The Phil Hellmuth Film That Never Happened

7 months ago
The Phil Hellmuth Film That Never Happened
09:28
18 Feb

From Rounders to Molly’s Game, movies about poker have proven they can be box office hits. What the poker movie genre seems to be missing, however, are biographical pieces about some of the cornerstones of the game we love.

Well, according to Phil Hellmuth, a film about his life and journey to poker stardom was in the works over a decade ago in 2004 and again in 2007, but a few missing pieces led to the shelving of the film. Here’s a look at what could’ve been.


Star Player Means Star Actors

According to a recent tweet by Hellmuth, The Madison Kid – a film about Hellmuth’s journey to becoming the 1989 World Series of Poker Main Event champion – was in the works.

With nothing online to support his claims, we just have to take his word for it. The movie was supposed to follow Hellmuth’s climb to poker fame as a young man in the late-1980s, and one look at Ashton Kutcher circa 2004 shows an uncanny resemblance to a young Hellmuth.

After the 2004 film was shut down for unknown reasons, the idea was picked up again in 2007 where it almost made it into production and onto the big screen. However, a key piece was missing – the actor who would play Hellmuth.

Again, there is no evidence to back up Hellmuth’s claims, but Hayden Christensen surely resembles the young poker phenom, so perhaps his claims are true. Regardless, a movie about one of the household names in poker at the height of the poker boom probably would have crushed the box office.

Perhaps after the events of Black Friday in 2011, with the popularity of poker facing a downward trend, the idea of a biographical piece about poker wasn’t as hot. Given the increasing popularity of poker internationally, it might not be a bad idea to rethink this idea. Some of Hellmuth’s followers thought the same thing.


Clowned By Colleagues

Nothing Phil Hellmuth does goes without notice, especially from his friends in the poker world. Chris Moneymaker was quick to reply to Hellmuth’s tweet poking fun at the claims he made.

Although it seems like Moneymaker’s being earnest on the surface, he is only making fun. Daniel Negreanu did not want to be left out and had his own fun with Hellmuth’s claims.

Negreanu clearly does not believe what Hellmuth said earlier that day, and he had a lot of fun teasing Hellmuth about it. Whether Hellmuth’s claims are true, it’s safe to say that poker fans of all calibers would certainly check out a movie chronicling The Poker Brat’s journey.


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Nikk from Western New York is a part-time journalist, a successful tournament poker player, and an avid fly fisherman.Read more

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