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Final Table, Nelly, "Love," my son Nick, proud that UB coughs up $22 million

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Dec 03, '08

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Posted: December 03, 2008 04:45 PM

On Friday I grabbed my youngest son out of school early, and rushed over to the San Jose private jet terminal to catch a ride with my businessman friend Dave Williams to Vegas on the MGM/Mirages Gulfstream 350 (call it a remodeled G4). The jet left at 3:30 pm, and one cardinal rule is this: never ever show up late for someone else's jet! I love flying private as you take the limo right to the jet on the tarmac, hop on the jet, and you're gone! Then you land, and hop in another limo: so quick, so painless, so easy. Earlier in the day I received a text that Nelly wanted to hang out with me. Nelly was playing in a tournament at the "Hard Rock" Hotel Friday at noon, and by all accounts Nelly played well until he had his pocket aces cracked. In any case, I suggested dinner, and his people agreed. But it didn't happen, which is no big deal (I figure I'll meet him at some point) except my son wanted a picture with him for his "Facebook" page. Next my son and I hit dinner at "Yellowtail" at the Bellagio, and we sat on the balcony and watched 4 - 5 iterations of the water show. They take pretty good care of me in Vegas. Yellowtail was completely sold out, but they found me the best table in the house in under five minutes (thank you, thank you!). At 10:00 pm my son and I hit "Love" (Nick's third time seeing it, and my seventh), which is my favorite show of all time. "Love" has gotten even better as they've added a few wrinkles.

Saturday I did an appearance at the Rio at 10:00 am (ouch!), and then my son and I watched a movie. At 3:00 pm, we attended Hoyt Corkins charity event at the opening of the Harley Davidson store in north Las Vegas. Then we rushed off to do the "Real Deal" at 5:00 pm, where I was onstage. My son loved the "Real Deal!" Then we hit "Carne Vino" at the Palazzo for dinner, and the food was great one more time. Joe Bastianich himself hosted Sciott Ian, Pearl Aday, my wife, and I the last time I ate there. Speaking of Bastianich, I am eating at his and Mario Batallia's world class restaurant "Esca" Tuesday night at 5: 30 pm in NYC. Speaking of awesome chefs, I invited Bobby Flay to our charity tournament Wednesday in NYC at the Mandarin Oriental, and he accepted, so I will hit his restaurant "Bar American" Wednesday night, and I hear that the food is out of this world. The charity event begins at 7:00 pm, and is open to the public-we are raising money for the "Philadelphia Children's Hospital." Many celebs will be there, and Phil Ivey, Annie Duke, and I will be there on the poker side. The buy in is $5,000 and the winner gets to name the new wing of the hospital!! How cool would that be?!? Welcome to the "Hellmuth Wing!"

On Sunday I hung out at the WSOP final table all day long with Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, and Barry Greenstein. I was impressed with the play of Ivan Demidov and Peter Eastgate, and I felt like they deserved to be the last two standing. Of course, if Eastgate wins, then I lose my record of being the "Youngest World Champion" in history. Still, if Eastgate wins, then it is great for poker, so it is OK. Of course, it is also great for poker if Demidov wins. Monday I did an event for Miller beer at the Rio, and then I hopped a plane to NYC (I'm writing this BLOG on the plane). On Thursday I fly home, but look for Ivey and I late night at a club like "10 June" or "40 40" one of these nights!

I am proud of UltimateBet.com because they stepped up to the plate and paid off $22 million in refunds! Many sites would have run away and pleaded that it wasn't their problem. It would have been rally easy to blame others. It would have been easy to say, "We bought UB awhile back, and we inherited a mess that was created in the past. Why should we clean it up?" But I would have resigned if that were the case. Instead, because they paid out $22 million in refunds, and began restoring the reputation of the site, I re-signed with UB!

Paul Leggett is a strong CEO that has universal respect from within the online poker community. Under his watch I believe that great things will happen. UB will get its reputation back, and merge with Absolutepoker.com to form one of the world's largest internet sites, one that I will be proud of representing. Go UB go!

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