Thursday October 8, 2020 at 2:22 pm

Phil Galfond complimented Phil Hellmuth and his heads-up game and all hell broke loose. Galfond, arguably one of the greatest PLO cash game players and heads-up gurus, shared a quick assessment of Hellmuth's heads-up skills against Antonio Esfandiari in the High Stakes Duel. High-stakes regs were quick to share the prevailing sentiment that Hellmuth is not that good and that even if he was, the Poker Brat" table image and antics diminishes any true achievement at the tables.

HellmuthAntonio
Phil Hellmuth vs Atonion Esfandiari in High Stakes Duel

So, what are we arguing about today in the poker world? Yes, the poker community loves a proper and heated argument. You can't really blame them because poker players are highly-competitive and opiniated people, especially when it comes to their superiority over inferior players. But when it comes to someone like Phil Hellmuth, most of the community generally has a low opinion of the one we call the Poker Brat. He's become a caricature of himself and a bit tone-deaf, but sorta funny in a lampoon kind of way (e.g. selling his house). Hellmuth won more WSOP bracelets than anyone in history. In one sense, for players that think the "bling" matters as a benchmark of awesomeness, their lies a bit of cognitive dissonance when it comes to Hellmuth. You can't say bracelets matter and then shit all over Hellmuth's game. Obviously, if you think bracelets used to be a hallmark of excellence, but has since been hijacked by corporate interests as the golden carrot stick in front of the donkey cart, then none of this matters.

The kids always think the old guard is overrated with their antiquated ways. This is no different in pro sports when the kids today think LeBron James is the GOAT compared to Michael Jordan. Then again you still have some elderly holdouts that think Wilt Chamberlin or Bill Russell is the greatest hoopster of all time. But let's be frank here... Hellmuth is not the GOAT in poker. That debate is for masses to argue about: Doyle Brunson vs Phil Ivey vs Fedor Holz.

But in poker right now, one of the most respected players in the game gave a public shoutout to Hellmuth. Phil Galfond is one of the nicer guys in the community and he's been trying to give back to the world by teaching pros to become highly-function stars, and he also teaches absolute fish how to improve their game.

Galfond admitted he never trashed the Poker Brat publicly, but privately, he had many conversations that Hellmuth was not as good as his resume. Galfond's initial sentiment matched those GTO-robots in hoodies that think the Poker Brat is overrated trash from what they've seen in the trenches playing against Hellmuth.

Galfond watched the last heads-up battle between Antonio Esfandiari and Hellmuth. Galfond wanted to share his come to Jesus moment... ho hum... his come to Hellmuth moment... when he realized that Hellmuth has a little bit of poker genius inside of him.

"For as long as I can remember, Phil's abilities at the table haven't had the respect of many in poker's younger generation," said Galfond via Twitter.

You cannot win 15 bracelets without some-sort of finishing skills, especially in the heads-up department. It takes a certain skill to navigate large-field events to get to a final table. At the final table, it's a whole other different skill set especially as players bustout and then it shrinks to short-handed action to eventually heads-up.

"What I saw wasn't HUNL technical mastery. It was an uncanny ability to assess and adapt to every spot he found himself in... he chose lines that, while often unorthodox, intelligently capitalized on his (dead-on)read of each situation."

Galfond gave Hellmuth props and formally apologized for taking over a decade or more to realize Hellmuth actually has a good game.

"I just recognized that I witness greatness, and that Phil Hellmuth knows something I don't."

Many of the high-stakes pros were ready to shit on Galfond's Come to Helmuth moment.

"He punted every 300k I've seen him play in so I don't share your view," said Fedor Holz. "I think he's a clear losing player in tougher lineups and mostly plays a style that exploits vs. tighter weaker opponents and WSOP & old school player tendencies. I find it entertaining to play against him."

Dan Smith tweeted, "On your side of the argument, people have some nice things to say. The people on the other side of the argument are willing to bet *really* big. Hmm.... (thinking emoji)."

"Easily 1 of the silliest things I've ever read from someone I respect," said Olivier Busquet. "Misses the point or is flat out wrong on almost every substantive issue and an actual formal apology to the most obnoxious disrespectful, self promoting ego maniac in the industry. It's like Stockholm syndrome."

This reminds of a scene from the HBO show Band of Brothers, about WWII paratroopers fighting Nazis in Europe It's one of the earlier episodes when Easy Company boards a troop ship in NYC and is headed across the Atlantic to join the fight. Two soldiers argue about the competence, or lack thereof, of their command officers. The argument quickly turns when one solider makes a low-key anti-Semitic comment and another takes offense and the two try to fight each other. The rest of the company rushes in to break up the fight. Meanwhile, two soldiers ignore the hysterics and fight around them as they play cards against each other.

