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Hall of Fame baby!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Jul 07, '07


Exhausted, but happy!

I woke up at 2:00 pm, after only five hours of sleep, and called the WSOP. At that point I was told that re-buys ended at 2:00 pm! I ask them to re-buy and double add on for me, and I head on over to play. Daniel Negreanu is at my table, and in the same boat! We both thought that re-buys went until 3:00 pm; we both called in at 2:00 pm to double check it, and we both rebought for the max. And we're both upset at ourselves for not checking the schedule. Of course, we both were told that the rebuys were until 3:00 pm by friends, sigh. Whatever, I'm defending champ, and I don't need any excuses; I need bracelets! I make it to the end of the day and the final 110 players, of which 99 get paid. I'm a bit short with only $22,000 in chips. One interesting hand that came up was when I had Q-Q, and the player in the first position opened for $3,200 or so. The next player studied a minute, then moved all-in for $15,000 or so (I had $24,000 or so). The all-in player is talking and talking. He sees me study, and he continues talking. I say, "I can't fold this hand." He says, "Good, then I'll make some TV coverage!" I muck my queens within 30 seconds, but show them to the internet players on my right and left. The player on my left (named Sorrel, I remember his name because I battled him at the WPT Championships two months ago) says, "I'll lay you 2.2 that you weren't dominated." I say, "I should take your money. In fact, the guy has exactly A-A." I don't know how, but the original raiser calls all-in with A-Q, and our man shows us, A-A. I say, "That's Hold'em, there will be a time later that I call in all-in with 10-10." Strangely, I had exactly that opportunity, but didn't follow through on it. And that was my only regret of the day. I am proud of myself for making through the day, as exhausted as I was…

Another record (63rd cash), who cares?

I went in ready to play hard. All I had to do was move from 115 players to the final nine, and then win number bracelet 12! Once we hit 99 players (the money) I moved all-in for $25,000 with A-9 in early position. With the blinds at $1,500-$3,000, that play would be reasonable for most players, but it is not the right move for me. I need to fold, and win my chips using the "Hellmuth magic." Why gamble there? I was punished when the big blind picked up A-K and I went broke. Why not fold? I mean, I could limp in with a hand later on, or maybe win a big pot when THEY move in with A-9, and I pick up A-K. One bad thing about my style is that I do not play two tournaments at once, so I had to skip the $1,500 buy-in limit Hold'em shoot out, which is a great tournament for me. I seriously considered buying in, but sleep and total dedication to day two of the no limit kept me out.

I might as well announce now that I'm being inducted into the "Poker Hall of Fame" Thursday. Thursday is busy as well. First I teach from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm at the "WSOP Academy" at Caesars Palace, then I do a demo of the new PS3 WSOP game (actually it is on all systems) which features me from 1:00 - 2:00, then from 2:00 - 4:00 I go into the Hall along with Barbara Enright, then I MC Annie Duke and Don Cheadles "Ante up for Africa" event for Darfur until 10:00 pm. By the way, I am planning on playing the big one on Saturday.

Deuce tournament: hot early, not so hot late

On Wednesday I played the Deuce to seven no limit tournament. I believe that I will one day win this event. I had a "Vision" of me winning it someday, but apparently not this year. Also, I needed exactly first place in the deuce to win the WSOP "Player of the Year" award. The good news is that I only risked $15,000 in the tournament. The bad news is that I didn't make it past 9:30 pm. I made tons of hands early, but almost zero hands late. My patient style kept me in there, and the fact that I hit the deck against Doyle (Doyle had a 10-8-6-4-2 and I had 9-6-4-2 - hit a 3) and won. In any case, it is all over save the big one. By the way, there was a great battle going on for the WSOP Player of the year between Jeff Lisandro and the current leader. I'm not sure what happened, but I know that it was down to the wire.

Hall of Fame baby!!! (Finally!)

My great day started at 10:45 am (ouch!) when I did two hours of teaching on stage with Joe Hachem and Greg Raymer at the WSOP Academy. These guys are pros, and we meshed really well. Next it was off to the Activision booth at the WSOP convention center where I played for an hour vs. five lottery winners; one of them would win a WSOP seat. I love my new character, and the add campaign that they have for ESPN. More later on that campaign, which will be five commercials running on ESPN. Then it was time to go into the Hall, and I was thrilled to have in attendance: my wife, my sister Molly, my dad (my mom had to leave), Iovation CEO Greg Pierson, UBT (Ultimate Blackjack Tour) CEO Russ Hamilton, Carl and Court Wescott, and my most trusted advisor Dan Friedberg (and his wife Reina). The above represent my best friends, and some of my family. Of course, John Bonetti is one of my best friends, but he cannot leave his house right now while he battles cancer (for the fourth time). I cannot describe what it is like to go into the Hall, it just seemed like another day in many respects, but a big smile never left my face.

There was not much time to dwell on it though, as I had to play in, and MC the "Ante up for Africa" event. As great as the day was, the next day was that bad! I left the party at midnight feeling a bit sick, and came down with full fledged food poisoning all night and all day Friday, ouch! In any case, my next BLOG entry will talk about the celeb party. By the way, I switched starting dates from Saturday to Monday…

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

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