Phil Hellmuth may be riding high from his heads-up wins against Daniel Negreanu, but he can’t seem to get his groove back on the live tournament scene. He once famously said that if it weren’t for luck, he’d win every tournament. But Lady Luck has not been hanging around his corner of late. The fifteen-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner bombed out of the World Poker Tour Venetian event three days running.
Taking full advantage of the multiple starting flights, Hellmuth bought in for every bullet he could. Unfortunately, none of the rounds he fired hit their target.
From his table in the Venetian poker room, Hellmuth late-registered for the WSOP event on his iPad. The electronic dealer doled out A♦6♦.
The ‘muth put his stack in and found himself up against pocket eights. The eights held.
To compound his frustrations, he also failed to check if there were any rebuys. There were not. So he was out permanently. He had to settle for playing out his live hands at the WPT.
He tweeted twice about his bad luck. His first of these tweets read: “Wow! Walked to the Venetian cage to buy into @WPT at 7 PM sharp, w my IPad open, whilst sat in @WSOP online tourney (I registered 6:55). First hand, (first!) I busted! Then, found out no rebuys available, doh! If I knew that, Woulda played the hand differently; my fault. Playing WPT now.”
His first day of live play ended much later.
With blinds at 1,000/2,000 with a 2,000 big blind ante, Hellmuth picked up the 4♥4♦ UTG+1. Toby Boas min-raised from his left. Hellmuth called, and Edgardo Rosario raised the bet to 16,000.
Boas called. So did Hellmuth, leaving himself just 40,000 behind, with the pot at 50,000.
The flop came J♦T♠9♦. Hellmuth’s backdoor flush draw and under-pair weren’t worth much except as bluff-catchers. He and Boas checked to the raiser, who put in 40,000. Boas folded, and Hellmuth went into the tank.
He called, asking “Do you have ace-king?”
Rosario shook his head and rolled over K♣Q♣. The river was the Q♠ which gave Phil two outs to a chop, but 7x on the river sent him to the rail.
What is this, a crossover episode?
On Day Two, Hellmuth didn’t do much better. Though he did get to meet a celebrity from another sphere. Nate Silver, the political stats maven, took a selfie with Hellmuth.
Silver went on to top out the chip leaderboard on Day 1B. When play closed on Day 1C 24 hours later, he was still third in chips.
Phil tweeted the selfie with the caption: “Phil Hellmuth and @NateSilver538: one of these guys is a professional poker player, the other one started one of the coolest sites ever: http://fivethirtyeight.com One of us is CHIP LEADER in @WPT, the other busted out.”
Phil’s Day 1C performance is a secret that he could not bring himself to tweet about. The @phil_hellmuth Twitter account displays several patriotic celebrations of the July 4 festivities, but no mention of his ignominious third defeat at the hands of the Fates.
There is no surer sign that he is taking the beats badly than the fact that he has nothing poker-related to brag about. Our hearts go out to him.
The WPT’s live reporting on-site glossed over his loss too. So his final hand will remain a secret. At least now he can really put his focus into playing the WSOP from the comfort of his suite at the Aria.
Featured image source: Flickr by WPT