Phil Hellmuth. The first time I ever saw Phil Hellmuth, I was twenty-one years old and in a tournament at the old Barbary Coast on the Las Vegas Strip. Hellmuth was at my table and I was terrified beyond repair. I raised under the gun and it was folded around to Hellmuth on the button. Phil looked at me for about two seconds before saying, “Jacks, huh?” and folding his hand. Of course I had two jacks. From that moment on I believed in white magic. And the legend of Phil Hellmuth has always been as great in my own mind as anywhere in lore.

Win, Lose, And Blow-Up!!!

I’ve seen Phil Hellmuth win, lose, and blow-up from every spot on the table. And I, like the public, have gone through every stage of opinion on the man who is probably most responsible for making poker palatable for the TV screen. I’ve called him genius, hero, goat, wonder kid, and old man past it. But I have never stopped watching him at the table, and it’s likely I never will. There’s more to the game of poker than is in the books, and Phil Hellmuth has always been the champion of that realm.

Meanwhile on Malta

The WPT Malta is second a tournament and first a whole lot of fun, even better when Phil Hellmuth is in town for the ride. And Phil was kind enough, between shooting three pointers with Tony G, drinking strawberry Mojitos with Kara Scott, and being trailed by a Hungarian basketball star wearing a hotdog suit, to sit down with me in the Malta Hilton’s piano lounge and answer any and all questions.

How bad did it get during five fallow years without a bracelet? How does he respond to the haters? Where is he off to next? And why is China on his horizon? Phil was in great form. Relaxed, funny, cheerful, and in love with the game of poker. People may criticize, but as Hellmuth says, “I know their theories. It takes ten minutes to read them online. My theories of poker have taken a lifetime to develop!” And it’s hard to argue with Phil when he speaks the plain truth. “People should stop trying to figure out all the things that I’m doing wrong. The smart guys should try and figure out what it is that I’m doing right.”

Read Part 2 tomorrow and now enjoy the first half of the Poker Show with Jesse May:

The Poker Show Episode 41 Part 1 of 2

Make sure to listen to the Poker Shows latest episode and all our fantastic archives below right here now on PartyPoker Blog!

Show 41 (October 22nd) The Poker Show comes to Malta with Jesse and Phil this is Part 1 of 2, come back tomorrow for the next bit! Now just click on the play button to listen, sit back and enjoy!

[podcast]http://www.thepokershowlive.com/media/mp3/232.mp3[/podcast] Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

Have you ever met PH? What’s your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us on Twitter for more poker greatness.

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