Ich, 3-facher Final Table-Zuschauer bei regionalen und lokalen Sachpreisturnieren treffe ihn, den 11-fachen Braceletgewinner. Ein Meilenstein der Pokergeschichte. Also, für ihn weniger … Ich bin schon ergriffen. 11 Armbänder; rein mathematisch sind das 12 mehr, als ich jemals gewinnen werde.
Vor mir ein entspannter, charmanter und unglaublich freundlicher Phil Hellmuth, der so ganz anders ist, als bei seinen bekannten und berühmt-berüchtigten Fernsehauftritten. Er hat mich nicht ein einziges Mal beschimpft. Natürlich habe ich ihm als allererstes erzählt, dass ich nicht aus Eastern Europe komme. Ich bin ein Poker-Idiot aus Western Europe. Und das ist nicht mal gelogen.
Und der Großmeister hat tatsächlich ein echtes Bracelet an. Ich bin versucht, es wie den Papstring zu küssen, kann mich aber eben noch bremsen.
Das Interview wird bewusst in englischer Sprache dem geneigten Leser dargeboten, um seine Antworten unverfälscht wiederzugeben. Auch wenn mein Englisch nicht das allerbeste ist; so ist sein Deutsch doch deutlich schlechter.
Udo: Hi Phil, the 2010 WSOP has just finished. You didn’t get a new bracelet this year, but you are still the record holder. 11 Bracelets. Why didn’t you get another one this year? What the fuck happend?
Phil Hellmuth: I am actually fairly happy with my 2010 thus far. I believe that I became a top ten pot limit Omaha tournament player, after dedicating some serious time and effort to learning the game. I became a top five pot limit Omaha 8 or better tournament player (final table and made it to level 18 and bubbled the other one) Also I am proud of the way I played seven card stud 8 or better, and limit Omaha 8 or better. I played good enough to win a bracelet in all of the above tournaments, and I believe that I will win bracelets in all of the above games in the next 20 years. The problem is that their is more luck in those games, and had I played more hold’em events at the high level that I played the above tournaments, then I may well have won another bracelet! Also, I had four cashes and four bubbles, and those in the KNOW, understand that I was deep almost everyday…Too bad that I didn’t do well by the high standards that i set for myself every year, but their is a lot of good to come from the 2010 WSOP…
Udo: You are the best Texas Holdem Player in the world! Who are the Top 5?
Phil Hellmuth: Top five texas Hold’em tournament players right now:
2.) Phil Ivey
3.) Eric Baldwin
4.) Erik Seidel
5.) Probably tie between some up and comers: Elky, Durrr, and Jason Mercier
Udo: Who is the best player in the world, related to ability of all different pokergames?
Phil Hellmuth: You have to give that title to Phil „Triple crown“ Ivey as he has done it in the biggest online cash games, the biggest offline cash games (in Vegas), and the biggest poker tournaments (WSOP and WPT). Also Doyle „Texas Dolly“ Brunson has been beating the biggest cash games in the world for 50 years, he has 10 WSOP wins, and he has a WPT title as well. Next year I will move to Las Vegas, and I hope to start building a winning cash game legacy (but as of now I am not even mentioned as a good cash game player!).
Udo: Who is the best female poker player?
Phil Hellmuth: Jennifer Harman had two WSOP wins, and has been beating the biggest cash games in the world for 15 years. Annie Duke is a part time poker player, but if she ever becomes a full time poker player again, then she may well become the best (she has the 2010 NBC Heads Up Championship win, and a WSOP win).
Udo: Who is the best looking female poker player ?
Phil Hellmuth: A bunch of them are tied (I don’t want to get in trouble with anyone!):Jennifer Harman, Annie Duke, Trishelle Cannatella, Liv Boeree, Tiffany Michelle, Amanda Leatherman, Vanessa Rousso, Clonie Gowen, Jennifer Tilly, and Lacey Jones.
Udo: All this new and young online-kids. Are they danger, curse or blessing ?
Phil Hellmuth: LOVE the new young online kids! They break down poker in a beautiful, mathematical way, and they are the lifeblood of the game. Some of them are great players, and others will struggle, but they are GREAT for the game!!
Udo: Phil. In between, let me ask you another question. Sitting here with you – you are such a friendly and nice guy. Totally different to your appearance (some times) at the poker table. You haven´t offended me one time, up to now … Is that the real, also private Phil Hellmuth? And why are so so different at your games? Strategy?
Phil Hellmuth: It is not intentional. Sometimes I cannot hold my tongue, because I let my frustrations and passion for poker spill out onto the table. In 2010 I have been able to control myself better, but I still hate to lose!! I always thought that the world would figure out that I am a good guy: a family person that is still married after 20 yrs and never has cheated on his wife, a person that does not do drugs, that gets along well with all of the other poker players, and that enjoys life…Maybe someday the world will see that…
Udo: Why are you always coming too late to the Main Event. And also disguised. Are you not too old for that and also is it necessary, because of your level of awareness? And – aren´t you afraid missing some „good hands“ during that time?
Phil Hellmuth Being late is simply a function of needing extra sleep. I chose sleep over being ontime and being anteed off for awhile! The costumes are simply fun, and I believe that they are great for poker!
Udo You are wellknown because of your successes, but also because of your verdicts, like „ Idiots from Eastern Europe“. Some of them don’t look like studied, they look spontaneous and impulsive. Are you so tense at poker?
Phil Hellmuth: I am a very intense person at the poker table, for better (wins), and worse (tantrums)! None of my lines were rehearsed, they were all impromptu (spoken in the moment).
Udo: Your famous for your tourmanents, but also because of your supposed weakness at Cash Games. But – is that really the truth?
Phil Hellmuth: I do not mind being viewed as a weak cash game player, that is OK with me. I laugh when i sit down in a cash game and play at a world class level, and some of the players are shocked. I mean, c’mon! I have a special gift for poker, you should not be shocked when i play great in a cash game! But I admit that sometimes I do play horribly in the cash games, and I need to fix this soon…
Udo: You are the inventor of Check-in-the-Dark. Some people don´t understand it or think thats silly. But – you are not silly. So, what is the „deal“ behind? I personally do an additional step – I sometimes Raise-in-the-Dark or even Fold-in-the-Dark. You should try that. It´s funny and you ll confuse your opponents.
Phil Hellmuth: „Check in the dark“ is an advanced play that may not work for anyone else on the planet. I do it for three reasons: first, to freeze my opponents into not making a c-bet: second, to trap my opponents: third, so that i can study them, and put the heat on them when a new card comes off of the deck. I do not always check in the dark, but when I sense my opponents cannot handle that move, then I use it.
Udo: Do you know Mau Mau, can you play Mau Mau ?
Phil Hellmuth: No.
Udo: Because my pokerbook is titled that „Mau Mau is something for Nancies“. Only Poker is one and only real card game. Is it ?
Phil Hellmuth: No, there are lots of great card games, like hearts, spades, gin, dirty clubs (I have $250,000), and others.
Udo: Let´s talk about the WSOP. Wrong name? Mustn’t it be the WSOH? World Series of Hellmuth. Isn´t the WSOP Main Event a fucking freaky Show? 8.752 Idiots. And they all want to bluff you!
Phil Hellmuth: I love it! They all want to play hands against me to tell their friends and family, and impress the viewers on ESPN, bring it on!
Udo: If I play ten times Heads-up against you. How often you’ll win?
Phil Hellmuth: Maybe two or three, depending on how often the blinds are raised.
Udo: Lets have a look in the future. How will poker be in the next time, what will happen, what will change?
Phil Hellmuth: In ten years the WSOP will be three times as big, I will have 15 – 18 bracelets, and 2 – 5 WPT titles…The future of poker is bright because it is an easy way to make a ton of money!
Das Interview führte Udo Gartenbach
Dieser Artikel erschien auf PokerOlymp am 27.07.2010.