It was supposed to be Phil Hellmuth week on Live at the Bike, but after a hand compounded by an enormous loss a day before across town on another livestream, he stood up, said “I quit,” and got hell out of Los Angeles.
According to Hellmuth, in two days playing on Hustler Casino Live and at Live at the Bike, he lost a total of $338,500 — his biggest two losses on livestreams ever and they came in back-to-back sessions.
First, on Monday, he dumped $144K during a Hustler Casino Live game that saw him fold AK pre flop, and then make a bone-headed call. Our Daniel Smyth wrote about it Tuesday.
It was a terrible start to a four-day stretch where Hellmuth was scheduled to appear on Los Angeles poker livestreams. Hellmuth said that loss was the worst one he ever endured playing cash poker in front of cameras, but records are made to be broken.
The next night, he lost $194K on Live at the Bike.
It rattled Hellmuth so badly that he cancelled the rest of the week’s appearances and flew back home to Northern California.
Still a bit stunned! Canceled everything ✈️ home. Lost $194K filming @LIVEattheBike Tues—my new record live stream loss. But wait, I JUST set that record on Monday: $144,500. Remember when I won 30/32 live streams and $435K in 3 “Robs Game” streams? Feels like a distant memory…
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) February 15, 2023
The hand that broke Phil
A few hours into the Live at the Bike stream, a classic poker hand emerged between Hellmuth and Eric Hicks, an electric bike entrepreneur and high-stakes poker regular who’s appeared many times on Live at the Bike and Hustler Casino Live.
About two hours into the session, Hicks looked down to see AK suited with diamonds in early position. Hicks must have smelled something from the players left to act after him, because he limped $200 with his monster.
Hellmuth, finding two Kings in front of him, made it $2,000. He had a stack of $244,400. Matt Berkey, holding 86 of diamonds, three-bet it to $5,300. Hicks then four-bet to $20K. Hellmuth just called and Berkey got out of the way.
Afterwards, Hicks said that Hellmuth wasn’t slow-playing his Kings, but that the 16-time World Series of Poker champ “was scared” and that a flat-call here was a mistake. Hicks also revealed some bad-blood between the two players that goes all the way back to the first time they met each other 15 years ago.
“I sat down, and this was like a dream moment that I got to sit next to Phil and I go ‘Hey Phil, I want you to know that I’m one of your biggest fans,’” Hicks said while watching the hand play on a TV at the Bike. “‘Your book was the first book I ever read when I learned poker. I read your book and it’s an honor to play poker with you’ and I held out my hand and the guy didn’t shake my hand. Here he is — the super-pro and I’m just the amateur — he left me hanging.”
Flash-forward to Tuesday. The flop is the perfect Valentine for Hicks — 3T9, all diamonds for the nut flush.
“Yahtzee! Yahtzee! This is how you beat motherfucking Phil Hellmuth,” Hicks said afterwards.
Yahtzee is good enough for a $20K continuation bet. Hellmuth made the call. He doesn’t have a diamond.
“I got my fishy on the hook,” Hicks said in the commentary. “And I’m praying for no diamond and no pair.”
The turn was an eight of hearts. Hicks made it $50K. Hellmuth called.
The hand didn’t turn out absolutely perfect for Hicks because a four of diamond fell on the river, which most likely saved Hellmuth a few bucks.
“I know this is not the type of guy to call down light, so here I have to like bet small,” he said, while swinging around a half-empty glass of red wine. “What a dream but I wanted to felt him so bad.”
In Hicks’ world, betting small is another $50K. Hellmuth has $156K behind him. He quickly called, and then instantly:
“I quit,” Hellmuth said, standing up and putting his jacket on. “If I can’t trap the crazy guy with AK versus Aces, I’ll just quit.”
And then he huffs out out of the room to Hicks’ delight. But he has to come back for his chips and that’s when Robbie Jade Lew, of J4 fame, piped up with a classic needle.
“You sure, Phil?” she said with a smirk. “The only way to get out of a hole is to keep digging.”
Of course everyone laughed.
“I doubt you’ll ever see Phil Hellmuth here again,” Hicks said after. “All those gold bracelets aren’t worth anything. You can’t even get a thousands dollars for one on Ebay.
The clip Live at the Bike released is great. Check it out: