Here at Melted Felt HQ we already had a lot of respect for Phil Hellmuth. I mean, how many other poker pros could get so much cash from corrupt poker site Ultimate Bet, then get away squeaky clean and smelling of oh-so-beautifully scented roses?
Oh yeah, a little *grudging* respect for accumulating 12 World Series Of Poker bracelets too.
In fact, it is number 12 which we wanted to focus on today… 7 card stud is a tough game with many hardened pros having 60 years of experience already – and, well, Phil took baby cards after baby card and bluffed them out of every damn pot.
Apparently it all started with a pair of aces in the hole and a two showing. Phil decided to raise and got a couple of callers looking like they had small split pairs. No messing about when brick baby cards fell on 4th and 5th, Phil just kept on firing, one of his opponents paired 6th and Hellmuth caught the 3rd ace – he fired, hoping for a re-raise, and *boom* his opponent laid it down.
Confused as to why someone who looked like they improved while his board looked like a bust would fold, Phil checked out the fortitude of a couple of the other players around. When they too sighed and folded to his board showing baby cards, Phil decided that the $5k 7-card stud event was full of the weakest players ever put on the earth.
He continued bluffing them, some confusion at one showdown, where it did look like his opponent had trips to beat his small 2-pair… must have been an unseen straight or something, right?
As they got down to the final few tables, the guy who was labeled as the player who could not diversify out of Holdem was on a roll. At one point he was literally raising every time he had a baby card – representing trips in the hole. At one point Phil did comment that he had not actually been informed about the rule change which meant that the highest card, and not the lowest had to bring in… but everyone seemed cool with it, so he simply put it down to not keeping up with the latest trends in poker in general due to focus on his business interests.
Along came the money bubble and Phil decided that, while his table continued to play this weak, he would bluff every single time he had small cards on board. Just before the final table he made a masterful lay-down after pairing his King door card and facing a 4-bet re-raise, the guy must have had an open ended straight and flush combo with those small cards – meaning he was not a favorite by 7th street.
Even the final table seemed to be full of the weakest 7 card stud players ever, with kings and queens mucked on 3rd street even with nothing higher behind. With the bracelet approaching and the $180k prize money not such a big deal – Hellmuth saw no need to switch from his beautifully executed plan and bluffed his way to a historic 12th bracelet.
We would like to offer our respect, and to note that critics all over the world have been well and truly silenced.
Now, who is going to tell him that the game was Razz?