Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Phil Hellmuth, Cubs Fans and Poker Blogs

I am stunned. How long of a drive is it to Chicago?

The Cubs game just made me sick. And here I was, thinking that the Four Horsemen were brushing off their saddles, preparing to ride.

I self-destructed right along with the Cubbies, losing $65 in 2.4.

./poker segue

Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat.

In lieu of a normal post, I will instead defer to insight about playing Phil Hellmuth in a no-limit tournament, for all you WSOP wanna-be's.

Operative statement:
"Folding to reraises is often a poor pot odds decision that many allow by stating Tournament strategy supersedes pot odds."

Phil Hellmuth Question:
I am curious about the wisdom of Phil's chronic "offended" reaction /
constant belittling of players who call with weak hands against him (like
his reaction to Sam Grizzle calling his pre-flop raise when Sam held a weak K-J offsuit). If you believe he is simply unable to control himself, stop
reading (and, you might be right).

Lee Munzer's reply about Phil Hellmuth:
From Phil's perspective:
He wants to be called by players who hold weak hands. By "intimidating" us
he might stop us from calling him headsup when we hold real junk like 10s-9s
or 4-4. That's bad for Phil. But, I think what he really wants to
accomplish is having us fold to his many steal raises when we hold marginal
hands like 8-8 or A-J and he semi-bluff/steal raises with A-x or 6-6. If he
can accomplish that goal, he wins big by intimidating us (takes the pot with
the worse cards). He also can *reraise* with 7-7 and wants us to fold 9-9
or two connecting overcards. Folding to reraises is often a poor pot odds
decision that many allow by stating T strategy supersedes pot odds. When
Phil makes us fold to his reraise, that's almost always what he wants
(unless he holds A-AS or K-K). So, on balance, by attempting to bolster our
calling requirements through "fear of harassment" I wonder if Phil Helmuth gains or loses equity against the average T player?

From our perspective versus Phil Helmuth:
In most situations we should consider calling Phil's raise or reraise more
than we should consider the average player's raise. We should also try to
put him in when the decision is close (between call and raise). Why?
Because Phil can raise and reraise pre-flop with a larger array of hands
than most (similar to Phil Ivey). In addition, Phil Helmuth lays down many coin-flip situations because he loses his self-perceived skill edge. Finally, from the other side of the equation (analyzing our opponents), Phil Helmuth is a very good (if not top ten) player, thus we should be more willing to gamble with him pre-flop as opposed to outplaying him on the flop or "gambling" with a poor player.



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