Friday night was rough for Phil Hellmuth, who bought in short and lost two bullets quickly on Hustler Casino Live (HCL) before watching his beloved Golden State Warriors get knocked out of the NBA Playoffs.
When the stream began at 5 p.m. PT, the “Poker Brat” bought into the $100/$200 no-limit hold’em cash game with $20,000. He was seated at a table with mostly amateurs — all HCL regulars — who were in for at least $100,000, except for Mike X’s $75,000 stack.
Hellmuth’s starting chip stack has been a topic of interest around the poker community the past year. During the historic “MrBeast Game” at Hustler last May, he entered with a small stack against a recreational table, to which many poker fans were critical. Last year, during a Live at the Bike episode, he again bought in for a fraction of his opponents, and again received some criticism.
Following that LATB game and the backlash that came with it, he vowed to enter future live-streams with at least $300,000. He’d stick to that plan for a bit before coming to the conclusion he’s tough to beat when he has a small stack. But on Friday, that statement didn’t hold true.
Hellmuth Loses Monster Pot and Quits During Robbi’s Live at the Bike Debut
Bad Timing Against Nik Airball’s Ladies
One day after competing in the first ever High Stakes Poker live-stream in Las Vegas, Nikhil “Nik Airball” Arcot returned to Los Angeles to play some poker at Hustler Casino. Within the first hour, he found himself in a great spot to stack the 16-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner.
We have our 1st battle between @phil_hellmuth & @nikairball
The hand began with Hellmuth raising to $1,100 from a middle position with A♣9♣ and then being three-bet to $6,200 by Airball, who had Q♠Q♥ in the straddle. That raise didn’t convince the “Poker Brat” to fold. Instead, he opted to move all-in for $27,600 and was snap-called.
Both players agreed to run it twice and the first board of J♥J♣2♥7♣10♥ was especially bad for Hellmuth because he not only didn’t win, but also used up two clubs. The second board of 4♠K♥6♥10♣10♦ wasn’t any better and Nik Airball collected the $56,600 pot, chipping up to nearly $160,000.
Poker Brat Can’t Find a Fold
In the second and final monster pot Hellmuth played during his brief Hustler Casino Live session, he attempted to sniff out a bluff. The only problem for him was Dan “Jungleman” Cates wasn’t bluffing.
Action began with Cates, in middle position, raising to $1,200 with K♦6♦ before Mike X three-bet it to $3,800 with A♣10♣ in the cutoff. Hellmuth opted against a four-bet in the straddle with J♠J♦ and just called, as did Jungleman.
The flop ran out 5♦6♣K♠, giving Jungleman top pair. Despite nearly a complete whiff on the flop, Mike X continued his aggression with a $4,400 wager. Hellmuth called before Cates raised to $15,400.
With just $15,900 behind, Hellmuth was in a position where he could either fold or just play for the rest of his stack. He chose the incorrect option and moved all in to see the bad news. They decided to run it twice and both run-outs were favorable for Jungleman and he took down all of the $56,900 pot.
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Hellmuth then left the game about two hours into the session instead of rebuying again. In his post-game interview, he admitted he didn’t play at the same level that helped him win 16 WSOP bracelets.
“I put in thirty-thousand with ace-nine of clubs against queens. Just a really bad play. So unlike me.”
“That’s about as bad as I can play poker,” an honest and humble Hellmuth said. “I put in thirty-thousand with ace-nine of clubs against queens. Just a really bad play. So unlike me.”
There was no patented Hellmuth meltdown on this day. He accepted the outcome and moved on to Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Sacramento Kings and Hellmuth’s favorite team, the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors played about as well as Hellmuth did and lost the game 118-99. With that, the defending world champs were eliminated from the playoffs about as quickly as the Poker Brat busted on Hustler Casino Live Friday night.