1.Against All Odds

Introduction

Los Angeles poker classics

ESP

Bad Beat Poker

Pot-Limit Omaha

Spooky Hand

World Poker Challenge

Pot-Limit Hold'em Tournaments

Foxwood's Poker

Five-Star World Poker

World Series of Poker-2000

World Series Poker Championship

2.World Series of Poker Hands

Youngest World Champion

World Series Poker-1999

World Series Poker-1998

World Series Poker-2002

WSOP-2002

WSOP-1995

WSOP-1994

WSOP-1998

U.S.. Poker Championship-1999

WSOP-2000

WSOP's Winner-2000

WSOP-2003

WSOP's Record-2003

"Big One" in WSOP-2003

3.World Poker Tour

WPT-2002

World Poker Tour-2002

WPT's winner-2003

WPT-2004

WPT-2003

World Poker Tournament-2003

WPT's Event-2003

Foxwood's World Poker

Amir's Big Call

4.European Poker Tour

The Poker em

Poker In Amsterdam-1998

The Poker em-2000

Late Night Poker 3-2000

WHUPC-2003

5.Reading other Player's mail

WSOP-1992

Tournaments of Champion-1999

A Tale Of Four Bluffs

WSOP-2001

Commerce Casino-2002

No-Limit Hold'em Event-2002

 

The Weirdest And Biggest Pot Of My Life – So Far

There can be only one World Champion of  Poker event each year.  The winner will be called a World Champion for the rest of his or her life-not ex-World Champion, but simply World Champion of Poker. 

Every poker tournament that he or she plays in, and every card room that he or she ever visits, will call him or her World Champion of Poker.  This person will have his or her picture on the World Champion of Poker walls for the rest of eternity, and will win at least $2.5 million for first place (that was the figure in 2003).

In golf, there are four majors a year; in poker, we have just one, although in 2004 the World Poker Tournament’s $25,000 buy-in Tour Championship is a solid second major.  All of the poker player card games that I know dream of winning the World Champion of Poker title, and therefore securing their place in poker history.  In fact, for many of my fellow poker players, and for me, the worst poker day of our poker year is the day when we are eliminated from the World Series of Poker.

In 2001, carlos mortensen arrived at the WSOP 1992 final table after a grueling four days of play with over $1 million in chips.  I made it there as well, for the first time since I wond the event in 1989.  Joining Carlos and me at the final table were Dewey Tomko, Mike matusow, Phil Gordon, John Inashima, Henry Nowakowski, Steve “Country” Riehle, and Stan Schrier.  Joining the nine of us at the final table of the WSOP  were 1,200 spectators, two live Internet broadcasts (see www.philhellmuth.com for the archived broadcast), dozens of reporters, and 10 different cameras covering the players and table for the Travel Channel.  With a battery of electronic equipment for the Travel  Channel, a room full of spectators, and lots of spectacular bluffs from the players, that electric final table was the most exciting environment I had ever played in.

I hadn’t played at Carlos’s table at all during the previous four days, but that was about poke to change, as we finally met at the final table on the fifth day.  The play at the final table that mystical day was erratic and spectacular.  One pot limit omaha. Henry Nowakowski smooth-called a $20,000 bet with pocket kings.  Then Carlos raised the pot to $120,000 to go with A-Q, and Mike matusow made it $500,000 to go with 2-7 off suit!

Imagine, Mike made it $500,000 to go with 2-7 off suit, which is generally considered to be the worst-possible starting hand in Hold’em poker game! Risking $500,000 on a pure bluff takes a lot of guts, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.  Of course, Henry called Mike’s $500,000 bet with pocket kings, and won a $1,100,000 pot.

Another hand, Mike made it $100,000 to go, and then called Phil Gordon’s $400,000 raise (in a heartbeat!) with A-10 off suit.  Mike made a fantastic call with the A-10, because Phil had only A-7! With all of the brilliant and erratic fireworks and megabluffs surrounding him, Dewey Tomko quietly played his more conservative style, and slowly began to accumulate chips.

