Poker Blog of The Year

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

Among other things, 2009 was the year that professionl poker players embraced the web log or "blog," a kind of online diary.

Everyone from Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson and Annie Duke to Daniel "Kid Poker" Negreanu and Phil "Poker Brat" Hellmuth Jr. blogged about anything and everything under the sun.

Sometimes the blogs were about poker and sometimes they were not.  Brunson blogged about politics and Negreanu blogged about his divorce.

In the opinion of Gambling911.com, however, the best blog post of the year by a professional poker player was made by Hellmuth last March at his website www.philhellmuth.com.

Hellmuth ranted about dealing with the perils of being a celebrity and erased any doubt whatsover that he is a man whose egomania is out of control.

In that now-infamous blog posting, Hellmuth wrote: "I was feeling super stressed out and super burned out by the dual pressures of trying to be one of the greatest poker players in history and dealing with the fame factor that drives so many celebs over the edge. I was starting to melt down and it was affecting my health a little bit and I couldn't figure out why.

"I mean, I had the poker records, the fortune, the fame, the wonderful wife, the great kids, the 12 million Milwaukee's Best beer cans coming with my picture and likeness, the New York Times best-selling book 'Play Poker Like the Pros,' one million subscribers on my Phil Hellmuth's

Texas Hold 'em cell phone game, a column in 40 newspapers, a piece of 18 different companies, I was on television every day and I had much, much more. So what was the problem? Why do so many celebs with so much wealth and success melt down??"

Hellmuth then revealed that he attended a self-help session at a spa in Arizona the year before.

At the spa he learned that, "I was living too much in my persona and not enough in myself. Yes, that tall guy dressed head to toe in black, with a black and gold PH hat on, with an IPOD that you see at the airport, and stare at, is the Poker Brat, but I am Phil Hellmuth as well.

"The Poker Brat drinks Dom Perignon in the VIP section of the hottest clubs, hangs with the world's biggest celebs and beautiful women, with security guards close by, still manages to stay loyal to his wife and signs autographs and takes pictures with fans every single day.

"The Poker Brat wins major poker tournaments, whines about amateurs that outdraw him through poor play, mouths off on ESPN, plays high-stakes poker at UltimateBet.com where he whines too much in the chat box and says things like, 'If it weren't for luck, I'd win 'em all!'

"But Phil Hellmuth Jr. is a family man who likes to stay at home in Palo Alto with his wife and his two sons, write his books and columns at the coffee shop or in his study, do interviews over the phone, watch TV, manage his Poker Brat clothing company and Phil's House publishing company and live in relative peace."

Hellmuth then summed up the reasons for all his problems: "I was living too much in my Poker Brat persona."

Whatever that means.

By Tom Somach





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