Phil Hellmuth might be the most bipolar poker player alive. When he's on, he's on top of the world; when he's not, he's spiteful and angry - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.
Unfortunately for those around him yesterday at the WSOPE, as Owen Laukkanen reported in our live tournaments section, the Hellmuthian one was decidedly more "old man in a deli."
To quote: "Phil Hellmuth has spent the day on major tilt, complaining about every and anything, and in recent levels his anger has amped up to the point that his presence in this tournament means everyone in the room will be subjected to the kind of abusive tantrum one normally expects from a preschooler.
"Anyway, the Poker Brat has been eliminated, shortly after making his dealer cry by unleashing a barrage of insults and epithets in her direction ... (heading) to the rail muttering about losing to the worst player he'd ever seen."
Ah, Phil. He's a special fellow. So, in tribute, and if by some miracle you've managed to miss out on the Hellmuthian classics over the years, I'm going to revisit some of his more infamous moments.
Since there are just too many awesome Hellmuth quotes to pick only five, I also decided to work with a Top 5 categories instead.
5) The Classics. "Honey, honey, I was supposed to go broke on that hand: Honey. But they forgot one thing: I can dodge bullets, baby!"
From the 2005 WSOP Main Event, Hellmuth doing what he likes to do best - making a big fold. This fold was right on the money, and as a result he's on top of the world ... baby!
4) The Out of Line. "This fricking donkey stuffs $15,000 in with king-jack. I mean ... the guy can't even spell poker."
Also from the 2005 WSOP Main Event. Phil absolutely berates this poor guy. Granted, the guy made a mistake, but the way Phil reacted was totally out of line.
3) The Narcissistic. The first of my two favorite narcissistic Hellmuth quotes has to be:"When I watch myself on TV, I am a bit compelling ..."
I'm glad he can arouse such strong interest in himself by watching himself. This is almost as close to the definition of narcissism as you can get.
The other: "What's my name? You know what my name is? I forgot my name even. Who am I?... Am I Phil Hellmuth?"
Really, Phil? See the clip in #5 above for that one also.
2) The Best in the World of All Time Ever. After getting knocked out of the WSOP Main Event in 2004, Phil came out with this little nugget, soon to turn into one of the most famous poker quotes of the decade:
"If there weren't luck involved, I would win every time."
But there is luck involved Phil ... there is. You never heard Boris Spassky claiming that "If there was only luck involved, I would have beaten Bobby Fischer." If you don't want luck, play chess.
Later Phil went on to produce some math that he may have thought was ironic: "Poker is 100% skill and 50% luck."
And that quote is 50% bulls**t!
1) The Nonsensical. "I'm like the Matrix, I can dodge knives: Jiu-Jitsu."
In 2005 Phil could dodge bullets, now a few years later he can dodge knives! He's like the Matrix? Not just Neo either; no - he's like the whole damn thing!
He can dodge knives ... I'm not even sure what that means. Bullets = aces; I understood the 2005 comment.
Finally, he adds "Jiu-Jitsu." No reason for it; just figured he should throw that in there, I'm guessing, to make it more hard-core.
Coincidentally, he did end up sitting at the same table with Chuck Liddell at the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Maybe if the Iceman taught the Brat a thing or two about Jiu-Jitsu, Phil will teach Chuck a thing or two about dodging.
After an entire article spent making fun of the guy, it's only fair I include this clip as well - the single moment that changed his life forever. WSOP Bracelet No. 1: the kid becomes the champion.
With a look-alike contest in the works for this weekend and the WSOPE Main Event still to come, the next "great" Phil Hellmuth moment is likely brewing as we speak. Keep your eyes on the live WSOPE coverage to catch it first hand.
More poker Top 5 lists: