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Leading all-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth was in attendance during the playdown to the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event final table and he told us who he thinks is going to make the final table and go on to win this year's world championship. The Poker Brat also fills us in on a tough summer in Las Vegas and why he's hungrier than ever to get back to his winning ways.
Phil: Ty Stuart is more like the president of The World Series of Poker. Ty, nice job buddy. This guy, Ty Stuart had this idea to have a November Nine. Immediately everybody loved it and its just been huge for poker because now the way they have timed it, with ESPN having package show, package show, package show, package show. All of the world gets to familiarize yourself with these particular players.
You watch the one, you watch the hands, you have favorites, you pick, and then to do it live and run like 14 hours or 18 hour live final table on ESPN for quite a while, by the way in prime time, and giving us the best ratings in poker history. I tip my hat to Ty Stuart, November Nine is just fabulous.
Well there is 14 left, and so the important thing is to make the final nine because then you come back in November. Seems obvious but you really have to be very careful now because even to make it to the final table of three or four million, which would be the short stack, you'll have a chance to win, you get four months of press which is good for you. Endorsement deals, It's good for you. Publicity, it's good for your reputation.
This is a really important deal. Whoever finishes tenth or eleventh unfortunately is not going to get much press. Sadly, last year two women finished tenth and eleventh and that was just the worst result for poker ever because if one of them makes it, poker is just going to explode.
No women left this time but making the final nine is just huge and so sometimes you have to fold some really strong hands to make sure that you get there. Carlos Mortenson, I told him, I said, "Carlos, I mean you're probably the best known Hold 'Em Tournament player of all time." He flattered me and said "No, it's you Phil."
Sorry for the ego, but look at this guy's record. He is amazing he has like four WPT titles,he is the all time leading money on the World Poker Tour, that's all no limit Hold 'EM by the way. He won the main event, I was there the year he won it and I finished fifth. One of the biggest disappointments of my life was to finish fifth in that event in 2000, he won it.
The guy's incredible. No one has a negative thing to say about him anywhere on the planet. He is just loved in the poker world. He just comes along and just makes these sick runs, he's just so talented. It's like his brain is made for no limit Hold 'Em. I think he's the favorite and if he wins it, he's just going to be catapulted to the best no limit Hold 'Em player of all time. And deservedly so, amazing.
J.C. Tran is a sick guy too, both him and Carlos are very sick and they put four, five, six bets in with nothing. Not many players can do that and then have the patience to make it through all these minefields. It takes both, you have to have extreme gears; extreme patience, extreme fastness. Well Carlos Mortenson and J.C. Tran have that. It's pretty sick.
These guys can both win the main event and I'm looking for them to be around. This is the number one tournament you'd want to win in the planet. Number two is also here at the Poker Players Championship, the 50k. The excitement for this event and that event is just unparalleled in anything we do in poker. To have stands with people cheering and rooting and to know it's going to be on ESPN and globally in all these different countries.
It's just such a beautiful thing. There's in a press and media glare here and it's just a beautiful atmosphere and I forgot the last years I've been out early or whatever and left and this year I happened to come back and I've been sucked in. So I've had to stay around for a couple of days to watch it. This is my life and so I love it.
Listen I feel great, the World Series of Poker Europe, played five events, cashed four times in one of the main event and just was an amazing year. Two years in a row 2011, a second in the Players' Championship a second and then second player of the year. Then you come back to 2012 and I have a first and a first, and a fourth and a fourth and a twelfth and whatever.
For me that was incredible. Unfortunately, I worked really hard on my game, I spent a month traveling playing no limit Hold 'Em, but I just haven't seen the results in 2013 WSOP. It's a very disappointing year for me. Once you ego's going, that's going to hurt your performance. Because you have to treat everybody at the table the same way.
It's really tough to have three great years in a row and so now I've been beat down a little bit. I feel like I've been beat down. My results were pretty pretty bad for me and bad for anybody really. Now I feel beat down a little bit and so that's a good healthy thing and I haven't been like ... I'm not out there doing drugs and not out there drinking heavily.
I'm not feeling super depressed everyday or anything like that. I feel like there's a lot of fight here and and I'm setting myself up for having a great year next year or maybe the rest of the year.