Phil Hellmuth: The Jedi Mind Tricks that Made Him $Millions in Poker

2 years ago
Phil Hellmuth: The Jedi Mind Tricks that Made Him $Millions in Poker
30 Aug

If there is one person guaranteed to make for a good, long interview, it’s Phil Hellmuth – the self-styled PokerBrat boasting a wealth of experience at the highest levels, as well as poker accomplishments beyond compare, and this week he sat down with Valuetainment creator Patrick Bet-David to share the ‘Jedi mind tricks’ that got him to the very top of the game…

Fresh from his 15th World Series of Poker gold bracelet – a stunning record which no-one comes even close to matching – Hellmuth takes on the aptly-named Bet-David in a relaxed poker game, the latter kicking off by drawing the parallels between iconic movie Rounders and Hellmuth’s startling victory over Johnny Chan to lift the 1989 Main Event title

Kicking off with a standard though interesting question from non-poker players:

"Who is the craziest opponent you’ve ever faced?" Phil answers immediately: “a drunk’ Layne Flack” who he described as being “Fearless - and knew exactly what you had!”

This ‘no fear’ factor, claims Phil is also why great businessmen can become great at poker. “No fear… tough!” being the bottom line.

Is Phil ‘acting’ the Poker Brat role?

Of course the ‘Poker Brat’ side to Hellmuth is well-documented, his behaviour at times horrible, other times cringe-worthy or downright embarrassing – but it’s a question that will always be asked…why act that way?

Big Phil, of course, is known for singing his own praises – and the Valuetainment founder is subject to the full force of Phil’s eternal bragging… though much of it warranted by Hellmuth’s place in the record books of course…

“Half of them are playing on other people’s money, half of them are broke!”

This is Phil’s description of the biggest cash games in Vegas at the height of the mid-noughties poker boom, a time when he claims he had to swallow his pride and sit down at ‘lower stake’ games to ensure he didn’t blow the money which his family needed to survive

Another hour of Phil’s story-telling might seem superfluous, but it’s actually a very good interview – and we haven’t even reached the ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ yet! Watch the interview in full below…

Articles 2005

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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