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Bay 101

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Mar 13, '08

Posted: March 13, 2008 11:18 AM

Sunday night: drinking with Flack

At 10:00 pm, right off of the plane, and straight into the limo I went. But my wife and kids were asleep, so I went right to the Bay 101 to hang out with my great friend, five-time bracelet winner Layne Flack. Jeanine Deeb joined us in my white stretch limo-and I invited "Durr" (Tom Dwan) to join us as well. The three of us found a little dive bar in San Jose, and hung out for an hour or two. I love Jeanine, and her father Freddie, who I've played high stakes poker with for many years. At around 1:30 am, I rolled into my house, and realized that my wife had left the hot tub on for me. It was my first time in the tub, which fits ten people comfortably. I figured out-mostly-the remote control. I took Monday off, and then played on Tuesday. On Tuesday I followed Layne Flack at, as I was heavily rooting for him. He made it through the rain, he kept himself alive.

Tuesday, bad beat at the Bay 101, and a bad call

Here is the bad beat that I took, in article form.

Bay 101, Bad Play, Bad Beat

About an hour into the tournament I was sitting on my starting chip stack of $20,000 when the following hand came up. With the blinds at $150-$300, five players limped in, and I called $75 more from the small blind with 9s-6c. The flop was Qc-9c-2d. All five of us checked, and the turn card was the 4c. I bet out $1,100, four players folded, and then Alex (a local player and a nice guy) made it $3,600 to go. I studied for a moment, and I thought that Alex probably had a weak hand that included the Ac, which would give him a draw at an ace high flush. One reason that I believed that Alex was weak was that he had played five out of the last seven hands, and he hadn't shown any of his hole cards. Thus, I assumed that he was loose and reckless. So I called the $2,500 more. The river was the 9d, and now I checked. Alex bet $7,000, and I called him right away. Oops, Alex flipped up the Ac-10c (the nut flush!) and I had made a bad call. I had put $2,500 more into the pot with second pair, with not a winnng card in the deck, and then hit a nine to pay off another $7,000 (yuck, I hate my play here!). Was the nine on the river an unlucky card? Yes, but I should have seen the strength in Alex's eyes, and folded my hand on fourth street for the $2,500 raise. I simply made a "Bad read," period, and it cost me half of my chips. If you're going to risk that kind of money with second pair, then you better have a strong read that your opponent is weak.

As to the hand where I took a bad beat, with the blinds at $150-$300, five people limped in, and I checked with 6-6 in the big blind. The flop was Ah-9h-6d, I checked, and surprisingly everyone else checked. The turn card was the 5s, and we all checked to Player B (the guy on the button) who bet $1,200. I merely called. The player directly on my left, who limped in in first position-Player L--then made it $5,000 to go. Player B then called $3,800 more, and I called for tournament director Matt Savage to come on over. In this "Shooting Star" tournament, if you took out a designated star, you won $5,000 in cash. Along with that, whenever a star was all in, the hands were flipped face up, and announced. After a brief moment I moved all-in for $5,600 more, and Player L folded his hand. Player B called with 10h-8h, and he had ten wins: he needed one of seven hearts (he couldn't hit the 5h or the 6h) to make a flush, or one of three sevens to complete a straight. So I had 34 wins to his 10 wins. The last card was the four of hearts, and I lost the pot.

What happened in this hand? I don't mind the way anyone played it. I like the checks on the flop. Player B's $1,200 bet on the turn was OK. My $1,200 call was designed to do two things: first, to lose less in case I had the worst hand: and second, to trap someone else into losing more money. The trap worked perfectly as Player L made a big bluff at the pot. When Player B called the $3,800, and didn't reraise it, I knew that I had him beat. Now, all I had to worry about was whether Player L had me beat, and that didn't seem likely. So I love my all-in move, and I do not have a problem with Player B's $5,600 call. After all, there was a $5,000 cash bounty on my head, and it looked like he had at least 10 winning cards that he could hit to win the pot. Mathematically, it cost him $5,600 to win roughly $22,400. So that he was getting laid $22,400 to $5,600 (4-to-1), when he was at worst a 3.4-to-1 underdog.

Chinese poker for piles of money!!

After I busted out, I played Chinese poker with Tim Phan and Eli Elezra. We started at $500 a point, and pretty soon I was 100 points loser, and we kicked it up to $1,000 a point. Suddenly, the number on the sheet was only 50! When it hit 67 ($67,000), I wasn't too happy, but then things swung. The next thing you knew I was up 60 points! Then Tim Phan hit 100 points loser, and we kicked it up again; to $1,500 a point. When the smoke cleared I was up 25 points, or $37,500, and I took Tim to the airport, and I drove home. Layne had 20% of me, so I won $30,000. I slept most of the day Wednesday, hung out with my family, and then headed down to watch Layne and Huck Seed play on day two. Layne made it into the money, but he was frustrated battling an internet kid who kept moving all-in. I get frustrated as well, but I want those guys at my table. I know that I'm gonna get the chips vs. a super aggressive player! Not every day, but in the long run those chips are mine. After Layne finished the day, we met Erick Lindgren (EDOG), Gavin Smith, Peter Feldman ("Nordberg"), and Smith's family for dinner at Maggiano's for dinner. The food was excellent, and they took pretty good care of us. The lines were out the door, and EDOG and company was a bit upset that it took 25 minutes to seat us. Other than that glitch, everything there was great.

At 11:00 pm, we headed out to a bar in the Hotel Valencia for some more Dom P and peach nectar which made an excellent Bellini. Then we went to the Bay 101, and right now, as I write this, Nordberg, Gavin, and I are in Kenna James room at the Stay Bridge (room 111), playing Chinese poker for $200 a point. And now, I'm handing my computer to Gavin, for a guest BLOG (and he's a little drunk, but I will not edit anything that he writes!).

Gavin begins!!

Wow I got to hang out with Phil Hellmuth! I love Phil and anytime we can spend together I absolutely love! We were watching Edog play and Phil said a random sentence, I mentioned to Edog that anything Phil says is fucking humerous and we agreed that Phil is the funniest guy ever! Off to dinner we went and apparently Phil Hellmuth is not as big as he says in the Silicon Valley. We showed up at our restaurant at our reserved time and even with Phil Hellmuth it took us 40 minutes after our reservation to finally get our table! [PH note: I only waited 10 minutes!] The dinner was great and it is totally amazing to see how these poker legends are willing to be so accepting to my family to make them feel like they are belonged, Thanks guys! We played credit card roulette for dinner and of course I lost! I love my friends they are so willing to accept my family into our crowd, my brother is my best friend in the world and I love when others get to see what a great man he is! Sorry I am kinda drunk and done,
here is Phil back!

OK, it is now 2:38 am, and I need to write my article, which is due by the time I go to bed, sigh…

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

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