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Millions of $$$$ raised during Charity week, Packers, Proud of Jeff Shulman! Shooting PAD, HSP, ESPN, Taser gun at Cantu!!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Nov 23, '09

Posted: November 23, 2009 11:12 AM

First off, let me thank Lars Sundin (, and credit him for his photo of Annette Obrestad on page 271 of my new book "Deal Me In."  I love my new book with Phil Ivey, "Deal Me In".  Stories from 20 of the world's greatest poker players about the way they became pros, in their own words--and sales are beginning to climb dramatically at, and Barnes and Nobles. 

My dad and I had a blast at the Packers/Vikings game, and after we met Troy Aikman and the Fox Crew for a delicious bratwurst pre-game, a tradition that John Madden started--we found ourselves on Lambeau Field by ourselves!  It was 12:30 pm, and as we looked across the field, I saw Aikman, three guys setting up equipment, and no one in the stands, not even security!  It was surreal, especially knowing that that field would be the center of the football universe when the game started at 3:00 pm.  At 1:00 pm, the place started to fill upWe had pre-game sideline passesAhman Green came over and gave me a high five--and when the game started we went up to a box and hung out with Jan Stenerud, Adam Timmerman, and three other lineman who had rings from the 1997 Superbowl team.  Funny that as we watched the field goal unit warm up pre-game, my father randomly mentioned Stenerud's name, and then he was in our box!  The next morning as we were leaving town Paul "Golden boy" Hornung called me to see how we had gotten along, and invited me to the Dallas Cowboy/GB Packer game two weeks laterI couldn't make it though.  Still, my dad was thrilled to chat with Hornung on the phone for awhile!  I flew right back to Vegas for another 12 days.

After putting in almost 100 hours of coaching Jeff Shulman for the "November nine," Jeff was as calm, as cool, and as collected as I have ever seen anyone on the world stage!  I was truly impressed with his demeanor, and the way that he moved his chips; I wish I could take credit for his patience, his strength, and his toughness!  His father Barry and I did coach him to play patiently, and we added a 5x opening tactic (open for five times the big blind) that I thought would enhance his chances of making the final three.  Jeff played amazing poker, and I have written four articles about our experience, two about the lessons, and two about the lay downs that Jeff made (once A-K, and once 9-9).  By the way, Jeff deserved better!  Jeff played one all in pot in like nine hours, his A-K, to Cada's A-J (I did not like his call with A-J), and when Jeff's hand held up, I felt like Jeff would win the thing!  45 minutes later, Jeff opened for $1.75 million with J-J, Cada moved all in for roughly $11 million, Jeff called, and found himself a four-and-a-half-to-one favorite to bust Cada, own $33 million in chips, and play four handed.  But alas, Cada hit a 3 for the $22 million pot!!  Then he lost a coin flip with 7-7 to the Frenchman's A-9; Jeff deserved better!!  Personally, I was not surprised that Phil Ivey came out with roughly the same game plan as Jeff, that is: play super tight, and wait for the amateurs to blow up and give their chips away
Meanwhile, during my stay in Vegas coaching Jeff, I was shooting stuff for ESPN, four "Poker after Darks," and one "High Stakes Poker!"   Busy guy!  I posted several Twitter videos ( from the sets of these TV shows, one of my monster two story suite at the Golden Nugget, and tons of other vids featuring celebs, poker players, charity tournaments, night clubs, "40 40 Club," and of my Mom and Dad.  I cannot talk about the results from these shows, but suffice to say that we made some pretty good television!

"Charity week" began when I left Vegas on Friday November 13th, landed in Montreal, and was whisked away in a limo where I played a charity event, made an appearance at another club, and then hit a nightclub (twitvids are posted!) until 2:00 am.  On Saturday, Annie Duke and I played in the charity event, and I emceed quite a bit as well while I took the chip lead!  Being that I couldn't play until the end of the event, I auctioned off my chip stack (This was a charity tournament), for $9,000 for the charity.  We raised at least $100,000 for the Starlight Foundation!  I had the microphone all night on Sunday night, and then caught a flight to Manhattan on Monday afternoon.

I flew my Mom in for the week, and we hit the "40 40 Club" and watched Monday Night Football in Jay Z's room (twitvid posted!).  On Tuesday my Mom, my sister Molly, her boyfriend Patrick, and I hit one of the best restaurants in the world for dinner: "La Bernardin."  It was an amazing meal!  Then we went to Roy "The oracle" Winston's charity event right next to the NYSE stock exchange in the "Tour Billon" shop on 45 Wall Street.  Then we met up with Bryan Colin, and club owner Mark, and hit his new joint "SL" at midnight.  Great club; and my Mom danced to rap music, and drank champagne with us until 1:45 am!  On Wednesday Night I emceed a charity event for CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) at the Mandarin Oriental, where we raised over $1 million in one night!  I love it when I can help raise that kind of money for such a worthy cause!  I almost cried when one girl opened the festivities with her story.  A doctor at CHOP not only saved her life, but saved her mobility by grafting a bone from her leg onto her spine, sick!  I had the microphone the rest of the night, and my voice held strong, but I became exhausted.

