Yesterday I watched NBC’s 2009 Heads-Up Poker Championship. Phil Hellmuth was paired with online phenom Tom Dwan, and they were at the featured table.
The Poker Brat shut his mouth and played the game without jeering, criticizing, belittling, berating, nor otherwise verbally abusing his opponent. No grand standing whatsoever. Shocking!
Hellmuth won the match when his 9s 5? made a full house that trumped Dwan’s trip 9’s (Kc 9c) on a board of Ah Jd 5d 9h 9d.
(Match played March 7, 2009).
In fact, when asked about his opponent pre- and post-match, Hellmuth had only complimentary things to say about “durrrr” (Dwan’s screen name), and delivered those compliments with sincerity. He even referred to Tom Dwan as “possibly the greatest player ever,” and spoke about his own behavior in last year’s match up with maturity and composure.
Has the Poker Brat grown up or have aliens invaded his body?
My thoughts on Hellmuth’s behavior:
- First, KUDOS to Phil for being able to hold it together.
- I was impressed that Hellmuth could play poker without berating the competition.
- Hellmuth has set the bar high…Now that we have seen that he can behave in an adult fashion, we’ll be expecting more of it.
- If Hellmuth continues to surprise us with adult behavior, I may have to replace him on my fantasy Nightmare No Limit Texas Hold’em Table.
What are your thoughts on Phil Hellmuth’s behavior? Here to stay or just a strategy to get through one match?