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Phil Hellmuth Jr.

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Phil HellmuthPhil Hellmuth Jr. is one of the most successful Texas Hold'em tournament players of all time. His Hold'em success at the World Series of Poker is better than anyone, and more than most players could ever dream of. He has won bracelet after bracelet, placed in the money over 100 times, and is one of the all time top money winners. One of his WSOP bracelets was for winning the Championship event in 1989 when he was only 24 years old, making him at the time the youngest winner of the main event.

Now having said all that, the thing that is such a shame is that as great as he is, most people know him as the biggest whiner in poker. It bothers me that most people are going to remember him for his poor attitude rather than for the great tournament player that he is. I have heard him say numerous times that he is working on the fact that he throws temper tantrums at the table and I honestly believe that he is, but there is still an awful lot of work to be done there.

I have had the pleasure of playing heads up with him on one occasion. He won the $1,000 Omaha High-Low event at the L.A. Poker Classic and I came in second. It wasn't really a fair fight though since he started out with over ten times the chips I had. I had a few people tell me that they were rooting for me so bad just to see him cry about it. In all honesty, he was a total gentleman at the table. After we finished the event, he came up to me and shook my hand and told me that I played a great game. I thought to myself, "wow he really is changing". He could have just been a sportsman because he had won. I guess for now, I will not know what his attitude would be like if I had come in first. When I do beat him in an event, I hope that he will give give me a little more credit than what he did when he wrote about this one. He wrote a full page about the tournament and the only time my name was mentioned was way in the bottom paragraph, where he said, "Shirley Rosario came in second."

Phil Hellmuth currently lives in Palo Alto, California. He travels the tournament circuit for larger buy-in events, was a spokesman for online cardroom Ultimate Bet, and has written a few books including, "Play Poker Like the Pros". When people see poker, people see Phil. In the first years of the World Poker Tour, he had a fourth, eighth, tenth, fourteenth and third in those events. Most people would think that would be terrific, but he complained he felt like "a total failure". That is one of the reasons why he is a terrific poker player, he doesn't want to settle for anything but the best, but it also shows he can complain about almost anything.