The Hammer Goes Down On Phil Hellmuth


    Hellmuth’s WSOP shenanigans

    The legendary Phil Hellmuth made a grand appearance at the World Series of Poker Main event dressed as Thor with his entourage of wonder women models. Hellmuth awarded himself the nom de guerre early in his career for his frequent outburst and temper tantrums. Popularly known as The Poker Brat, Phil Hellmuth, once again lived up to this nickname with a close chances of a penalty call.

    On Day 2c of the 2018 WSOP Main Event, 14-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth was playing at one of the featured tables. As the end of the day neared the much talked about hand in question played out, blinds at 800/1,600/200, Hellmuth’s duel began once Alex Kuzmin raised from the middle position to 3,200. The Poker Brat called, as did James Campbell. After a flop of 4-3-10, Camby checked and Kuzmin bet 3,000. Hellmuth raised to 6,000 and Camby shoved all in with his stack of 26,200 chips. That was all it took for Hellmuth to get riled up.

    Shaun Deeb, who provided commentary for the game, was the first to call out Hellmuth for his behavior. He said, “This is so wrong by Phil. This is where Phil deserves penalties,” he said. “You cannot talk in a multi-way pot and give away your weakness with an opponent still to act. It’s so wrong he gets away with stuff like this. If I’m sitting with a king-high flush draw I know that Phil is not continuing if I call. That totally affects this action and totally hurts his opponent’s equity.”

    Jared Hamby shared the same view as Deeb saying, “The floor was there and did nothing. A lot of the anger is due to that. If Phil was at least given a penalty, it would be easier to tolerate how things went down. Mistakes happen in the moment but need to be properly dealt with.”

    The global poker community is of the view that this behavior far from acceptable and he’s gotten enough warnings. This strategy of his in an unfair pattern they’ve seen him deploy over the years. Probably he likes the limelight when it comes to aggressive players, but this is no isolated incident and deserves corrective actions.

    It was a good move on the part of Camby, who was holding the Ad9d. With the 4d-3d of diamonds showing on the flop, it was a calculated risk with a lot of outs to take the hand. The Poker Brat’s pocket sevens were absent of diamonds and he ultimately folded to avoid a major upset, leaving only Camby and Kuzmin to play out the hand. However, Camby came up short, as no more diamonds turned up and he was sent to the rail making Kuzmin, the big winner—he called holding Kd2d, and a two on the turn gave him a pair for the win.

    This incident set off social media fireworks, with players bagging and tagging, Hellmuth apologized for cussing on Twitter.

    In a Twitter post, Hellmuth has tried to make amends for his outburst, he apologized to Camby and said, “@JCamby33 I lost some sleep over my outburst. I believe you lose the hand anyway, but maybe I am wrong. You handled yourself well, and played well. As a gesture of goodwill, and because I respect policeman and firefighters: I’m going to buy you into 2019 $10,000 @WSOP Main Event.”

    “I apologize for swearing. It was a 3-way pot and I shouldn’t have lost it. It was the 15th time you moved all in on me, and my emotions got the better of me. But you were never winning that hand. You snap moved all in, and I was never folding 7-7 on draw heavy board of 10-4d-3d.”

    James Campbell@JCamby33

    I had some fun even though I got tortured all day in the WSOP main event. I busted in brutal fashion a9dd vs k2dd on 1034dd flop…turn black 2. @phil_hellmuth save your rant until after other players fold. That player would have not called without your antics @WSOP

    Deeb took to Twitter after play concluded to reprimand his friend: “Phil you’re always folding there please stop with that logic if you were calling you would have not swore so much as usual you use delusional logic after seeing his holding and the run off. Admit you messed up and deserve a penalty at the minimum.”

    Camby himself didn’t believe Hellmuth would’ve called even Tweeting at the Poker Brat: “There was no way you were calling but of course you would say you that to try and save face … Everyone should have to abide by the same rules … Really unfair that nothing was said or done throughout his rant. Almost forcing me to speak up at the time it puts me in a bad spot giving away information about my hand.”

    Camby actually took some time to offer some follow-up thoughts to PokerNews:

    “I think he deserved a penalty for sure and I think only because he was Phil Hellmuth he got away with it with the floor standing right behind us,” he said. “I was very upset at the time but I didn’t want to give away any information as to the strength of my hand. If I had won the hand, Phil would have got a piece of my mind. Busting the main sucks so at that point I thought it was better I left without getting into it with him when I was very upset about the situation.”

    While Hellmuth did not receive a penalty, he did skip out on the first hour of Day 3 action during which time he blinded off 16,000 in chips.

    Nursing his usual social media banter: Phil tweeted  “Still in bed w wifey listening to 70s music; resting. I wish I wasn’t so emotional at the tables! My chips are in play, being ante’d off, BUT I’ll come in STRONG!”

    Hellmuth concluded the Twitter debate by saying: “James was the nicest guy ever. Put up with me, joked w me, laughed w me, and at me (when he was supposed to), moved in on me repeatedly, and deserved better from me


    In other news, Phil’s autobiography, Poker Brat, has hit the stands!

    His rants, outbursts, and lines like “I can dodge bullets baby” and “If it weren’t for luck, I’d win them all” are legendary. In Poker Brat Phil paints a picture of his early Midwestern life, in which he struggled mightily in grade school and high school, but always had aspirations to do something great. Phil takes you on a journey from the lows of his life to the highs, and insights on how he developed an unhealthy ego along the way.

    Phil also shares his own powerful tips and techniques, the ones that he used to set his goals, and then he shows how he achieved those goals as he climbed to the summit of the poker world.


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