"Delusional” Hellmuth Believes He Is The Real Tiger Wood's Of PokerDecember 16, 2009 12:10 pm
Currently featured in NBC’s “Poker After Dark”, is one of the toughest cash game line ups yet witnessed, which includes Patrik Antonius, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Gus Hansen and Daniel Negreanu. One player, however, stands out as far and above more dangerous than all the rest, if his own testimony is to to believed, and that is none other than Phil Hellmuth.
The high esteem Hellmuth is held in the poker world, by himself, is clearly indicated by a story told by Phil Ivey, who was asked by Hellmuth whether he would consider playing golf with Tiger Woods. When Ivey replied that his own golf was so poor right now he would probably refuse, Hellmuth retorted: “Why not. You play hold ’em with me?”
One player who doesn’t concur with Hellmuth’s opinion that he is “the best no limit hold’em player in the world by far,” is Daniel Negreanu. In fact, while explaining his thoughts related to the recent “Poker After Dark ” episodes, Daniel wrote in his blog this week:
“Ivey, Durr [sic], and Patrik just play at another level. In order to compete with them you have to work very hard, play lots of hours, and study your weaknesses. I’m willing to admit they are far better than I am at no limit cash games, but I think Hellmuth actually believes he is the “best no limit hold’em player in the world by far.”
“He’s either lying to the public when he makes those statements, or, he genuinely believes that. Either way, he’s either lying or completely delusional.”
At the heart of Negreanu assertion is the fact Hellmuth, in an effort to feed his poker ego, will desperately end up playing in games above his head where he has a negative expected EV. Negreanu has even booked some prop action with Hellmuth to prove his point, whereby if Hellmuth loses he will have to pay Negreanu an amount equal to his loss.
“If you want to be a successful poker player that reaches the highest levels, you simply can’t do that unless you are aware of your weaknesses and focus on plugging those leaks,” Negreanu wrote. “For most people, even after doing that, they’ll simply never be good enough to play at the highest levels. That’s just life. You have to accept that and find a game you can beat. Most people rise to their own level of ruin by always looking to play in games they can’t beat.”
To watch Hellmuth competing against the top players in the world, tune in to NBC’s “Poker After Dark” weekdays at 2:05AM ET, and judge for yourselves.