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Off to the races!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Jun 24, '07


HORSE bets, and chip count

First off, at the HORSE 15 minute break I lost $24,000 playing Doyle Chinese poker at $1,000 a point, with a deck that had his picture on all of the cards. After Doyle left, I asked the girls in the VIP lounge to go buy 5 new decks, which they did for me. At the next break, I won back $12,000, and at the dinner break I caught a rush, and was actually up $50,000 for the day at one point. By then we were playing with Doyle, Chip Reese, Barry Greenstein, and John Juanda. Then I lost every hand, and quit at $18,000 winner for the day.

In the HORSE I was pleased to play my best poker all day long, and John Hennigan and Jason Lester (both played with me all day long) thought that I played "Great." I think that my skills in HORSE are under-estimated, period. In any case, I ended the day with $158,000 in chips (we started with $100,000). At one point, when I didn't win a single Hold'em hand (30 minutes), only one small Omaha 8/b (30 minutes) pot, and then only two nates in 15 minutes of Razz, I started smiling and feeling really happy. Why? Because I knew that if I had a run like that ten years ago, then I would have blown off $100,000 or so. Given that run five years ago, I would have lost an extra $20,000 or so. But today I didn't give a chip away. I guess that that means that I'm now a "Man!" I'm now fully mature in poker, and in total control of my emotions, myself, and my surroundings. It felt pretty damn good!!

As to the 30 players that I bet $20,000 apiece against on final table bets, here are their names (I did not choose them, I just gave Tim Phan 30 players of his own choosing): Eli Elezra, Doyle, Chip, Todd Brunson, Huck Seed, David Benjamine, David Oppenheim, Tim Phan, Ted Forrest, Ray D, Jeff Lisandro, John Hennigan, Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Freddy Deeb, Tuan Lee, Johnny Chan, Nick Shulman, Chua Giang, Allen Cunningham, John Juanda, Abe Moussari, Jennifer Harmon, Jason Lester, Billy Gazes, Greg Mascio, David Singer, Chad Brown, Dewey Tomko, and John Han. There are a bunch of picks that I cannot believe that they left off the list like Ralph Perry. The most that Tim and his group can win is $160,000, if he has 8 players at the final table (8 handed). The most that I can win is $600,000, if I make the final table and none his picks make it. I figure that the most they can really win would be $40,000-$60,000 (2 or 3 players in the finals). I also bet Gus Hanson and Abe vs. Matusow and I, $10,000 apiece final table, and $20,000 for the win. So if I win, then I collect a $40,000 "Win bet," plus $20,000 "Final table bet."

I do not want to tell any bad beat stories, rather I would love to just make it past day two. I believe that I'm ready to play well enough to win this thing, so that's what I need to focus on.

Learn more about Phil by going to his website, and visit his Web store at

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