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Record Man!

by Phil Hellmuth |  Published: Jun 07, '07


Love the fight! Smiling Phil!

I love the fight here in these tournaments at the WSOP. No matter what happens, whether bad beats, or bad runs, or my own bad plays, or the other players bad plays; I leave happy everyday. I'm playing my best poker, and I feel very much in control. The fact that I'm still in there everyday after so much BS tells me that I'm playing my best poker. Today, I was smiling ear-to-ear at several points in the tournament, despite not catching any cards. I was dancing to my IPOD in my chair. I was having fun, and I know that I'm right where I'm supposed to be right now. I'm having a blast, bring on the next tournament!!!!

Stop asking me about AROD!

I haven't seen or spoke to AROD since I MCed his charity event in Jan. 2006. Still, people keep asking me about him. I will say this much: AROD got a raw deal when they put him on the front page of the NY Daily News last year (or was it the Post?), linking him with "Illegally playing poker with Phil Hellmuth at a Manhattan Poker Club." First, it was not illegal to play. Second, almost every athlete that I've ever met plays Hold'em. Jordan, Jay-Z, Bonds (haven't met him), AROD, Parker, Duncan, Roddick, Blake, and that's just to name a few. Third, AROD showed up with his wife, at 11:00 pm, after a Yankees game; then played for one hour, called to check on his baby, drank water, and left up $2,000. What a non-story that was! Yet he was in almost every newspaper in America, sick! The only part of the story that was even notable was that he showed up in a taxi cab, which is a good thing and shows that he's down to earth sometimes…Personally, I think he is a great guy, and yes, he is a good poker player.

Record man!

I made the money and the end of the day with $92,000 in chips. It was my 58th time in the money, which breaks my own record (or rather adds to my record). I feel like I have a great shot at making the final table, even though there are 120 players left. Someone will have to play spectacularly bad vs. me to take me out, and most players don't play THAT bad. I went for a 3:00 am extra hard workout, to try to get some energy. Doyle told me he bet $400,000 on me to win a bracelet. I believe that I will have many chances this year, including a great one tomorrow.

Here is a hand that I played in today's tournament. With the blinds at $200-$400, Player A opened for $1,200 in early position; Englishman John Gale called the $1,200, and Player B made it $2,500 to go. I looked down at pocket jacks, and said to myself, "Oh man! Now what do I do?" Upon closer inspection, Player B had about $6,000 in chips, and I had about $8,000. Generally speaking, pocket jacks is not a good hand to play when it is raised and reraised in front of you. On top of that, what really scared me was the minimum reraise from Player B. How could he only reraise $1,300? How
indeed, unless he had exactly pocket aces! So I threw my hand away. Player A threw away pocket tens, Gale threw away A-Q, and Player B flashed the aces of spades. Because he flashed exactly the aces of spades, I wasn't convinced that he had pocket aces, but, oh well. Certainly, he had A-K at the very minimum. Even if it was A-K, I was only a small favorite to win the pot. Later on, I realized that Player A must have had A-A, because he said he had them, and because he played so tight, even folding pocket queens to my all-in raise (I had A-K).

Check out my VBLOG! It is emotional, to say the least!!!!

I now have a VBLOG at several sites, (including RawVegas and Facebook), and check this out. You can have the "Phil Hellmuth VBLOG" up and running at your own site!! Just go through, and download my VBLOG to your site in minutes! You can also set up your own Syndicated channel (or whatever), and download media (videos) to that channel at Youtube. My 13 year old son Nick set up his own Syndicated channel, with mostly music videos (Nirvana and Guns and Roses) from Youtube, and he set up in twenty minutes, so it is easy to do.

Try to bluff me when he's on top of my game???

I was ready, 100% ready. I came in at 2:05 pm, and I was ready to navigate the field. I knew what to do, and I knew how to do it. It was just another day at the office for me, except for the fact that I had an excellent chance to make history. Twenty minutes into the tournament, a weird hand came up. It was my second hand at my new table, and I was in the small blind with 9c-9s (my hand, two black nines!). Player X (for X Factor!) opened for $5,000 in middle position, and everyone folded around to me. I'm not excited by nines, even if they are my legendary black nines. Still, I sat there stacking up my chips to let him know I was considering a reraise. I believe that most players know that I rarely reraise before the flop. So that when I do, I'm super strong. That's when X opened his mouth saying, "You don't want to mess with me, just ask so-and-so over there." His talking in this manner let me know that he was relatively weak, and I decided to trust my read and raise it up $10,000 more. X acted frustrated, like he was weak, then asked, "How much more?" The dealer told him that it was $10,000 more, and now X called. The flop was 4s-3d-2s, and I bet out $15,000 saying, "You flopped a set on me, huh?" He then announced, "I'm all-in." I studied for two minutes feeling like I was going to call, when someone at the table called a clock on me. Whoever it was, he was way out of line, and the floor man told him so. Then he cried that I was getting special treatment!! You cannot call a clock on someone after two minutes, unless they are repeat offenders (slow all of the time), and I'm not. I just sat down, and I haven't been slow at all this year.

Back to the hand. I had $37,100 left and couldn't shake the feeling that I had the best hand. I started talking to X, and he gave away even more weakness. Finally I said, "I call." X said, "Great call," and rolled over Ac-Jc. The table said, "Wow, what an amazing call Phil made." And it is true that I do not like to play big pots with medium pairs, but when they bluff me in, then I have to call. What are these idiots (err..people) thinking? They want to bluff the best Hold'em player in the world when
he's at the very top of his game??!?? Such a sick thing to try, and for what? Risk all of your chips against someone who knows your hole cards? I couldn't help but think of Danneman and Matusow (A-J vs 10-10, all-in on the 5-3-2 flop), except that I had reraised pre-flop, which made X's play much worse. Just as everyone was telling me what a great call made, just as I was realizing that I may have the chip lead, the turn card was the 5d.

Phil injures himself after bad beat!

When the 5d hit, I shouted, "No!" and flung myself backwards onto the ground (too bad there were no cameras around, they would have loved that!). The problem is that I bruised my thigh pretty good when I landed on my round tin of Carmex. My thigh really hurts!! How could I get eliminated after twenty minutes? An idiot making an idiotic play, and forcing me to call him, because he was so easy to read (I knew that I had him beat). So sick. Or maybe I could have had K-K vs A-A, but I may have even got away form that hand. How sick is this: X actually jumped up and down and cheered, when he hit the 5d, and had his horrendous play rewarded. I would have felt crappy, and apologized to my opponent. I doubt X will make the final 50 playing like that, I mean how could he? The next time he'll try that BS, miss his hand, say, "Great call," and give MY chips to someone else.

The biggest weakness of the players at the WSOP this year: patience. They think they have to do crazy stuff, instead of just pick off the people that do crazy stuff. Could I have bet more on the flop and won the pot? Absolutely, but I always give the bad players a chance to raise me when I'm strong. Oftentimes they do, and that's why I have 10 bracelets. Here I sit, feeling dejected and frustrated, when I'm the one who's playing nearly perfect! Wake up Phil and smell the "Pro Player," stay the course!!! Don't go out drinking, don't change strategies (except minor day-today adjustments), don't feel sorry for yourself (too much!), don't start playing the side games, stay the course!!! Sometimes in takes strength, guts, endurance, and will power to be champion. Kid, your day is coming!

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
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