Yesterday, after One Drop winner Daniel Colman took to the Two Plus Two Forums to verbally tear poker pro Phil Hellmuth a new one, we here at F5 speculated that Hellmuth both would never even see Colman’s comments and if so, Hellmuth would not give a care.
Well, we were wrong.
Phil not only saw the comments but was pretty open about how it made him feel on the live broadcast of the Poker Night In America cash game that was being broadcast at the time. He really seemed unnerved for…about an hour. Those watching heard Hellmuth talk about how he believes that “99%” of all poker players love him and he couldn’t ever recall a time when he called out another player on a public forum.
As Phil Hellmuth was processing the comments, so was Daniel Colman who came back into the thread and actually backed off his original “cancer” statements.
Maybe a bit too harsh, not exactly a cancer to society but it definitely doesn’t do us any good when people like him shamelessly self-promote and try and sell themselves to you. Listened to 5 minutes of that podcast and it got me upset listening to him prop himself up, and the interviewer was definitely feeding the ball to him. It brought back the bitter taste I had in my mouth when he came up on the stage after the one drop win and actually said “congratulations, welcome to the poker world kid.” Never met him apart from that but I am sure hes an overall nice guy, just really not a fan of how he conducts himself.
He returned not long after, once again, to try to soften the blow by putting his attack in some kind of context.
I understand I come off poorly attacking Phil in the way I did, let’s agree that I was harsh and over the top and didn’t do myself any favors. Im happy to have a dive taken in my almighty twoplustwo street cred as long as we can focus some parts of the discussion on PH’s overall behavior and his representing of UB.
The media has rewarded him for his antics where he is always belittling the other players and constant talking about how he is the greatest. I am sure this has had a positive effect on his bank account, but I am not willing to go cheer him on as a savvy businessman for it. If you are going to profit off being a classless whiny brat there should be some repercussions such as people calling a spade a spade and telling it like it is, with hopes of putting enough pressure on person to change their ways without isolating them further (which I may have done).
As for his time at UB, if I was him I don’t know how I could live with myself being the face of a company whose owners were superusing and stole millions from players, and then shutting down and not paying out its users. I would love to have him come on twoplustwo and answer questions about everything.
But the die had been cast and the conversation started bringing back to light the layer of contempt that some people still have for the fiasco that was Ultimate Bet (not Ultimate Poker) and Hellmuth’s role in the loss of, what some estimate, 100’s of millions of dollars.
Noted poker pro Dani “Ansky” Stern posted his thoughts where he believes that Hellmuth simply didn’t answer enough questions. The following is pulled from his post:
The main problem with Phil Hellmuth is that he either is, or was, close friends and associates with the main culprits of the UB cheating scandal and cover up. Afterwards, he continued to represent the site, which after Black Friday, stole the rest of our money that they hadn’t yet cheated us out of. To be clear, I don’t think Phil was complicit in the UB cheating scandal, and I think he may very well have known nothing about it. The point is that he has never sat down and answered hard questions with anyone about his knowledge of the events, or the characters involved. If my memory serves me, it wasn’t until the “smoking gun” tapes were leaked that he issued any public statement or apology addressing his association with the company.
Greg Merson, 2012 World Series of Poker Champion, also took time to weigh in. He though, wanted to shed a little light on the positive side of Hellmuth’s character. Here’s an excerpt:
I got to spend a bit of time with Phil off the table over the past year and have to disagree with some of the comments in this thread. I stayed a couple nights at his house and was able to meet his kids and see him in a much different light then the public eye. He is much more humble then he comes off in interviews or on camera.
Hellmuth did, in 2013, comment – way after the fact – about his big time “misread” on Ultimate Bet (posted by Kevmath, which you can check out here) but there’s still a vocal group that want more from him.
Brandon Shack-Harris, who burst onto the WSOP scene this year, also took time to comment, but he rather than commenting on the present situation, predicted the future of this poker cagematch.
I can save everybody a bunch of time and just post the future for you all. This thread dies off, and some day down the road Dan sees Phil and says 'Hey man, sorry about what I said on 2p2. I crossed a line.’ Phil 'Thanks, and sorry for taking away from your moment after you won the 1Drop, that really wasn’t my intention.’ Then they shake hands, and maybe someone makes some dinner gesture that never comes to fruition.
Get caught up and chime in on the original thread on Two Plus Two. You can also listen to the podcast appearance that started it all.
What do you think? Does Phil Hellmuth owe poker more information for his involvement in Ultimate Bet? Tweet at us, son!