With five players left in the 2003 World Series of Poker, the following hand came up between Carlos mortensen and me.  I was second in chips and feeling pretty good about things when I decided to call the $30,000 blind with Q-10.  Dewey, Phil G., carlos, and Stan all called my $30,000 bet.  The flop came down Qs-9h-4s.  With about $160,000 in the pot, carlos and Stan checked to me, and I bet a mere $60,000.  Dewey and Phil G. folded, and then Carlos made it $260,000 to go, which was a $200,000 raise.

Stan then studied for about two minutes (which in poker is an eternity, especially under those circumstances) as I observed both him and Carlos.  As it turned out, Stan didn’t seven card stud know he had a hand sitting in front of him-he thought he had folded a minute before.  When he realized that we were all waiting for him to act and that he had a live hand, he instantly apologized and threw his hand away.  Stan is a really good guy, and it was all just a simple mistake spookey hand.

While I was waiting for Stan to act, I was spending all of my time studying Carlos, because I already knew that if Stan put a chip into this pot, then I was going to fold my hand.  Carlos looked really nervous to me, as we both sat and waited while (we thought poker) Stan contemplated his next move.  Suddenly, I began to think two things at once.  First, I thought that Carlos had Q-J, which had me beat, and that it would be hard for him to call my $650,000 reraise, if I indeed raised all of my chips.

My second thought was one I don’t remember ever having before in my life.  I thought, “Is it time to go home?” I had been waiting for 12 years for the chance to win the World Series of Poker again; I had visualized it and seen it happen many times in my mind over the years.  I thought to myself, “I’m not going anywhere; I think I probably have Carlos beat, but even if he does have Q-J, he will fold it for a $650,000 raise right now limit stud.”

I then moved all of my chips into the middle of the pot, and Carlos began to think. “Perfect,” I thought.  “If he’s thinking, then he doesn’t have two pair or trips.  I think he’ll fold, and I will win this pot.” Then Carlos said, “Count.” Then the dealer said, “Call,” and I flipped my hand faceup just as Carlos said, “Wait a minute.  I didn’t say call, I said count!” Oh my God, oh my God! I had just shown my hand to Carlos for free, in the biggest pot of my life! But I covered it up very quickly.  I’m not 100 percent sure whether Carlos saw my hand or not (it would have been hard for him to miss it), but if he had, then it just wasn’t my year to win the WSOP.

In all of my 19 years of watching and playing poker, I have never seen anyone flip up their hand while the other player was still thinking.  It was bizarre, and it was definitely my fault (more like my stupidity).  If he did see my hand, then fate (or something like that) had intervened to stop me from my second “Big One” at the WSOP. If he did see my hand, then I just figured that some great power somewhere had said, “Phil. I am going to take this one away from you, but don’t worry about it, because I have given you so much in life.”

I would also like to believe that things happen for a reason, and that this great power had plans for me to win the WSOP again soon.  If Carlos didn’t see my hand, then he made one hell of a call with his Q-J, and either way, he definitely deserved to win the 2001 WSOP.  Carlos played spectacular poker that day, and that’s why he is the 2001 World Champion of Poker.  After Carlos called my $650,000 raise, the next card games was a jack (for Q-9-4-J), which gave me any eight or any king to make a straight and win the pot.  The last card was an ace, and it was all over for me.

Five straight days of playing and 12 years of dreaming were gone in as long as it took that ace to hit the table in front of my eyes.  After I was eliminated, I was as dejected as I have ever been in my life. Which makes me realize how lucky I am, in so many other respects.  After all, it’s just poker–or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

 

6.From The Other Side Of Table

WSOP-1974

Commerce Casino-1999

WSOP-1999

WPT-2003

Bellagio Poker

Ladies World Championship

High Limit Action in Houston

Commerce Casino's California-1999

Party Poker Million-2002

WSOP's Winner-2002

WSOP seven card stud-2000

Foxwood's Casino

Pot-Limit Hold'em Event

World Heads-Up Poker Tour

United States Poker Championship

7.Poker Hollywood Style

Chinese Poker

Bicycle Club Casino

Rounder's

Celebrity Poker

Hustler Casino

8.Cheesehead Poker

Poker in Madison

Bluffing

Sportsmen Club

Pot-Limit Hold'em At Nora's Bar

Big Game in Wisconsin

A GOLF STORY

ULTIMATEBET HAND

CHAMPION OF THE YEAR AWARD

TOP MOMENTS IN POKER

THE NEXT POKER WAVE