"Fighting over Sobel, thanks smart," quips the solider before drawing a card.

Which brings me back to this week's drama in the poker world. Fighting over Hellmuth? That's... smart, lulz.

Latest news
Wednesday October 21, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Sam Grizzle passes away, once beat up Phil Hellmuth

The poker world said goodbye to one of its last grizzled characters when Sam Grizzle passed away after a massive stroke this weekend. Grizzle, most known as Phil Hellmuth's nemesis, was one of those characters that flirted the line between pro and angle shooter. Grizzle won $1.3 million in tournaments, but won unknown amounts as a cash game player in Nevada.

Tuesday October 20, 2020 at 2:51 am
Planet Hollywood poker room reopens, Pai Gow jackpot hit

After a lengthy shutdown, live poker returns to Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip. Meanwhile, one lucky Pai Gow poker player struck it rich with a $133,037 jackpot win at Planet Hollywood. And over at the Wynn Casino, the poker room is temporarily shuttered and relocated after the Wynn/Encore reduced hours due to a serious drop off in gamblers.

Friday October 16, 2020 at 5:35 pm
Live poker finally returns to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City

The poker room at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey will finally reopen for the first time since being shuttered in March. The Borgata will resume action with 30 of its 77 tables on Wednesday, October 21. All players will be required to wear masks. Tables have plastic partitions and will only be seven-handed. The Borgata reopened in late July of this year, but the poker room was not ready yet.

Wednesday October 14, 2020 at 3:06 pm
Spicy lead up to Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu grudge match continues

It's time for the nitty gritty as Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu iron out the last few details of their long-awaited heads-up match. The two were hashing it out and smack talking via Twitter for the entire (poker) world to see. Doug Polk, a heads-up NL specialist is coming out of retirement to play Kid Poker, is a favorite over Negreanu. The match is set for November 1 and will be broadcast on PokerGO.

Tuesday October 13, 2020 at 3:53 am
Phil Ivey conversation on staying mentally sharp

Phil Ivey and Poker King, a new online poker site in Asia, recently joined forces. Poker King recently spliced together a video on a new series called " A conversation with Phil Ivey. In this episode, Ivey invites his old friend Barry Greenstein to have a chat about life, growing old in poker, and mental health. Ivey also explains his new venture with Poker King and their innovative security system to identify cheaters.

Saturday October 10, 2020 at 5:24 pm
PokerStars Bounty Builder Series begins Sunday October 11

PokerStars launches their latest series on Sunday, October 11 with their Bounty Builder Series. This series with 213 events of the Progressive KO variety, is specifically designed to help players expand their bankroll. Tournaments have buy-ins as low as $1.10 with over a dozen events with buy-ins under $22. The Bounty Builder has over $30 million in guaranteed prize pools and will run through October 25. There will be two Main Events with buy-in price points at $55 and $530.

Tuesday October 6, 2020 at 11:30 pm
Bicycle Casino in LA reopens with outdoor table games and poker room

The Bicycle Casino outside of Los Angeles reopened with "outdoor gaming". The Bike originally shut down in March during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened in June for a quick minute before Governor Newsom shut down all casinos during a spike. Almost four months later, the Bike reopened with 52 total outdoor tables, including 17 outdoor poker tables.

Saturday October 3, 2020 at 10:26 pm
Doug Polk vs Daniel Negreanu heads-up battle to start November 1

Two months after the initial confirmation that Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu would engage in a heads-up grudge match, the two finally picked a start date for their challenge lasting 25,000 hands. Negreanu and Polk will begin jousting on November 1 by two-tabling $200/$400 NL. The final details are still yet to get worked out, but at least their fans have almost a month to get fired up on the craziest heads-up battle of 2020.

Thursday October 1, 2020 at 4:09 am
Sports betting revenue up 65% in Nevada, but Las Vegas still not back to normal

At first glance the numbers show overall revenue in the state of Nevada is down 22% from last summer, with Las Vegas Strip revenue down 39% in August. But considering we're still in the middle of a pandemic, the overall numbers are nothing but good news for casino operators in Nevada. With pro sports returning and the NBA playoffs in full swing, sportsbetting revenue spiked +65% in August.

Tuesday September 29, 2020 at 10:35 pm
PokerStars introduces Active Waiting List to protect poker ecosystem

PokerStars will roll out "Active Waiting List" with a specific mission to protect recreational players and protect the overall game by fostering a healthy ecosystem The folks at the red spade attempted to address sharks preying on weaker players in cash games and deter the act of bum-hunting by modifying the wait list. This new Active Waiting List is specifically created to induce more action and create a fair distribution of players joining new tables, while acting as a deterrent for pros who seek out and prey on bad players.

