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  • The Amazing Layne Flack

    Date: 2004.09.01 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    Layne Flack is a no limit Hold’em (NLH) genius. He looks at the game a bit differently than the rest of us, and his way of playing works beautifully. You don’t believe me” You say he’s too erratic” Yes, he’s a bit too erratic (in my opinion), but so what. We all wish we had the skill to be that erratic, even if only sometimes. Here is a guy that won two World Series of Poker tournaments this year, both in no limit Hold’em. That hasn’t happened since a certain World Champion did it in 1993 (Phil note: don’t act surprised that I mentioned myself, you already knew I had a big ego!).

    Mr. Flack just finished second in the Foxwood’s World Poker Tour (WPT) $10,000 buy-in NLH tournament. Also, he has made at least three other WSOP final tables in pot limit or NLH. Did I mention that he spots the field by drinking a couple of six-packs of beers while he plays! Which brings me to the question, does “Drunk Layne” play better no limit Hold’em then “Sober Layne'” Let’s put it this way, I am not scared of anyone in the world at no limit Hold’em, but I have a healthy respect for “Drunk Layne!” When Layne is drinking (it hurts his other games like limit Hold’em, Stud, Omaha 8/b etc…) he is dead on with his reads, and has no fear whatsoever. If he smells weakness, then bam, he moves all-in on you, and you fold shaking your head. It’s hard to beat a guy with great reads and no fear.

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  • Nor-Easter Blows Through Connecticut

    Date: 2004.08.15 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    Many of the top poker players in the world arrived on the east coast in late November to a major Nor-Easter storm. What a shock for a California boy like me! Would the Nor-Easter prove to be an omen” With seven players left in Foxwood’s $10,000 buy-in no limit Hold’em World Poker Tour (WPT) event in Conn., it looked like a showdown between two of the year 2002’s hottest players. On the one hand you had Layne Flack, who won two World Series of Poker (WSOP) titles, both in the game du jour, no limit Hold’em; on the other hand, you had Phil Ivey, who won three WSOP titles (a feat only accomplished twice before): and both Phil and Layne had chips in excess of $250,000. With no one else at the table having $100,000 in chips, the tournament was looking like a two-man affair.

    At this point we had to lose one more player before the long day-it was now 6:00 AM, with a start time of 4:00 PM-would finally be over. With seven player’s remaining, and only six returning for the WPT TV coverage, someone had to go. Did I mention that Phil Ivey is a Nor-Easter, but Layne Flack is from Montana” Do you see where I’m going with this”

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  • Never Give Up! Part One

    Date: 2004.08.01 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    While playing in the Bellagio’s Five-Star World Poker Classic’s $1,000 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em tournament, the following series of events unfolded; including part-two of this article, in which I make one of the stupidest moves I have ever made in a poker game! This article shows that you can never give up in a poker tournament.

    Two off of the button, with the blinds at $100-$200, I opened the pot for $600 of my remaining $900, with K-9. Max Stearn, holding 10-10, just called in the small blind, because he was afraid to re-raise and possibly run into a big hand in the big blind. I don’t blame Max for just calling at this point in the hand; after all it looks like he’s going to get my last $300 in any case.

    With a flop of A-10-8, Max checked, and then I checked. By the way, if he bet my last $300 here on the flop, then I would have called fairly quickly because of the pot odds-after all he may have a small pair here as well. The fourth card made Max four tens, and he checked. At this point, I’m folding my hand for a $300 bet. Also, I’m folding no matter what hits on the last card-although a K would have tempted me to call. The last card was a 3, and now Max bet my last $300, and I folded quickly.

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  • Pot Limit Omaha – What a Game!

    Date: 2004.07.15 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    OK y’all, the following hand occurred in a $5-$10 blind pot limit Omaha game in Kinder, La. Jeff Sparks out of Houston wrote this hand up, and sent it to me. It reminds me of a very famous statement that I have heard many times…it seems to be right at the tip of my tongue. Oh well, let’s get to the hand right now:

    Small blind (SB): holds 5c-7c-8s-9s ($800)

    Big blind (BB): holds 3d-5s-7s-8d ($1,000)

    Position 1: Under the gun holds Ac-Ad-4c-4d ($600)

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  • Seidel vs. Hennigan

    Date: 2004.07.01 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    The Taj Mahal in Atlantic City sure knows how to run a poker tournament. The staff there is friendly and accommodating-“Miami” John Cernuto asked them (on behalf of the players) to change their structures and they did. While speaking about “Miami” John, let me say congratulations to him for winning the $4,000 buy-in Seven-card Stud Championship at the Taj Mahal’s United States Poker Championship (USPC)-and the $156,000 first prize. John is one of the best tournament Stud players in the world today. John-you deserved it!

    Three days after the Stud Championship ended, the $7,500 no limit Hold’em Championship began. For three days the players slugged it out for the right to make the final six players, be on the Travel Channel, and win the $212,000 first prize. Personally, I was quite sad to be eliminated on the first day.

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  • Never Give Up – Part Two

    Date: 2004.06.15 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    In a previous Hand of the Week, we talked about the Bellagio’s Five-Star World Poker Classic’s $1,000 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em tournament, and how I ran $300 under the gun, up to $10,000 in one round, when the blinds were $100-$200. What a nice round of poker for me! I then told you that I eventually made the final table with the chip lead–with over $60,000 in chips–along with Howard Lederer (who was a short stack), Daniel Negreanu, Jeff Schulman (short stack), Dennis Waterman (he finished number one in Card Player magazine pot limit Hold’em category in 2002) and unknown Brian Green.

    Jeff, Daniel, and Howard finished 8th, 7th, and 6th. Howard later told me, “I was very surprised that this random group played so well. Usually, when I don’t know the players at a table they make a lot of mistakes.” Howard is right about this, the players were playing some great poker at the final table that day.

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