On Thursday I woke up feeling horribly tired and out of sorts, but I hopped a plane to Phoenix for my own event: at "Fort McDowell Casino."  Again, I landed and was whisked off somewhere--KO's Restaurant--where we had 40 celebs in attendance (most of them are listed at the website above), and where we shot the sickest video ever!  Poker pro Brandon Cantu getting "Tased" (shot with a Taser gun)!!  Brandon handled it like a man, and I am proud of him!  FYI, all of my twit videos are also posted at the "Official Phil Hellmuth YouTube channel," along with tons of other PH televised "Moments."  It is quite a video, and I am sure that 1 million people will watch it before the end of the year!  After a few beers, I headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep!

Friday we had the Celebrity Charity golf tournament, which had a 12:15 pm "Shot gun" start.  I arrived early and challenged "Home Improvement" star Richard Karn to a scramble match for $500 a hole.  The teams would be Karn and Kenna James vs Layne Flack and me.  Layne and I knew that we were underdogs, but it sounded like fun, and a challenge.  Layne and I birdied the first hole, a par five--with Layne hitting some great shots, and me chipping it tight and making the putt one handed, after Layne missed it.  Layne and I are like ham and eggs at the golf course!  One plays bad, the other has his back!  With only time for two holes, we were in great shape.  Layne and I both nearly holed out from the bunker on the par three for birdie, Karns missed the 25 five footer, but Kenna knocked it in the heart!  Oh well, we broke even, but Karns heart was racing, because although he was on the number one show on the planet, he has never played a golf hole for more than $5.  Also, joining us were Jeff Madsen, and Erica Shoenberg.  Erica rode with me in my cart, do you blame me?  She is one of the world's most beautiful poker players along with Annie, Jen Harmon, and Vanessa Russo.  I bet on her vs. Madsen, in what turned out to be a close match.  On Friday night, after a celeb dinner, the poker pros taught the other celebs how to play no limit Hold'em, in what was a ton of fun for both sides.  At 11:30 pm, I started a two table poker tournament, with the intent of busting Karn and Madsen!  It was time to show them who the boss was!  Since it was illegal to have a buy in, I put up $300 for first place, and we started.  Sadly, I forgot to win a pot, and found myself all in during the big blind with Qs-5s.  Karn said, "I'm glad you picked this hand!"  I said, "Pocket aces?"  He said, "Yes!"

On Saturday, I woke up at noon feeling horrible again!  My voice was in pain, and I was feeling exhausted.  I wonder why?  Maybe traveling from city to city, picking up the microphone everywhere I go, signing autographs and taking pics all day long, partying, filming TV shows, making appearances, and raising money for charity is tiring?  I guess so!  I've been going full speed for three weeks, and I need a week off to just sleep in!  Still, I knew what I had to do, so I picked up the microphone and held it ALL DAY LONG!  Madsen usually raps, but he decided to win the tournament instead, and both he and Antonio "The magician" Esfandiari played above the rim all day long.  Pretty amazing that it came down to Madsen and Antonio, heads up, considering that we had over one hundred players to start.  Antonio played great, and won it going away.

The tourney ended at 8:00 pm, and then we had the "Winners" tournament, which featured the top two finishers over five events held during the week, where 50% of the prize pool was taken out for the charity, and me.  When we hit the final five, Madsen and Antonio were the chip leaders again!  First place was a seat to the main event, second place a $5,000 set to a WSOP event, and third place a seat to a "WSOP Academy" (  Antonio took a bad beat, and Madsen finished second again, for the third time in 24 hours!  He was second in the celeb event Friday at 2:00 am, second in the main event at 7:30 pm, and second in this at 10:00 pm, still kinda impressive though.  Then we had a private party with the biggest bonfire I have ever heard of, horseshoes, a bull riding machine, and live music from country music star Mark Wills.  Too bad I was sleeping in my room by then!
Now it is Sunday night, and as I approach my home in my usual white stretch limo from the airport, writing like a madman, I am ready to take a week off!!  Not a bad week though, I helped raise over $1.5 million for some very worthy charities!

Learn more about Phil at and visit his web store at

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


over 12 years ago

I can't hear what youre saying right now because all I wanna do is punch you in the face. All i know is that if you don't fix your face, Im gonna fix it for you


over 12 years ago

I am sure a million people want to throw that punch.


over 12 years ago

i know what you guys mean, but i have learned to take hellmuth with a grain of salt. i actually like having a laugh at his "wow-don't-you-wish-you-were-me? type stories. He's really one of the best personalities in poker, and never fails to make things interesting.


over 12 years ago

still all about phil, phil,phil, like who cares, what have you won lately? You coaching probablt lessened Jeff's chances, he was playing better before the break.

lOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME I am so seld absorbed I am phill the shill!


over 12 years ago

I find him one of the most entertaining poker personas out there. How can you hate on a guy who gives so much of his time and energy helping others? Good for him for having a good time while doing it.


over 12 years ago

It's beginning to make me SICK to see and hear you on any poker show that your on. It's all about YOU YOU YOU. I bet your wife and kids get harrased for your SELFISH ACTIONS. Would you want people treating your wife and kids the way you treat people, with NO RESPECT. You need a CHANGE. Why any poker show would want you on NOW Is beyond me. Your ACT Is sooooo OLD to me. Your an IDIOT.


over 11 years ago

As much as people hate Phil Helmuth, I love the guy. He is the king of actual poker, as well as full tilt poker online. Yea, he loses, but we all do. Poker isn't a game you can always win at. There is some skill involved but there will always be the gamble.

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