Friday September 25, 2020 at 9:52 pm
WPT Online Championships: Michael Addamo chops $100K Super High Roller for $1.28M

The 2020 World Poker Tour Online Championships have finally come to a conclusion on partypoker. The pro-friendly event ended with a $100K Super High Roller. Michael Addamo and partypoker ambassador Ike Haxton agreed on a heads-up chop, but Addamo walked away as the WPT Online Championships official champion, Addamo banked early $1.3 million for being the last high roller standing.

Thursday September 24, 2020 at 12:03 am
Andre 'PTFisherman23' Marques wins 2020 WCOOP Main Event in 3-way money chop for $1.14 million

The 2020 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event Championship, aka WCOOP Event #72-H at PokerStars attracted 1,977 runners to the $10 million guaranteed prize pool event. The final table included... Teun 'tinnoemulder' Mulder, Andre "PTFisherman23" Marques, Robin 'robinho' Ylitalo, Tonio "prrrak4783" Roder, Michael 'munchenHB' Telker. The top three agreed to a chop that gave them roughly $1 million each. Portugal's Andre "PTFisherman23" Marques defeated Germany's Tonio "prrrak4783" Roder heads-up for the WCOOP Main Event title and $1.14 million in cash. Dutch pro Teun Mulder took third place.

Monday September 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm
RIP Darvin Moon, Runner-up 2009 WSOP

Darvin Moon, the Luddite Logger from Maryland, made poker history when the amateur went all the way to the second-installment of the November Nine and reached the final table of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. Moon lost heads-up to Joe Cada but he cashed nearly $5.2 million off a modest $130 investment. Moon stepped out of the spotlight have his brief brush with fame. He passed away over the weekend at age 56 after complications from surgery.

Thursday September 17, 2020 at 2:51 am
2020 WPT World Online Championships: Phillip Mighall Binks Main Event for $1.7 Million

The 2020 World Poker Tour Online Championship at PartyPoker continued with the Main Event. The $10,300 buy-in Main Event attracted 1,011 to the $10 million guaranteed prize pool. The UK's Phillip Mighall defeated Holland's Teun Mulder heads-up to win the Main Event for $1.7 million. Mulder earned $1.2 million for second place. PartyPoker Ambassador Dzmitry Urbanovich made the final table but finished in sixth place. Damian Salas busted in third place.

Tuesday September 15, 2020 at 8:54 pm
Tilt-a-Phil: Tony G vs Phil Hellmuth (Videos)

Love them or hate them but Phil Hellmuth and Tony G blowing up at each other is hysterical content. One of the many thing I miss about the poker boom, were the televised blow ups of our favorite poker villains. PokerStars released one of their clip videos of their favorite moments with Tony G needling Hellmuth during The Big Game.

Friday September 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm
Hollywood Home Games, Irish Eyes Smiling with Mike Sexton

Ever since Mike Sexton passed away last weekend, the tributes poured in all over the poker community including two good one from Houston Curtis and Padraig Parkinson. It's very rare when the community is unified by something and in this moment of tragedy, the poker world collectively mourned the passing of Mike Sexton as one of the true legends and one of the greatest ambassadors of the game.

Wednesday September 9, 2020 at 4:58 am
WSOP Online: Melika 'Melirazavii' Razavi, Connor Drinan, Michael Gathy win final bracelets

The 2020 WSOP Online came to a close at GGPoker with its final bracelet events. Iran's Melika 'Melirazavii' Razavi snagged her first bracelet with a victory in Event #82 $1,050 Beat the Pros. Connor Drinan faded 899 players to win Event #83 $10K WSOP Super MILLION$ for a $1.4 million score. For the final bracelet event on the docket, Belgian pro Michael Gathy banked $272,504 for shipping Event #85 $500 Closer (Last Chance) and won his fourth-career bracelet.

Monday September 7, 2020 at 7:13 pm
RIP Mike Sexton, Poker's Greatest Ambassador

The poker world is mourning the loss of one of its greatest ambassadors and beloved players. Mike Sexton passed away at the age of 72 after a long battle with cancer. Sexton loved the game of poker and he sought to share his love of the game with people all over the world. Sexton won over $6.7 million in live tournaments and unknown millions in cash games, including a WSOP bracelet in 1989. Sexton also won an event on the WPT in 2016. Sexton is widely known as an announcer for the World Poke Tour. He inspired people to become better players, but more importantly Sexton inspired pros to become better people.

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