Poker Stories: Phil Hellmuth Blow Ups
Phil Hellmuth is known as the poker brat for a very good reason. He may be one of the greatest poker players of all time, but that doesn’t stop him from throwing tantrums when he loses, gloating over his wins, and generally being a poor sport—and this is the same guy who wrote a book called #POSITIVITY about keeping a positive mindset.
What a joker.
Anyway, who doesn’t enjoy a salty snack every now and then? That’s why we’re presenting you with a story of Phil Hellmuth vs Dani Stern and the ensuing blow ups that followed.
The action really starts when Hellmuth flops top 2. Stern bets out with an open-ended straight and an over card, and Phil decides to raise him up. Stern calls, and Phil says, “Wow! Nice hand.” Everyone around the table laughs as the turn brings the 8h, giving Stern a straight.
Stern bets, and Phil calls. The river is a blank. When Stern bets again, Hellmuth looks disappointed. “Is this for real?” he asks. “Are these hands for real?”
As he continues to mutter to himself, he eventually talks himself into calling and gets the bad news. The TV commentator begins the countdown to how long it will take for the poker brat to leave his seat, steaming like a lobster right out of the pot. “Nice hand buddy,” he remarks as he puts his face into his palm.
“I mean what the f---? It’s so sick,” he gripes. He then goes on to pick a fit with Stern as he tilts off.
With the salt still coursing through his veins, another pot ensues with Stern opening pre-flop with KK, Hellmuth raising with QQ, and Stern calling it off. The flop brings J8K, giving Stern a set. It’s about to get ugly.
Hellmuth checks, Stern bets, and Phil calls. With the Jh coming on the turn, Stern fills out a full house. Phil checks again, Dani bets it up, and Hellmuth can’t stop himself from calling.
When the Td comes on the river, Phil checks one last time, and Stern shoves his whole stack in. Phil’s eyes glaze over as the player to his right, Poker Legend Daniel Negreanu, laughs and says, “It’s just funny to watch him in anguish!”
Hellmuth continues to mutter to himself about how “It’s sick as f---, why do I even come here? It’s just f---ing ridiculous. This guy probably has AJ and hit some miracle jack like it’s nothing. Maybe he’s just bluffing me off.”
Everyone else at the table follows Negreanu’s lead and huddles around the TV show hostess, well out of Phil’s earshot. They don’t think Stern is bluffing, but they think Phil’s judgment is being clouded. They even know that Hellmuth has queens. “He wants to be a hero here, for sure,” concludes Negreanu.
After much muttered deliberation, Hellmuth takes a deep breath and says “Just queens boys, that’s all I have… I hate to give this one up. My read has not been perfect recently though, that’s the problem.”
He makes a good fold, but continues to steam. “It’s unreal!” he complains. “You know what the sick thing was? He probably had AJ or JQ!”