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If I Had Phil Hellmuth's Luck I'd Win Every Tournament I Played
I've been telling you about my adventures at the 2012 WSOP.
I had 5% of Per Hildebrand who finished 27th out of 3,404 players.
He's at Rio again right now trying to get lucky while I'm in Sweden trying to get lucky with the weather.
I think he has a better shot.
It's Good to Be Immortal
Hildebrand played the 10K Razz. The second day he got a short-stacked Phil Hellmuth at his table. That's always good for a story or two.
Hellmuth survived five all-ins, built his stack from 10K to 300K and went on to win his 14th bracelet.
I guess it's good to be immortal if you want to be immortalized.
Hellmuth sat next to me in the very first WSOP tournament I ever played in 1998.
The seat to my right was empty. I thought I was lucky till Hellmuth showed up late. I was petrified and thought I was really unlucky.
Fifteen years later I found myself to his left in yet another PLO tournament at the 2012 WSOP. I was amazed that he still hadn't learned the game.
His critics claimed he only could play one game. They appeared to be right.
But that year was when he won his first non No-Limit bracelet. The game was Razz and it makes perfect sense.
It's a fairly easy game to understand and play and the skill to read your opponents' tells and patterns are important.
Those are the skills most people agree are Hellmuth’s big strengths.
If I Had His Luck
Hellmuth is probably even more famous for whining than for his big ego. I think they fit together perfectly.
We who have played with him a lot seem to agree that he is very lucky.
It's not just irony that the luckbox complains so much; it has to do with him not being used to bad beats -- you know like with QQ vs AK.
The first time you get the needle in your flesh it hurts, and you scream. But after a thousand times you don’t even feel it with the alligator skin you have developed.
I guess Hellmuth will stop crying when he's had as many bad beats as the rest of us have.
He is so lucky than when he plays Razz he gets all the crap hands we mere mortals get all the time.
If I had his luck I would win every tournament I played.
Greatest That Ever Lived?
This week he won his 14th bracelet and that's always good for a quote or two.
Apparently he tried to send two arrogant tweets but got lucky again as they both failed to send.
After some fine scotch at his celebration party he delivered this little gem to PokerNews' Chad Holloway:
"I'm going to go down as the greatest poker player that ever lived."
How can a man be so clueless? Doesn’t he have any friends who can stop him from making a fool out of himself again and again?
Or have they all tried but drowned in his ego?
Even if he wins 24 bracelets - which happens to be the magic number he's been sure he'll win since 1993 – nobody is ever going to bring up his name when discussing the all-time greats.
Who Do You Think Would Get His Soul Read?
First he needs to learn all the games. He's had a few years to do it, you know, so I doubt it's ever going to happen.
Then he needs to sit down with Phil Ivey and the boys in Bobby's Room for a marathon session or two.
We all know what would happen. But Joe Clueless Public doesn't.
I'm sure that in the public eye Hellmuth is one of the greats. Maybe that’s good enough for him?
You know what would be really funny? A live stream from Bobby's Room with Hellmuth against the regulars -- and without his sunglasses.
Who do you think would get his soul read?
Nothing Has Changed Since
Bellagio opened in 1999. Before then Mirage was the host of the high limits.
I walked by the highest cash game there and pointed out the world champion behind his sunglasses playing with a bunch of guys I'd never seen or heard of before.
“Look," I said. “How dare they play against the champ?”
“He's the fish," Chris Björin said.
Nothing has changed since.
About Ken Lennaárd:
Sweden's most controversial poker blogger Ken Lennaárd has been around the professional poker circuit for almost 20 years. Among his numerous accomplishments are Swedish Championships both live and online, three WSOP final tables and over $1.5m in live earnings. He's now bringing his singular poker voice to the English world via PokerListings.com. Look for new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Note: Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not represent the views of PokerListings.com.