Monday, 16 June 2008 20:25
A poker biography of Phil Hellmuth.
Name - Phil Hellmuth
Born - 1964, Madison, Wisconsin, United States Poker Room - Ultimate Bet
Phil Hellmuth currently has the reputation of being the bad boy of the poker game. Admitting to acting like a brat at times in some tournaments, he clarifies that he is also man enough to acknowledge his faults and apologize right after berating someone. But what Phil finds frustrating is the way television makes a big deal out of his brief bad boy moments.
It could be said that words about Phil's 'bad boy' attitude began while still attending the University of Wisconsin. It was during this time when he started playing poker and where he participated in several school tournaments. Phil succeeded in most of these tournaments and took home a big amount of prize money, enough for him to put up a bankroll and eventually drop out of school. This infuriated his parents who expressed absolute disapproval of his passion for poker.
On the other hand, Phil justifies that despite being tagged as the 'bad boy,' he also has an intrinsic goodness in his character. He accounts that TV coverages of poker games mostly focuses on his brat outbursts when the truth is, he is also capable of staying calm all throughout a particular poker tournament. After all, he believes that every person has a 'good' inside them.
This belief in the 'good' is particularly evident on how he treats loved ones and other people. Since he began winning in many major tournaments and raking in the big bucks, he has learned to share his success. Phil treated his parents to expensive trips and vacations, the destinations of which were all up to his parents to choose. Phil even treated his father with a free plane ticket which his father used to see his championship tournament in Las Vegas. Phil recounts that by the time he was declared the champion, his father ran toward him but was apprehended by the guards thinking his father was going after the millions of cash laid on the table. Phil told the security that the man was his father, and when they let him go, Phil gave his father a big and warm hug. This was when his parents started becoming proud of him, as Phil was slowly achieving success in the field that he truly loves.
Indeed, Phil has success and to boot, has legions of awards under his belt. Phil has ten bracelets from the World Series of Poker plus 17 final tables from the same poker event. He also holds multiple 'Diamond Jim Brady' wins and 'Legends' title, including a championship title in the 1988 finals, courtesy of the Bike in LA. A four-time Hall of Famer and a second placer at the 1996 event of the US Open Championship, he was furthermore awarded with several titles by the prestigious Carnavale of Poker and was the recipient of more than 20 titles from different international events.
Despite reaching a popular status in the poker industry, Phil believes he still has a very long journey to travel to be able to achieve his true goals. But he shares that as long as he can place his trust on the goodness even in the worst poker players he meets, he knows that there is still something good to learn from them.