Phil Hellmuth Shares Hands from His High Stakes Private Games9 months ago
Phil Hellmuth rarely talks about the private games he plays in - but this time he proudly shared two big pots he won there on Twitter.
Phil Hellmuth had an eventful 2017 cashing 17 times in live tournaments, which include 7 ITM finishes from the WSOP and winning Poker Night in America’s first ever King of the Hill heads-up championship, defeating online heads-up specialists Doug Polk and “Jungleman” Cates on his way. He also published his autobiography with the title “Poker Brat”.
We know Hellmuth also often plays in games that are not publicly tracked anywhere - these are private cash games, often filled with recreational players who made their fortune outside of poker. The newest big budget poker flick, Molly’s Game is about the world of high stakes private games.
Hellmuth hardly ever talks about his cash game sessions against wealthy hobby poker players, so we have to rely on an article on Pokerlistings.com from 2015 to get some information about those games. According to the piece, Hellmuth plays with people Zynga founder Mark Pincus, Yammer founder David Sacks, Jason Calacanis - an internet entrepreneur with miscellaneous successful projects - and NBA player Jason Lee. Hellmuth got into this game through his personal friend, former Facebook Vice President Chamath Palihapitiya.
The same article claims that this Bay area private game is a $100/$200 NLHE cash game, and that information falls in line with the hands Hellmuth shared on his Twitter.
Here’s the first one.
A player Hellmuth tagged as simply “J” limps in with pocket 10’s in the lowjack seat, the button raises to 3 BB’s, $600 with Q8 of hearts. Hellmuth puts out an ambitious 3-bet (to $4,000) with 53 of diamonds, the lowjack calls, button folds. The flop comes KJT, all diamonds, giving the Poker Brat a flush and his opponent a set of 10’s. Hellmuth check-raises all-in, “J” calls - since the board didn’t pair nor did the last 10 come, Hellmuth took down this over $23K pot.
The other one was also quite a cooler.
The cutoff raises to $700 with K10 off, Hellmuth who is dealt KJ off calls, the small blind also calls with an unknown hand, so does the big blind with pocket 10’s. The flop falls JJ10 - trips for Hellmuth against a full house! It checks around to the pre-flop aggressor with bottom pair, he c-bets to $1,500, Hellmuth calls next to him, and the big blind, slow playing his boat, also just flats. The turn is a King, Hellmuth has a bigger boat now - he bets when it gets checked to him, the lower full house check-raises, the K10 folds in the cutoff. The Poker Brat manages to get two more value bets through, a 3-bet on the turn and a $19.5K bet on the Q river - this one’s an almost $70K pot going to the Poker Brat!
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