King Philip - Philip Hilm Takes Lead on Day 6

Philip Hilm
Philip Hilm, Event 55, World Championship No-Limit Texas Hold'em - Day 6, 2007 World Series of Poker.

He's had an up and down Main Event but Philip Hilm is heading into the final table in the best possible position.

Hilm ended the day as the overall chip leader with $22 million. That's not to say he doesn't have competition (Tuan Lam has $21 million and Jon Kalmar has $20 million) but Hilm is playing with confidence and has a stack to back it up. It's a very dangerous combination heading into a final table. chatted with Hilm just after Day 6 ended:

Philip you had a fantastic day. Can you run us through it?

In the early part of the day I was running pretty bad. I started off well with around $10 million in chips but I had an encounter with Scotty [Nguyen]. He actually turned a full house on me and I was semi-bluffing with an inside straight draw and two overcards. I obviously had no outs. Part of it was that he was acting for the cameras a bit, slow rolling and counting all his chips and making fun of the situation but he eventually called my bet with his full house that obviously had me beat.

I think I became Scotty's nemesis when I busted him later in the game.

What do you think of Scotty's play?

I think he is generally a very good player. I like him. He's very entertaining and he's good for the cameras. Maybe in my opinion he's a bit more old school than some players. He plays carefully. I would describe my own style as way more volatile and aggressive.

How did you come to be here?

Well there were huge swings in my tournament all the way. I had a pretty good day 1, a horrible day 2, a very good day 3, a horrible day 4 and a good day 5. Today I was pretty low at one point in time but now I'm looking forward to a very good day 7.

How do you maintain your composure with those huge swings?

I actually think it optimizes my chances of winning the whole thing. Even though I have these swings I still do well because most players won't get into the situations I do. They don't want to take a chance on losing all their chips. Whenever they fold I'm just gaining and gaining. When I have enough chips I can deal with the swings and build even more of a stack.

Were there any moments where you thought you were definitely finished?

There was actually one time, it was the day before yesterday, and it was pretty awful. I had three all-in situations where I was the slight favorite and I lost all of them. I was down to $190,000 and the blinds were like $15,000/$30,000 or maybe more and I thought I was a goner. Somehow I managed to make a comeback. It started when a guy raised to $40,000 from UTG and I raised all-in with pocket fours and he folded. In another hand I had K-J and I just pushed with it versus A-Q and I flopped the nut straight and doubled up. After that I was just building. It all comes down to my aggressive style. I just win a few coin flips and I'm back in the game.

Philip Hilm
Hilm gunning for first.

Where do you live these days and how long have you been playing poker?

I'm from Denmark but I've lived in England and I've been living in Holland for a couple of years now. I picked up poker quite recently. I believe I've been playing for four years but I take it very seriously. I had one month of practicing and then I became a full-time professional.

What do you think heading into the final table? Do you like your chances and what do you think of your competition?

I have reads on many of the players and I believe I stand a good chance.

Thanks Philip and good luck to you.


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Dealing with the swing of luck in poker is one of the most challenging aspects of poker and yet Hilm seems to live for it. The Scandinavian has only been involved with poker for four years but his skill exceeds his experience. If you still doubt him, this is the guy that busted Scotty Nguyen out of the Main Event. Let's see if Hilm can turn a chip lead into World Champion status as Jamie Gold did last year.

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