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2018 World Series of Poker

Phil Hellmuth Says “Donald Trump Is the Ultimate Loose-Aggressive Player”

Phil Hellmuth
  • According to Phil Hellmuth, Donald Trump "is the ultimate loose-aggressive player," do you agree?

The fight to win the 2016 Presidential eElection is heating up and is major news around the world. President Barrack Obama is barred by constitutional term limits from seeking reelection, so the United States of America will have a new President once the election is completed.

One presidential candidate who never seems to fall out of the news is Donald Trump. To say he has caused controversy with some off-the-cuff comments is a major understatement, as the New Yorker has angered people around the globe when he said of Mexican immigrants, "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people."

You can almost certainly find a dozen or more of the 69-year-old's outbursts on the Internet.

Love him or hate him, Trump has an army of supporters, and Republicans are looking at ways to defeat him and prevent him obtaining a term in office. Yesterday, a digital newspaper called TheStreet, turned to the most unlikely of people to discuss anti-Trump tactics, 14-time World Series of Poker gold bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth.

"Trump is the ultimate loose-aggressive player," said Hellmuth in an interview with The Street, which seems to be true when you look at how a loose-aggressive player approaches the game of poker. Loose-aggressive players will play any two cards, attack relentlessly, and essentially bully their opponents into handing over their chips.

Thinking in terms of Trump's tactics thus far, he is willing to take up any position to give himself an advantage, never apologizes, and continues to become louder and more abrasive. Plus, his bullying behavior can be seen as a strategy to get what he wants.

"When you're playing against a loose-aggressive player, think of a harpoon," Hellmuth said. "You nail them with a harpoon, on one big pot for all their chips. They're a big target, and Trump is a big target."

Hellmuth went on to explain that Trump is playing many weak hands, but because he's smart and resilient, he's managed to shake off "being harpooned." He even suggests that Trump has changed the rules of the game and the U.S. public has allowed him to do that.

So how does Hellmuth suggest the other candidates act in order to prevent Trump from running away with the election?

Patience, good discipline, and getting more aggressive than the loose-aggressive player, Trump. Hellmuth calls on the recent GOP debate where Marco Rubio countered some of Trump's arguments by quizzing him about his inheritance, his business acumen, and the hiring of foreign workers — Trump was fined 35 years ago for hiring illegal Polish immigrants on a worksite.

“Rubio made a smart move. He finally took it to the next level. He assumed he was just going to win with patience and when you're waiting for someone else to implode and they don't implode, all of the sudden you're way behind in the chips and Super Tuesday is coming up and you can't wait anymore. Rubio can't wait. Rubio changed tactics, finally aggressively attacked Trump — and he looked pretty good doing it.”

Fighting back, as opposed to sitting back and being patient, could be the best strategy for the Republicans, according to Hellmuth. Waiting for a perfect opportunity to strike could result in Trump being too strong (having too many chips to be hurt) due to the sheer amount of supporters he has.

The author of the article on TheStreet, Jeremy Greenfield, likens the election to a high-stakes poker game in terms of it playing out on an emotional level.

"Like the highest-level poker, this election is being played on the emotional level," said Hellmuth. "Many elections have come down to specific policies, party loyalty, how the economy was doing. This election, however, is about raw emotion."

Whether or not Trump gets caught bluffing too often and finds himself harpooned remains to be seen, but the world is watching on with baited breath waiting for the next play to be made.

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