Pros play high stakes poker on private jet

In a recent article published by pro player Phil Hellmuth, "Cruising for $50,000 at 50,000 feet," the poker brat reveals he partook in a four-game "mixed-game" rotation with fellow pros Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, and Gus Hansen on Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt's private Gulfstream IV jet en route to the United States from Monte Carlo, Monaco, in late November.

According to Hellmuth, he bought a one-way ticket to Las Vegas on Flynt's private jet following the Monte Carlo Millions and Invitational Live from Monaco events, despite the fact he already had a first class seat with a bed booked on a commercial flight. His reason? To pass the trans-Atlantic journey quickly by playing non-stop $400 - $800 limit poker with Ivey, Hansen, and Matusow, and hopefully win $50,000.

The four pros competed at Omaha Eight-or-Better, Texas Hold'em, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Chinese Poker over the course of the 12-hour flight. After 7 hours, Hellmuth and Matusow each had more than $75,000 in the hole.

In the article, Hellmuth admits Ivey and Hansen cleaned him and Matusow out despite strong playing on the part of all participants. He reveals he mistakenly believed Ivey would be off his game after winning both tournaments and $1.6 million in Monte Carlo over the weekend, and wouldn't be used to playing such low stakes (he usually engages in $2,000 - $4,000 games). Hellmuth also acknowledges he thought Hansen would play too loose because he wasn't used to limit. And, apparently, while Hansen did play too loose, it didn't hinder his game in the least: By the time the pros landed in the States, Matusow's losses had reached $96,000, while Hellmuth had managed to cut his own to $18,000.

In his concluding statement, Hellmuth declares, "Next time I will ride the whole way in the jet, but I won't underestimate Mr. Ivey."

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