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Daniel - Poker Journal

Phil Hellmuth won a Poker Tournament?

07 Mar 2005

So I'm sure most of you know by now that I'm out of the NHUPC as Antonio Esfandiari got me. I had good control of the match until one fateful hand that saw Antonio flop a set against my nut flush draw. After losing that pot I was down 7-1 in chips and never recovered.

Antonio played well, and frankly I would have much rather have faced Howard Lederer than Antonio. I feel like I have a decent read on Howard but Antonio thinks outside the box which is always more difficult to face.

Oh well, you can't win em' all I guess! After I got busted I proceeded to watch all of my buddies bite the dust. First Jennifer Harman, then Evelyn Ng, then E-DOG, and finally Carlos.

Once the night's play was over many of us head over to the Light at the Bellagio where Antonio already had a table booked. Antonio and I have a history that most of you couldn't possibly know about. We've shared words in the past and couldn't exactly be considered friends. Not enemies either, but certainly not friends.

I wasn't a big fan of the whole "wave thing" as well as a few other things that will remain private. This stuff all happened years ago and since then I've seen Antonio really grow up and handle himself like a gentlemen. I look back at myself at his age and can only imagine that I was on the cocky side as well. Knowing that, it was easy for me to wipe the slate clean and start a new friendship with Antonio, burying the past and holding no grudges whatsoever. One of the most valuable changes Iíve made in my life since becoming a Christian is the ability to forgive and avoid judging others.

At Light that night there were various celebrities in town for a special party. We all had a few drinks and then head over to an after hours party throw by ---- and ----. Sorry about the blanks folks, but I'm not one to name drop and I respect others privacy. As I've said, my blog is an open invitation into MY life but that doesn't give you a free pass into everyone else's life!

The party was a good time and I ended up staying at the Golden Nugget, waking up at around 4:00pm. I checked out the tournament, then packed my things and head home.

Once there I got a call from Lori who is in town for the week with her sister and brother-in-law. We decided to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and my assistant Travis joined us.

The whole ordeal wasn't "weird" at all. No uncomfortable silences, no awkward feelings. That actually didn't surprise me since Lori and I were friends well before we started dating. The transition seemed to go very smoothly and I'm glad.


I woke up at 4:00am. I'm on the most bizarre sleep schedule I've been on in quite some time. In all honesty, that doesn't bode well for the Shooting Stars event in San Jose. I plan on flying out there late tonight. Before that I have two photo shoots scheduled and some other random loose ends to tie up.

When I woke up I decided to check out who won the tournament. I thought it was a mistake, but www.cardplayer.com said it hadn't finished yet?

When the final result finally came in it said that Phil Hellmuth had won the event. Well that couldn't be right I though, Phil doesn't win tournaments anymore tongue

Sure enough though when I read the report the "Bad Boy of Poker" was back in the winners circle. That's good to see and from what I read online it should make for some great TV. Phil Hellmuth is a huge part of the poker world and his involvement in an event only helps it's appeal.

Now I rag on Phil all the time- it's not too difficult to come up with a jab at Phil, he's quite a cushy target after all! I have to say though, that I was really excited to see that Phil won.

Phil has been spending so much time doing things poker related, except for winning that is! It's nice to see that he is back in form and this win will do wonders for his confidence I'm sure. While Philís behavior at the table is often a little too much for my taste, deep down he is a genuinely good guy that cares for others. At the table though, sometimes he just becomes a monster, not unlike the whole Jeckyl and Hyde syndrome.

Well, It's almost 8:00am now and I need to get ready for a 10:00am photo shoot over at the Wynn. I'm excited to see the place again, since the last time I was there much of it wasn't finished yet.