Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Insurance: then Chinese for $2,000 and $3,000 a point!!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Mar 06, '08

Posted: March 07, 2008 02:17 AM

After I moved all in vs. Durr, I asked Patrick Antonius for insurance in the hand. Poor Patrick, he was simply sitting there, minding his own business, playing in his own match, and I asked him to insure my hand for $20,000 to whatever (roughly $85,000) minus 5% commission. Patrick agreed, and the bad beat that I took from Durr cost Patrick $80,000! After Durr beat me on Friday, I went to my suite. Then Patrick called me to check on when he could pay me. I told him that we should play Chinese poker at the Bellagio, and that he could pay me there. He said, "Not for less than $2,000 a point criss-cross." I said, "Let me call Doyle and see if he wants a piece." Doyle said no, but Johnny Chan said yes to taking 50% of me. Of course, I felt like I was a favorite in the match, but poor Chan, just sitting there minding his own business, ended up losing $145,000. I also lost $145,000, despite making four kings the first hand and starting ahead $24,000. I lost $290,000!! Too bad for Johnny and I, who later said, "I should have known not to take a piece of Phil after he lost with A-A, all in before the flop!" Phil Ivey had joined us by then, and Chan said, "I'm out of this match." I decided to gamble with Ivey and played him for $3,000 a point, all of my own money. At first things went poorly as I owed Ivey $250,000. But luckily I caught a nice rush after I told Ivey, "It is bad enough that you beat me with A-A vs. Ah-Kh in L. A. at the final table for a 5.2 million pot, and then won the $1.6 million I was going to win, but now you're going to take the $230,000 that I won for sixth place as well." Ivey said, "Life is good." I said, "No kidding." Then I caught my rush, and I wound up winning a small amount, after I won $54,000 on the last hand with my royalties. For the night I ended up losing $117,000, all of the $80,000 for Antonius and $37,000 to boot! Ouch.

Saturday slept too late! Cameo, in the movie…"Wolverine?"

I was planning on flying to L. A. on Saturday for the WPT Celebrity Invitational, but I slept until 3:30. I was even still considering flying all the way to Sydney, Australia on Saturday night to do a cameo in the movie "Wolverine." Daniel Negreanu was leaving LAX Saturday night at around 10:00 pm, and I loved the idea of joining him. I was told that we were wanted for a key scene, even though we may only have received a few seconds of screen time, and not much money for the deal. So what? Of all of the poker players that were invited, Daniel and I both wanted to go!! I mean: how cool is that? I'm surprised that the other poker players didn't want to do it, but the travel was severe, the money not much, and the advance notice not more than a few days. I would have gone, but I committed to do an event for in Toronto on the eighth called the Cross Canada Tour, and they needed me on set through the evening of the eighth. Oh well, I hope Daniel represents for the poker world!

No Sydney, no L. A., no problem, I would watch Matusow vs. Ferguson (Ferguson won a huge pot-all in pre-flop--for all the money with his Kh-Qh vs. Matusow's Ad-6d), and then play blackjack with an old NFL quarterback friend (who is a cool guy) and my buddy, college football announcer, David Norrie. Also on the docket was a potential meeting with Jeff Gordon and Mario Andretti. Instead of the blackjack, I went to a concert where I hung out back stage with country music star Blake Shelton. I'm not a huge country music fan, but I loved Blake's music. He has two songs that I now listen too way too often: "Some beach" and "The more I drink." I went with Doyle Brunson, his son Todd, and a few friends. We were drinking beers at a pretty good clip, and before long, Doyle gave his $1,000 Stetson hat (right off of his head) to the fiddle player. The fiddle player then gave Dolly his Rosin (the thing that you pull back-and-forth on the fiddle). Later, I gave my hat to the guitar player, who was a huge fan of mine. The concert was held outdoors, in front of the Four Queens, right underneath the "Fremont Street Experience." We also set up VIP tickets for the next day with Elliot Sadler's NASCAR team. The only problem was that I had to get up Sunday morning at 9:00 am! The drivers meeting was at 11:00 am.

NASCAR VIP pass, who's signing all those autographs?

I was lucky that the "Caesar's Palace" limo department told me, "Phil, we can't get in and out of there, you'll need to have a limo on the grounds standing by." Thank you, thank you!! My limo stood by for three or four hours, and exiting before the race ended was fast and easy (traffic there is usually a nightmare). When I arrived on the grounds, after we hit the press pass trailer (where you need a valid drivers' license-good security!), we walked around and bumped into a NASCAR legend. He guided us to Elliot's trailer, where I met Chip Ganassi (in the trailer next door), who seemed like a pretty good guy. Walking around the grounds, I was mobbed with autograph seekers, some even had my picture with them! (That's pretty sick.) When Elliot, Blake and I walked to the drivers meeting, people were screaming our names. I was humbled at the number of them that screamed my name! I guess that that is good for my Ego. The driver's meeting was pretty cool-but a little slow--and there were tons of celebs in there, and all of the drivers. I bumped into NASCAR driver Robby Gordon, and we chatted for a moment. I attended the drivers meeting with Robby two years ago, and sat in his pit stop area, next to his crew chief. I remember two years ago, when Robin Leach ("Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous") called my name and I walked across the NASCAR stage right after Robby did, and 250,000 people all Booed me! I was depressed until they booed Jeff Gordon, at which point I was like, "This is all right!"

I chatted briefly with Troy Aikman, who I have golfed with, and have had lunch with, in the past. My great friends, Carl and Jimmy Lou Westcott, that have been Troy's friends forever, tell me that Troy is truly an awesome guy. I told Troy how much I loved his pre-Super Bowl deal on FOX this year, where they showed him in the locker room talking about his three Super Bowl rings. I admit it Troy, I was a fan of yours then (as the quarterback for the Cowboys), and now (as the number one announcer at FOX). Especially I'm a fan of Troy's, after the way my friends the Westcott's talk him up as a person. Of course, I do look forward to beating Troy out of some small cash (maybe $400?) at the golf course, again (there's the needle Troy!).

We sat in Elliot's booth on pit row, and after the first pit stop, we called the limo and left. I went straight to Caesars Palace and sweated the final four, including my bold friend Huck Seed vs. Andy Bloch, and Phil Ivey vs. Chris Ferguson. I bet Ivey $22,000 to $20,000 on Huck to win. I lost that $22,000, but at least Ferguson, who had already beat Ivey, gave me insurance on the last hand between Huck and Andy. Huck had 9-9, and Bloch had A-Q. Bloch had a chip lead, but the pot was still pretty big. I bet $10,000 on Bloch's hand. It came down 6-6-7-5, and then I told Ferguson, "I think an ace is coming." Ferguson said, "I do too," and Bam, there it was, an ace. I was sick, I was rooting hard for Huck to comeback from his tough times, and show the world who he really is. Let the record show that Huck is a great player, with tons of talent. It was now 5:50, and I rushed off to catch my 7:00 flight home.

Two side bets are notable: first, I paid Huck $10,000 for keeping his weight below 185 pounds for the month of February (I can call for up to two weigh ins per month), although he admitted to me that he blew up to 190 after he busted out in L. A. The second bet is the one everyone in poker is talking about. Ivey bet the L. A. Lakers to win the championship over the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons, but he laid two-to-one. Only thing is: I cannot bet against the Lakers! I love Jerry Buss and Frank Mariani too much…

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
Newsletterbanner Twitterbanner Fbbanner

Most Viewed Blogs