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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Paul Phillips the one that won $1,101,980

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Paul Phillips is widely recognized for his stunning World Poker Tour appearances. Being an impressively talented, very intelligent and sometimes controversial poker player, Paul is known for having very strong opinions.

Paul has two strong World Poker Tour finishes in the second season. But I am sure that's not the last we hear of him. In September, 2003 Paul was second at the Bicycle Casino’s Legends of Poker $5,000 No-limit Championship. As reported by Sports Illustrated and subsequently confirmed by Paul, he made a money deal with Mel Judah, the eventual winner. Officially Paul won huge sum of money - $293,550. His actual payday was even bigger - $453,000. Then he impressively won the event at the Bellagio Casino, beating out more than 300 opponents. Paul collected approximately $1,101,980! About his extraordinary start in pro poker and his amazing playing style Paul explained: "The winners from the first season are widely recognized, so it seems probable I am in for similar celebrity. As for my play... they're going to find out that I'm always bluffing, 100% of the time. The only way for me to adapt once this news gets out is to start having the goods a lot more often. I'll do what I can if the cards will cooperate."

The World Poker Tour made a decision in September 2003 that bans players from making deals. This decision came after the event held at The Bicycle Casino where Mel and Paul made a deal. Sports Illustrated wrote an article that put the deal in a bad light. Paul Phillips commented that situation: "The blinds were big enough three-handed (50K-100K with 6.4 million in play) that players who were variance-averse would have found a way to make a deal. I think all three of us could fade the variance and didn't particularly mind not making a deal, except in principle (I do not acknowledge the WPT's right to ban deals.) Not making deal probably helped me play my best. I think I relaxed too much at the Bicycle Club after Mel and I chopped the money. That was not a problem this time." After his recent success, there have been some comments about Paul being the next Phil Hellmuth. Paul’s response about that was: "I know you're just asking that to get a rise out of me. Please ask Phil how it feels to be known as the next Paul Phillips."

After being a successful entrepreneur, he finds tournament poker extremely challenging and satisfying. Paul likes socializing, gambling, and having his brain fully engaged. As he explained, he knows various activities that offer one or two of those at once, but the poker is only one that hits all three. And sure, the challenge is interesting too: “I enjoy putting my money where my mouth is against the best in the world and occasionally coming out victorious."

When there was a brief break from poker Paul married Kathleen – they first met in college. Indeed, when Paul was asked by Alan Hunter to describe his hobbies away from the poker table he answered: “My wife Kathleen is my passionate interest and hobby." Children are also in the future for Paul and Kathleen. Although Paul will encourage them to play poker as a hobby: “Any kids of mine that eyed poker as a career would swiftly be locked in the closet until they repented.

Returning from his honeymoon in the Dominican Republic Paul attended the Bellagio’s Five Diamond World Poker Classic December 1 to 18, 2003. An appetizer was served in the $2500 Limit Hold’em event – Paul placed 5th and pocketed $17,569. Then, the main course – the four days long Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic $10,000 No-limit Hold’em Championship. A World Poker Tour event, Paul’s victory was shown even on the U.S. Travel Channel on March 17, 2004. Paul Phillips is one of a very few players to cash over $1 million in a single poker tournament.

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