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Penthouse Pot

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Apr 11, '07

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Thursday night in Portland, Ore, at the penthouse suite in the Heathman Hotel, I lost an $110,000 pot! Ouch, but the good news is that I only lost $10,000 of my own money in the pot. You see "All-in Magazines" Casey Thompson was in the game (Casey is dating 2004 Miss America winner Shandi Finnessey, who was recently eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars") and Casey was in the game $200,000. This was to be the second to last pot of the night, and the action got a little crazy, when Russ Hamilton, Casey, and I put in $10,000 each before the flop. The flop came down 9h-5d-2c, Russ and Casey checked, and I bet $40,000 or so with K-8-7-6 (an inside wrap straight draw). Russ folded instantly, and Casey began to think. It was at this point that I realized that Casey had only $40,000 left, and that he was calling this bet for sure, if he anything pair at all. I mean why not, Casey would lose $160,000 for the night if he folded, if he called and lost, he would only lose $200,000, but if he called and won he would only lose $90,000. Plus, Casey loves to gamble so he called (actually we agreed to put in $40,000 each, even though the pot only had $30,000 in it) with Q-Q-10-8. I then looked at Russ and asked for insurance (insurance is when you lay off some of or all of the risk).

We thought that it was a pretty close scenario, I needed a 8, 7, or 6 for a straight, or a K for a pair. Or I could hit running straights like with 4-3. So Russ said give me 10% juice if you win the pot. Then I said, "OK, for $40,000 to $44,000." He said, "Wait a minute, I don't want to do it." I said, "Don't deal yet (Russ was dealing the hand), how about if I give you 15% percent, or you collect $46,000 if I win the pot vs. you pay me $40,000 if I lose the pot." He agreed, and he turned off a 7! Woo hoo, I was home baby! But wait a minute, I immediately saw that Casey had a redraw. He needed a 6 or a Jack to make a higher straight. The last card was a 6, and I lost the $110,000 pot. Russ lost $40,000 on a hand he didn't even play! In reality, I only lost the $30,000 in the middle, and only $10,000 of my own money on the hand.

I noticed that for the first time in several hours, I was losing money for the night ($2,500). So I stayed to play Casey heads up for awhile. I immediately beat him out of $50,000, whereupon he beat me multiple pots with hands like 7-3, and 8-4 off suit. Boy did the 8-4 off suit work well for him vs. me that night! He won several pots with it, and at 9:00 am I quit, losing $17,500 to Casey, and $20,000 in total for the night, which was my low point for the night.

The final straw was when Casey dealt the cards, I looked down at Qh-Jh, and he said, "Whoops, I didn't let you cut the cards. Do you want to play the hand or not?" I said, "I don't care, whatever." He said, "I don't care, whatever, you choose." (Casey was being more than fair when he gave me the option to play or not to play.) I didn't think it out, because all the other pots where I didn't cut, we played out the pot, or I stopped him before I looked at my cards. But to be nice, I said, "I have something but we won't play it out." Then I looked at his Q-5 hand, and the Q-J-4 flop and realized that I would have won at least $7,000 on this hand, but probably more like $10,000. Something in me just snapped, and I gave up.

Do I think I could have won big had I soldiered on? Yes, but only if I had the heart and the will. Instead, I just wanted to get some sleep as I had a bad taste in my mouth from the three or four 8-4 off suits Casey had used to beat me. One time, I raised it up $1,000 more, into $400 with K-J, and Casey called with 8-4. After K-Q-8-4-3, I had lost over $20,000!!

Learn more about Phil by going to his website, www.PhilHellmuth.com and visit his Web store at www.PokerBrat.com.

 
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 CardPlayer.com.
 
 
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