So why has Phil won 11 WSOP bracelets, all in Texas Hold-em? He also has near 50 final table appearances in various other tournaments and other wins as well.
Is Phil that much a better player than everyone else? Is he more talented? Luckier than most?
the answer is no to all of the above.
There are a number of top professional players who know as much about the hold-em game as Helmuth does.
so what is it you might ask?:
PATIENCE + SITUATIONAL READS over opponent reads. Phil can fold a hand and fold a hand prob better than anyone who has every played the NL tourney circuit. And it is not always because he believes he is beat in a hand, but sees THE SITUATION IS NOT GOOD TO MAKE A CALL, or chase a pot. Hence, many people think he is weak because he folds more, checks the ego at the door, and then slams those same players who try to make plays on him when he does have the right situation and the right read of it. and he will do this allot after a check raise, he is willing to let go a pot if the situation is wrong.
Also, Phil understands the value of not pushing all in for the sake to win a pot with a marginal hand. Mike has cost himself allot of potential wins because Mike sometimes will over play a situation that does not call for it.
Very rarely before a final table will you ever see Helmuth have all his chips all in when he has a decent stack. When Phil builds chips early, he usually continues to grind it out.
I discussed this with him a bit the other night at Mike's house.
Simply put, there is not a better NL player in the world than Mr.Helmuth.
Ask Mike and Mike will tell you the same thing. Mike learned and patterned his game after Helmuth when he was coming up some years ago.
and trust me, it is a semi act when he says "I am the best NL player in the world"..(although Mike and I agree with that statement) It is not his ego, he is saying that for a reason to gain a table advantage folks!!! Egotistical, true egomaniacs WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO FOLD AND ALWAYS TRY TO OUTPLAY EVERYONE!!
He wants to piss you off and have you dislike him so you might make an egotistical mistake in a hand with him, and allot of you guys out there would just love to bust him right? THAT IS WHAT HE WANTS!! I do not think people realize just how good a player he really is tournament wise. I hope this has enlightened some of you about some of his tactics that make him the winning est poker player tournament wise of all time.
Now off the tables, he is a quiet mild mannered guy, even a bit on the shy and reserved side.
Think about it, poker without people like my brother and Helmuth would be semi boring.
Don't hate Helmuth, RESPECT HIM AS A PLAYER!!