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Poker News | World Series of Poker | WSOP2009 | The Works

Day 10 Of The WSOP: Hellmuth Almost Gets There

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Phil Hellmuth came dangerously close to making another WSOP final table in **gasp** a No Limit Hold Em event. Anyone who has read what I've written over the past two years knows that I have a love hate relationship with Hellmuth. I love watching him... he makes me laugh with how arrogant and pompous he is and the reactions he elicits from other players and fans is priceless. Is he good for poker? I've always thought no, but I guess I'm in the minority here because his behavior is duplicated and repeated and it's worked for him to the point that he is more well known for his theatrics than he is his poker playing, which is a shame because he's a damn fine poker player. Just ask him, he'll tell you he is.

Maybe I am biased, I'm not sure, but let me tell you a story that kind of gives you a clearer picture of how Hellmuth can be perceived. I'm standing there watching Hellmuth's table and the WSOP staffer responsible for helping players get paid after they bust out asks, “Is that guy famous? People keep taking his picture.”

Obviously, she wasn't a poker fan, so I told her that yes, he was, at least in the poker world. She responded, “I don't know why, he's really obnoxious.”

I about spit my gum out, but that just goes to show you that someone oblivious to poker can see through his act.

And it is an act. While at the table, Greg Mueller came by and Hellmuth and Mueller were talking about penalties and Hellmuth said he was saving his penalties for when there were television cameras around. Someone mentioned Ante Up For Africa, but we all know how Hellmuth loves to hob knob with celebrities. Could you imagine him telling Matt Damon he's a donkey and doesn't even know how to spell poker?

I was doing my usual walk through the rooms to see who was where when this guy looks at me, and turns around to give me five. I have no clue who this guy is so I ask him, “Do I know you?”

He replied,”Yea, you were drunk last night.”

I'm pretty sure that unless someone kidnapped my body in the middle of the night that he has the wrong guy so I tell him “I think you might have been drunk yourself bud, wasn't me.”

Either this guy was really drunk or I have an evil twin going around getting shit faced. Hmmm, I could do some interesting things with an evil twin. If anyone sees him, have him call me.

Jeffrey Pollack stopped by the media “skybox” (as he calls its) and talked with Jennifer Newell and I for a moment. He shared his thoughts on the Women's Poker Hall of Fame. Jennifer and I aren't huge fans of that establishment, mainly because we feel it denigrates women by telling them they aren't good enough to compete with the men. Pollack stated that he was going to support any organization that was going to promote poker and help get more people playing and he believed the Women's Hall of Fame was good for the game and for getting more women to play poker.

Pollack also mentioned how some people were criticizing his tweets after Phil Ivey won because he used six exclamation points. These critics were saying that Pollack was showing favoritism. Pollack insisted to us that this was not the case and says he would have done the same if Monnette had won. I'm not sure I believe that, but Pollack put on a good front regarding it.

I was talking with a female media member while observing one of the tournaments and she mentioned to me that Evelyn Ng was really skinny. “I think I'm going to go get her a muffin or a cupcake,” she said.

I'm not sure why I'm sharing that, other than I thought it was funny.

I was easily amused today. Dustin “Neverwin” Woolf was at the same table as Nelly and I walked over to talk to Dustin and he stood up and told me he was going to own his table. I told him Nelly was at his table and he said, “Who's that?”

Ah, to be lost in poker. I pointed him out and Woolf said, “Really?” Again...easily amused.

The hottest poker player right now might very well be Jason Mercier. The 22 year old has been on the tear of tears lately. I want what he's eating. I talked with Mercier briefly today and we talked about why he doesn't have a sponsor yet (he has no clue), how he didn't know who Jose Rosencratz was and if he had he might have played against him differently, and about a friend he was watching in the NLHE event. Everyone had told me he was a nice guy. They were right.

On one of the many poker sites there is a video of Jeff Madsen doing his best Eminem impression while driving to the Rio. It was hilarious and I asked Madsen how he could do that while driving. “It's easier than just sitting on a couch,” he told me, explaining that when he's driving there are no distractions and he can just flow.

The same WSOP staffer that called Hellmuth obnoxious attracted the wandering eye of an intoxicated Minneapolis Jim Meehan (shocking I know). After Meehan busted, Meehan gave his info to the staffer and as he walked off he said to the staffer, “You have a beautiful smile.”

Ok, so maybe it was harmless, but if you heard the way he slurred it, you'd probably think that maybe it wasn't.

Last but not least today, I was watching Hellmuth on one side of the Amazon Room when I heard a yell from the other side. This kid was storming off across the room. Naturally, I hurried over to see what was going on. Apparently the kid had folded pocket jacks face up on a ten high board when two players got it all in. The winning hand turned out being A-10 and the kid was irate that he had folded the winner. He came back to his seat and flung his ante into the middle, obviously pissed off, and starts muttering out loud, “Why did I fold? Why did I fold that?”

He sees me jotting down some notes and he asked me, “Are you blogging about the hand I just played.”

I laughed and told him, “No, I'm blogging about your reaction.”

The table laughed. Hey, he asked, who am I to lie.

As usual, tomorrow will be another busy day and as usual I'll be there to bring you the sights and sounds. Until then...

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