Phill Hellmuth Jr. can be quite the competitor on the poker table, making it the best (and worst) of times with his random outbursts.
Let’s just be glad that we’re not at the table with him and that we can just watch from a safe distance.
5. Time = Money
In the Bahamas in 2013, Hellmuth came in “fresh” as he said, coming off of 13 hours of sleep and ready for action.
After paying the $100K buy-in, Hellmuth had a big hand against Philipp Gruissem. On a board of Gruissem bet 25,000 and Hellmuth raised it 25,000 and then began bragging a bit. Gruissem called the 25,000. The whole table burst into laughter and then Hellmuth bet 62,500, when the hit on the river.
Gruissem shoves all in and Hellmuth calls all in. Gruissem reveals jack-nine to and a full house and Hellmuth has just a nine to lose 263,000 chips.
The announcer reveals that Hellmuth lasted 33 minutes, paying roughly $49 a second, $3,000 a minute. This meltdown was more of a quiet sadness, a financial one that probably is one of Hellmuth’s most tame responses, especially after having such a positive outlook to start with.
4. 9 Ball Corner Pocket
At a table with Hellmuth, David Peat holds top pair with king-nine, but Hellmuth has him outkicked with ace-king. Hellmuth bets 17,000 just after a nine hit on the turn, the perfect card for Peat’s hand. Hellmuth moved all in, and then on the reveal, gets up and leaves his chair.
The words “nine ball corner pocket” come from Peat.
Hellmuth quietly simmers and forcefully puts on his leather jacket before quitting and walking out.
“I just feel like I deserved a lot better but I feel like losing 50 is OK, you know?” he said before waving goodbye to the camera.
3. He’s a School Teacher!
This time, no one is safe from Hellmuth. Hellmuth holds ace-five against David Fishman’s king-queen. But a ten on the river give Fishman the upper hand with a gut-shot straight. Hellmuth bets $23,600 into a $45,000 pot. Fishman shoves all in.
“This is so sick. I mean, do I just – is it possible that I just get cooled every hand I play here? God all that talking leads me to believe…”
Hellmuth finally calls.
So Hellmuth walks over to the dealer and scoffs about not getting dealing a club. Then he walks in a circle in the room using some profanities, sits back down and then turns back to the dealer to say it’s like he’s being cheated and how he wouldn’t have lost a nickel.
Then he jumps on Bill Perkins, who’s brave enough to call him out on his bad call, saying “it was a great read.” When in reality, the school teacher was shaking and visibly anxious during the hand, and Perkins set him straight, saying that Hellmuth had trunks of money and he was playing against a teacher.
2. Hellmuth Versus the World
There was a lot of talking to start this one, wondering if this was a classic Phil Hellmuth trap against Annie Duke. Duke’s holding kings and Hellmuth has ace-ten.
Everyone is making fun of Hellmuth as he asks the players to be quiet and then continues to talk. He stands up in anger. He calls out Mori Eskandiari, one of the producers, to ask him if this is the way it’s going to be because otherwise he won’t play another Poker After Dark.
“This is not poker! When I’m trying to make a tough decision for all my chips, I’m pretty sure I’m going to go with it and I’ve got him talking and him talking and I’ve got - everybody’s joking and laughing,” he said. “You think I’m kidding, huh?”
After getting into it with Shawn Sheikhan, who calls him out of line, Hellmuth calls for Eskandiari again.
“Muck your hand, idiot,” Sheikhan says.
He folds and gives Duke the pot.
1. First Encounter
At the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Hellmuth goes against a guy he didn’t expect to stick around in the poker world, Tom Dwan. Hellmuth came into the table already yelling to guys at another table.
Hellmuth has aces and Dwan has tens. Dwan raises to $1,100, Hellmuth re-raises to $3,600. Dwan goes all in and calls. Dwan gets caught preflop. The turn gives Dwan a ten and a nine of diamonds on the river, eliminating Hellmuth.
Hellmuth sits back down to count chips and calls him “son” when he gives him advice about how to not bet more than $3,000 on tens.
That led to Dwan’s curt response.
“I was going to say good games, sorry for the suckout, but when you refer to it that way, I don’t want to,” Dwan said.
Then, they get into it, with Dwan saying they’ll play as many matches as he wants and says it’s standard play on heads-up no-limit.
To which, Hellmuth gives this gem.
“We’ll see if you’re even around in five years. That’s the truth. I don’t think you will be, to be honest,” Hellmuth said.
Hellmuth then explained how he was perceived as weak in the hand, which was what he wanted, which forced Dwan to move in.
So that’s the spread.
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