he had top pair he would have bet, so I just didn’t really think he had much. So I thought I’d just try to make it look a little weak. Also, to him I was just a random, so he might check raise me with nothing.

“So I bet 45,000 and he called, and the board completed JHeart Suit 9Heart Suit 6Diamond Suit 8Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit, with no flush so I had the nuts. Then he bet 60,000 and said something to the effect of, ‘I’m not tricky enough to play queen-ten this good, am I?’ It is still such a weird line to me. There were infinite flush draws and straight draws on the turn, and I would think that he would check-raise or bet big on the turn. It was just such a weird line to me, so I didn’t think that he had much. Had I thought that he had a set, I would have shoved, but if I shoved I wonder if he would’ve made the hero fold. He is the only person who actually might fold because he’s on TV and he dodges bullets. I probably could have made it like 210,000, just because he called pretty quickly when I raised to 155,000. But honestly I was just raising because I had the nuts, I did not think I was getting called.

“Honestly, after that he went on the rant they edited it down to like two minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. We went on break after that, and when he came back he whispered to the guy next to him, ‘They told me that this was the best rant I have ever had. The producers loved it!’

“It was really funny. Phil is always gathering ammo. The ‘Northern European’ line that he used on some guy that same year, earlier he was like, ‘Oh, you’re from Finland? That’s great, I’ve been there, I loved it.’ I actually appreciated him more after he went off on me, and I saw the whole process. There was a guy during the rant that said to Phil, ‘You were playing jack-four buddy!’ Phil then went off on him too, but the guy was right because Phil was raising a lot.

“Granted, at that point I had done well but hadn’t been on TV much, so I thought it was even more important for me to react well. I didn’t want to be the guy who just gets up in his face. A lot of people were like, ‘you should punch him.’ And I was like, no, I am just going to act like it didn’t phase me.”

To see host Diego Cordovez’s full interview with Levy, check out “The Scoop” on ♠