Phil Hellmuth: Poker Mind In Depth Part VIII

[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]

This begins my third round of sessions with Phil, Mike and Daniel. For each of these posts I am going to lead with some Twitter comments made by each of the players. They have all engaged with the Twitter technology and this past week they have all provided some very interesting insights to launch our weekly conversation. First, Phil Hellmuth. During a fairly tough poker week that also included a trip home for this son's graduation, Phil gave us these late night comments via Twitter:

Wow, another day of running bad!! out about 300th...i am very upset! never hit a card!!!! like torture. 12 more hours of play for nothing..

Shrink: "Let's begin with those feelings you expressed on Twitter the other night."

Phil: "Well I sat there for about an hour and a half. I just left the table after my bust out and went to another section of the tournament room, there was an open section still inside the tournament area and I just stretched out on three chairs. I had gotten very unlucky in two big pots and I just felt like I deserved to still be in there. But I was out, it's a very odd feeling. I just didn't want to leave the room, I was frustrated and distraught. I just needed some time, so I just laid back and took some time in the tournament room. It's not like I was suicidal or anything, I really don't have any problems with depression. I mean I probably was depressed over those hands, but you know it's nothing like any kind of problem for me. I'm lucky in that respect, I don't have to deal with depression or those kind of issues. I mean I know on some level that I am blessed with this life and being able to play poker every day. But at the same time there are those days or nights when it's just not easy to get over it."

"I think I am allowed to have those feelings and to give in to them. So that's what I did, I just took time right there in the room to feel bad about the day's poker. Later, I chided myself that I had to man up and deal with it. It wasn't like I played poorly, I was let down by the cards. I ran bad and I was out. I just ran bad, now maybe I didn't make enough moves, maybe I just played the cards. It's easy to do that, to play the cards. You just don't make the money but simply playing what you are dealt. I got unlucky in two big pots and I hadn't built up a big enough stack to survive those hands."

Shrink: "Those remarks you made on Twitter. It really did sound like a little depression. It was not the public persona of Phil Hellmuth. There was no blaming of other players or bad beats. You were talking about yourself and how you felt after a very disappointing bust out."

Phil: "Right, it wasn't about other players or even the cards. I was unlucky and I felt today I deserved better. But it happens. Some days you play great and you go out anyway. And some days you play average and you end up with a ton of chips. Then there are those days when you play really good and you have a ton of chips. Those average days when you build a stack don't happen often. You have to play well here to go deep. Today, I played well and nothing broke my way. I have only made the money once so far in the Series. Twice I blew it personally. But I think it's more frustrating when you are on and in the zone but just nothing comes your way."

"You know I had that little mix-up at Harrah's where they kicked me out of my suite earlier today. They have fixed it now but just that incident, I probably came into today's event with a bit of negativity and that is never good. But bottom-line, if I win one of those big pots, I am still in. I probably put in one too many bets in a couple of pots today. But there is another event at five."

Let's end this session with Phil's final Tweeter comment on yesterday from this morning:

Took last night completely off, watched movie "Push" (OK), had room service, lifted weights, ran, and slept 11 hours...now $1,500 NLH event.
Previous posts in this Series:

Poker Mind In Depth Part VII:   Mike Matusow
Poker Mind In Depth Part VI: Daniel Negreanu
Poker Mind In Depth Part V:  Phil Hellmuth
Poker Mind In Depth Part IV: Daniel Negreanu
Poker Mind In Depth Part III: Daniel Negreanu
Poker Mind In Depth Part II:  Phil Hellmuth
Poker Mind In Depth Part I:   Mike Matusow