It's an understatement to say Phil Hellmuth is a polarizing player in the poker world.
Some love him for his “winning” instinct and attitude; others hate him for his arrogant, exaggerated and narcissistic posturing at and away from the tables.
Whether you like him or not, though, he's undeniably the biggest winner in WSOP history with 14 bracelets. And he makes for great TV.
This week’s poker clip sums up everything you either love or hate about poker's #1 practitioner of White Magic.
It's the final table of the 2010 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star in San Jose. There are just six players left and Hellmuth is the biggest name.
The chip leader at the time is Andy Seth; Hellmuth is on his right, and the self-proclaimed master of short-stack play needs a double-up soon.
Hellmuth begins with a small bet from the small blind but Seth defends his big blind with a raise with A♣ J♣. Hellmuth responds with a 3-bet; Seth immediately 4-bets and puts Hellmuth all-in.
The Poker Brat think about it for a while and says he’s a little afraid Seth has kings. Eventually, though, he ends up making the right decision and calls.
Hellmuth is a big favorite with 63% equity. There’s no problem until the turn, when the board reads 5♠ 6♠ K♦ T♥
Only an ace or a queen can destroy Hellmuth now but it happens, of course, with the A♥ on the river. Half of the audience cheers while the other half lets out a big "Aww.”
Hellmuth calmly says "Thanks for the game" to his tablemates and Seth even gets a "Well Done" from the great master on his way out.
On his way from the table Hellmuth can’t hold his disappointment back anymore.
He walks off the stage and in front of the barrier to the audience he falls down in the fetal position with his head on the floor. He lets out a loud groan.
Faraz Jaka and a few other spectators consider the big man on the floor and can’t help but laugh; Seth does likewise.
“I've been waiting for this guy,” exclaims Hellmuth, referring to Seth, before he gets up and walks away to scattered applause.
A classic Hellmuthian moment with a singular sense of melodrama.