Hundred Percent Interviews: – What’s the key to being a great poker player?
Phil Hellmuth: You want to know what it takes to be a great poker player? You sit down across from these idiots. These idiots like Antonio and Dwan. You sit there. They buff you. They bluff you. OK. Fine. You know? I understand poker on an advanced level. I understand stuff, these guys have no idea what I understand. I’ll let them take a few grand here and there. Because I’m setting a trap. I got these guys right where I want them. They don’t know poker. They know nothing about poker. These idiots. Some of them are from Northern Europe. I’ll get them. They bluff, they bluff. They don’t even understand the math behind this game. I’m setting up a trap. Then I put in all my money, I got the best hand, or maybe I don’t, because the idiot across me, I can’t believe this guy, how he plays–he called me pre-flop with Queen 10! Are you kidding me? I’ve been playing poker professionally for all my life. I’ve never seen someone call with Queen 10. This guy–how does he even have cards? You’d think with his level of poker acumen, he wouldn’t even know how to get two hole cards to begin with. Is this guy from Northern Europe? He might be from Northern Europe.
– What’s your best bad beat story?
Just the fact that I have to sit down next to these idiots–that’s a bad beat in and of itself. I mean, these guys, they can’t even spell poker. They can’t even spell cat. I try to teach them. I say, “Sound it out. Cat. How do you spell it?” They have no idea. And they hand out bad beat after bad beat. I got Aces. This idiot, he’s probably from Northern Europe, he calls me with Queen 10. Queen fucking 10. Buddy–when it’s my Aces versus your Queen 10, what you need to do is just give me all of your stack right then and there. There’s no point in even playing the hand. Just give me all your money. But this guy, he actually had the audacity to win the hand by making trip 10s on the turn. Fucking idiot. Then there was this other hand against some other guy. This young kid, with the mousse in his hair. I got Aces, I raise, he reraises, I call. The flop comes 7 10 Ace, the 10 and Ace are spades. I got the nuts. We get all our money in. I turn over my Aces, and he’s got two 7s. Then the fucking dealer, this idiot dealer, he deals the flop and turn, they come spade spade, and this kid, he makes a backdoor flush on me! He’s got the 7 of spades. What the fuck was he even doing in that hand, calling me preflop with a pair of 7s?! Idiot!
– How many times have you folded pocket Kings preflop?
I do it every day. I’m Phil Hellmuth. You don’t get all these bracelets by playing pocket Kings. You get those bracelets by folding pocket Kings.
– Who’s the greatest player you’ve ever played against?
One time I played poker against myself. And I was my toughest opponent ever. I trapped myself. I set the trap.