Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

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    Tuesday, September 21, 2004

    A Feast For Phil-o-Phobes

    If you don't like Phil Hellmuth, the Tournament of Champions ESPN showed tonight was a little slice of heaven. My God, did the Lederer clan put the screws to Phil? Howard Lederer had one of the great lines I've seen at the table. Howard made the nut straight on the turn, and Phil had I think third pair. Lederer didn't check the hand, he kept betting, as he had on the flop. Phil gets up, stalks around, and says "He's playing this like an amateur, bets on the flop, bets on the turn.."

    Even Johnny Chan had to laugh at this. "You're talking about the Poker Professor", Chan said before lapsing into what can only be called giggles. Phil called, a rag came on the river, and Lederer bet. Phil ranted and raved some more, then mucked his hand, muttering that Howard must've hit his gutshot straight draw (which was true). Lederer didn't show his cards, even as his sister Annie Duke begged him to. Phil said, "I hope they show this hand on TV so I know what you had."

    Lederer waits a beat then says, "Phil, don't worry, they'll definitely show that hand."

    And the whole table breaks up, with the exception of Phil, of course. You could almost hear his hair catching on fire.

    But the move of the night, along with everything else, belonged to Annie Duke. Heads up for two million, and every hand Phil stands up, walks around, whines, talks to himself. I believe Norman Chad compared him to Hamlet, and indeed Phil did seem like the melancholy Prince, solioquizing over and over again about how lucky Annie was, how she'd won every race, even at once point telling her to her face that he thought she was deliberately playing terrible hoping to get lucky.

    And then the hand in question. Phil has K-7 and bets out, Annie has K-9 and calls. Flop comes K-9-6, or some other rag. Annie checks, Phil bets, Annie check-raises. Phil paces, he whines, he bitches, he insults her play. I think he folded there, it doesn't matter if they saw the turn. What matters is that, when he folds, Phil tosses his king up to show he's laying down top pair. You know Phil, always proud of his massive laydowns.

    And Annie turns over her 9. And just the nine. Letting Phil think he just laid down the best hand, letting him think that Annie check-raised him with second pair. Phil goes nuts. Again, you can almost see him listing to the left as he tilts. It's just a brilliant psychological play by Duke, and watching Phil so agitated that he's about ready to bite himself is delicious.

    The final hand is a tough one for Philly. He has 8-10, Annie has K-10. A ten falls on the flop, Phil bets, Annie raises, Phil's all-in, Annie calls. And Phil goes nuts, bleep bleep bleeeeeeep. Phil doubled up early on in their battle with a similar hand, he had Annie outkicked, and he seemed well-pleased with himself when he won that hand. The shoe on the other foot, he's not so happy.

    The hands hold up, and Annie Duke has won $2 million bucks. She and Phil share a hug as comfortable as the ones Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley probably once enjoyed, and then Phil stalks off the set to a medly of bleeps. The camera follows him down the hallway, where he rips on Annie, says he figured she was about a 30-1 shot to win the whole thing, that he keeps getting unlucky in tournaments, that he can't believe she went all-in with A-4 (don't know when that happened, but it wasn't relavant)...a classic Phil meltdown. I could almost feel bad for the guy, but, hey, it was a freeroll tournament, he should've been out an hour earlier when he hit a 10 on the river to beat Chan's pocket kings...screw Phil. You got beat. You got outplayed. And watching it was FUN.

    I could post more about what was a very entertaining show, but after getting just 5 hours sleep last night I should catch up now. No personal poker content to write about, but don't you worry, I've got all sorts of weird stuff coming, poker and non. Stay tuned. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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