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The Best Damn Poker Tournament

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Nov 30, '07


Hello again, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have been having great thing after great thing happen to me over the last few weeks. Let's see, what can I talk about? First off, before I get started let me share with y'all an 8 minute video that I just watched on youtube. I am hosting the "Best Damn Poker Show" on FSN with Annie Duke, and it is more of a reality show with "Phil's Team" vs. "Annie's Team," with team managers (Poker Ho - Mark Kroon is my manager), some celebrities (rock stars Sully Erna and Scott Ian, actress Jennifer Tilly, and actor Patrick Warburton), some qualifiers, and some people we just pick from their video submissions. Click here to check it out. It is eight minutes long, and both of my sons sat through it, and we all enjoyed it!

A few weekends ago, my wife and I went to Vegas. I was hosting a "VIP Tournament"-a $500,000 free roll for some of their clients-at the Mirage. The Mirage sent a beautiful jet up for me and one of their low key clients. This Mirage client doesn't like any press, so I'll call him Mr. C (C = cool). In any case, my wife and I hit it off well with him and his girlfriend. He is low key, but I am high key! I did the event for only $30,000, because it involved a nice private jet, some really cool world class people, a beautiful suite, and I knew I'd have a lot of fun. While I was there I made a royal flush in ten minutes of high limit slot play, for $20,000. As great as that was, the highlight of my trip was hanging out with Arnon Milchan and his wife (she is low key, but he is high key; exactly like my wife and I). They were just great people. Our wives laughed at Arnon and I because we showed some ego, but both wives agree that we are also down to earth. Arnon is amazing, and I love it when I hit it off so well with someone like him. Tons of times every single year I meet celebs or billionaires, and I'm indifferent. Sometimes, it's a pleasure to hang out with someone, and I'll make an effort to stay in touch with them. Sometimes, you just absolutely love someone, and that was the case with Arnon. And he has done it all! Google him and check out the number of projects that he has done-"L. A. Confidential," "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," and "Malcolm in the Middle" are three that didn't do too badly. The fact that both of our wives absolutely hate the spotlight is pretty cool as well. Out of courtesy to her, I won't even mention her name!

Portland again!

On Tuesday night I flew up to Portland Oregon to watch the Davis Cup. I offered some private poker lessons to the Davis Cup team on Wednesday night, through Andy Roddick and James Blake, but they were swamped. Of course, some of my best buddies live up here, and it was great to chill with Jon Karl and Greg Pierson. Greg and Jon are the Founders of Iovation, and Iovation just received $15 million from Intel. I am lucky enough to be a shareholder in Iovation, and the prospects look amazing.

I rented the "Grand Suite" at the Heathman Hotel, where the best rate was $1,000 a night. The room was opulent, but a little small, especially when compared to the regular suites at only $240 a night. The Grand was bigger, but not by too much. On Thursday night I went to a little bar to watch my beloved Green Bay Packer's play the Dallas Cowboy's (probably my second favorite team), and I loved the first three quarters of the game. Friday it was a pleasure to watch Roddick and Blake kick some ass. I texted Blake that he was "Tenacious!" I believe that the US Team is almost a lock to win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1995, they only need one more point in the next three matches; and we have the Bryan Brothers playing doubles for us Saturday.

Friday night I went out to grab dinner alone, and it seemed like everyone in the restaurant knew who I was! One woman stared at me as she walked by (I was in a secluded area to avoid detection), and then when her husband said, "Don't stare at him, it's rude." She said, "Oh no, he doesn't mind." Well, I was trying to eat, and it's pretty awkward when someone stares at you as they walk by. I overheard one guy go on and on about "He is an Icon, he is a Legend, he is an all-time great." Finally, his girlfriend picked up her cell phone and said, "Yep, he's in here right now! No, really it is…David Lee Roth." OK, maybe I'm not as big as I think!

Saturday I have a private jet to Vegas where I host a charity poker tournament for the "Fallen Officers Foundation." Maybe you read about it in "USA Today" (the weekend issue out right now)? We will raise a lot of money and have a lot of fun. If the Davis Cup team wins, then they may fly to Vegas to celebrate, and I'll be buying them some Dom and Cristal. On Tuesday we begin shooting our reality show in southern California.

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

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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