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The World Series of Poker

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Jun 03, '08

Posted: June 03, 2008 10:39 AM

I missed the first tournament on Friday to attend Court Westcott's wedding to Cameron Allen. It was an amazing wedding, right out of a story book, in the hills of Santa Barbara. The other poker players couldn't seem to understand that I would miss a $10,000 buy in pot limit Hold'em WSOP tournament for a wedding, but I think that it shows that I have my priorities straight. I arrived on Sunday for day two of the second tournament via the Westcott's Challenger 604, and that was an easy trip, and a lot of fun-luckily Jimmy Lou and Chart Westcott were headed to Vegas for a jewelry show. I came in with my NASCAR suit on, and lasted less than an hour when I lost with A-K and Q-Q in back-to-back hands. Then I went out to "Fix" at the Bellagio (try the lobster tacos appetizer!) for dinner with Jimmy Lou and Chart, and then to my all-time favorite show "Love"-at the mirage--courtesy of Phil Ivey getting our tickets taken care of (Thanks Phil!). Then I went back to the Bellagio with Chart to "Club Prive" where I smoked cigars and drank "Louis XIII" at $190 a shot. After Chart left at 2:00 am, I hung out there by myself for a few hours. It seemed like I was feeling sorry for myself, or maybe I was a little depressed. But why? My life seems about perfect. Maybe having the 12 million cans out didn't make me as happy as I thought it would. Maybe lasting only one hour affected me. Or possibly I just plain needed to gather my thoughts, ask myself why I'm in Vegas, and remind myself that I need to use all of my powers to win. All of them, no matter what they are. I need to use all of my reading abilities, all of my positive thinking, all of my concentration, all of my best tactics, all of my abilities, period. Only by a full out assault on the WSOP can I achieve my goals. I need to be at "Full Power." After sitting around gathering my thoughts I went to the poker room at the Bellagio and started a chinese game with Raffi (the world famous children's singer), Roland De Wolfe, and Josh Arieh. I lost around $30,000, and actually had to borrow $10,000 from Raffi! Even worse, I stayed up until 9:45 am playing. So I withdrew from the tournament at noon, and signed up for the 5:00 pm event. I took a tough beat when Justin Bonomo beat my Q-Q with 10h-9h (I did slow play it the whole way-8-7-2-4-6). Justin raised it up before the flop, and then he bet every street, and I just called every street. At 2:15 I went all-in with Ac-Qc, and was called by someone with 9s-5s, when I nine hit on the river, I was out with only 15 minutes to go on day one. The great news is that I was only all in twice all day, and I'm playing a great game right now. If I can keep playing at this level the whole month, then I'll be very pleased. The world still seems to misunderstand Hold'em, and that's fine with me!

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