Every poker player — regardless of skill level — strives to earn a World Series of Poker gold bracelet. For 13-time winner Phil Hellmuth, however, there is self-inflicted pressure to capture gold in every event he enters, and he is truly disappointed and in disbelief when it doesn’t happen.
Hellmuth spends tournaments talking to himself through Twitter using hashtags to build confidence and provide encouragement. In the past he has used the hashtags like #ManUp, #ChinUp and #BraceletHunting (along with just about every other player at the WSOP making a run). This summer’s hashtag seemed to be focused on #Positivity.
That’s why it was so shocking when Hellmuth’s WSOP came to an end after a huge bluff went wrong during the Main Event. Referencing the PokerNews Live Reporting blog, the hand went like this:
With the blinds at 500/1,000/100, the player in the cutoff opened and Hellmuth three-bet from the small blind. The player in the cutoff four-bet to 13,100 and Hellmuth called.
Hellmuth checked the flop and his opponent continued for 8,500. At this point, Hellmuth put in a check-raise to 22,000, which was called.
Both players checked the turn. When the river came to complete the board, Hellmuth bet 33,000. His opponent moved all in for Hellmuth’s last 12,000. After a short tank of about 45 seconds, Hellmuth released his hand and it was later revealed that he had .
Hellmuth busted soon after when his failed to improve against .
Busted myself in #WSOPMainEvent...Bluffed off too many chips in 1 pot. Bluffing kept me in there, BUT live by the sword, die by the swordFollow @phil_hellmuth
Hellmuth is fully aware that he is the only one to blame for his Main Event exit. There was no finger pointing or blaming of “Northern Europeans” or “Crazy Frenchmen” for this elimination. Most players would be content with seven cashes, two final tables and over $200,000 in earnings for the summer, but any World Series that doesn’t net Hellmuth at least one bracelet is considered a disppointment for the 13-time WSOP champion.
Hellmuth began this World Series of Poker like many in the past, where he assured everyone he was a new person. No whining, more respectful behavior and working to improve his Poker Brat reputation. While there were moments throughout the series when the Poker Brat reared his ugly head, the new Hellmuth emerged during the exit interview with PokerNews’ Caitlyn Howe. He was in a jovial mood considering he just busted the Main Event, admittedly a dark time for him. That alone proves anything is possible.
You can view all of our great interviews in the video section.