BLOG – Hellmuth unleashed? Maybe, maybe not...
Friday, 21 May 2010
I don’t suppose any of you fellas and fellasses remember my blog a couple of months ago about Phil Hellmuth’s play in the Bay 101 Shooting Stars tournament?
He put big bets in with draws, rarely slowplayed and got caught 4-bet bluffing with ten high. Myself and a lot of the poker world were stunned – who was this aggressive, loose player and what had he done with Phil Hellmuth?
Of course, he went on to bubble the final table after blowing a huge chip lead and promptly curled up on the floor in the foetal position after his bust-out hand. Phew, it’s still Phil.
Haters and lovers of Hellmuth interpret such actions differently – haters say he’s whiny, juvenile and petty; lovers say that such a passion for the game can’t be a bad thing. “To you it’s just poker,” quoth once the Brat. “To me it’s my life.”
I bring this up again now because an article in PokerPlayer (definitely not as good as Bluff Europe so don’t you even THINK about buying it) magazine by one of my favourite poker writers, Michael Kaplan, interviews (you’re thinking about it! Stop!) Hellmuth after a disastrous 2008 and 2009 during which he admits he lost money.
Quotes from "Has Phil Hellmuth Lost It?" Poker Player Magazine, May 2010
Hellmuth makes the controversial statement that he is still the best in the world at Hold ‘em. To this, Kaplan asks if he thinks he can compete with Ivey, durrrr, Antonius and Brunson? His reply? Predictable.
"In Hold’em? Yes – in tournaments and cash games," Hellmuth says. "If I sit down and play those guys right now, will I beat them? I haven’t been practising enough. But I still think that if I played with them every day for a month, I would beat them. Maybe they would beat me for the first two or three days."
Gotta disagree with Phil on that one, but who knows? He goes on to say that in a 2009 where he “only” made $177,000 he neglected his game and that his 2007 promise after winning bracelet number 11 (that there will be much more to come) remains unfulfilled.
Hellmuth still thinks he’s the best, because he thinks that you measure it in WSOP bracelets. Thus, no one can argue. Still, I would love to see him in a high stakes cash game on a regular basis. Oh, wait...
He’s talking about relocating to Las Vegas for half of the year when his sons go to college; playing more tournaments than ever before and even hitting up the high stakes cash games to prove something to the world.
Go, Phil. Prove us wrong.