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You’d think Michael Jordan was back in town.

I’m sitting at the bar by the Bellagio’s Fontana Lounge with Dan Heimiller and Alan Kessler, two guys who are grizzled enough Vegas to never be impressed, when we hear a commotion coming our way.

The scrum is four deep and flashbulbs are popping. “I gotta get a picture of this,” says Dan on the run.

It is Phil Hellmuth. He’s dressed in black with the hat and sunglasses, two of the Royal Flush Girls adorning each arm, at the cashier’s cage buying in to the WPT at the last possible moment. Eight cameras and two boom mikes plus an autograph seeking crowd track his every stride.

Show 5 (July 14) featuring Phil Hellmuth is online now! Click the play button to listen:

After listening to the radio show check out the video of Phil Hellmuth’s late entrance:

It’s gonna be a short day

Down at the tournament table, and the late buy-ins know that they got their work cut out for them. “It’s gonna be a short day,” says Hellmuth, as he’s in like the very first pot. Two mountains of chips to his right and left, guys who have already played eleven levels, and Phil asks for a count as one of them bets an amount equal to about half Phil’s micro stack on the river.

The chips are nothing to the man who has been playing since Day 1. The board reads ace-queen-queen-six-six and Phil tanks for a while and then flashes two eights as he folds, prompting your man to show the jack-ten bluff with a satisfied grin. “Wow!” says Phil. “You bluffed me?”

The yellow Sony first generation Walkman has been replaced by an iPod and the acne by a three day beard, but Phil Hellmuth isn’t that different from the Poker Brat who stole the show and the world championship as a twenty-four year old kid in 1989. It’s the poker world that’s changed.

He’s grabbed a record eleven WSOP bracelets on the way, however, and that record is something Phil doesn’t care to give up or forget. To the people who say Ivey will take the record from him in the next five years, Hellmuth responds simply, “Impossible!” I had a chance to sit down with Phil for an extended interview where he talks candidly about life, bracelets, poker and the WSOP 2010.

Show 5 (July 14) featuring Phil Hellmuth is online now! Click the play button to listen:

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  1. Theres twelve important things to see on Hellmuts walk with the royal flush girls.
    Four faces and eight legs! doc

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