If there’s one thing that poker legend Phil Hellmuth is noted for, it is his incessant self-promotion. He could sit back and let his resume do the talking – the 15 World Series of Poker titles, 136 total career cashes and nearly $23 million in career earnings – but the “Poker Brat” isn’t that way. Thus, his latest form of self-promotion, heading to Twitter to literally display his goals for the 2019 calendar year, is something that should have been expected from him.
If You’re Going to Shoot, Shoot Big
In a tweet on Twitter, Hellmuth opened up by saying, “A quick sketch of my “Yearly Goals” (a “life tip” I teach in my book #Positivity).” He would continue on by literally showing those goals, written in “erasable marker” on the mirror in the room where he was staying at the Commerce Casino prior to the start of the L. A. Poker Classic. Needless to say, those goals are rather ambitious:
A quick sketch of my “Yearly Goals” (a “life tip” I teach in my book #POSITIVITY); 2019 Goals! Written in erasable marker on the bathroom mirror of my room at Commerce Casino
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) March 3, 2019
Even though he may have won 15 WSOP titles, earning three in one year is going to be a stretch. Over the past few years, there have been plenty of players who have won two bracelets in one year at the WSOP (or its sibling events, the World Series of Poker Europe and/or the World Series of Poker Asia/Pacific), but there are only a handful of times that a player has captured three titles. The most recent occurrence was in 2014, when George Danzer was able to win two tournaments in Las Vegas and one in a mixed game event in Melbourne in the final year the Asia/Pacific schedule was held.
It is the World Poker Tour where Hellmuth has routinely come up short. Through the 17-year history of the WPT, Hellmuth has only earned 16 cashes. Of those cashes, five times he has made the final table, with his best finish in the 2017 WPT Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino. In that event, Hellmuth came up in the runner-up slot after falling to eventual WPT Player of the Year Art Papazyan.
As far as his literary performance, it might be difficult to score Hellmuth. He has a litany of prior works on poker and his autobiography, Poker Brat, was well-received. But a look at Amazon shows that Hellmuth’s self-help book might not be making the inroads that he would have hoped for; according to current sales data, Positivity ranks at #653,113 in sales and, in the “self-help” genre, it is #13,856.
It is difficult to see what his fourth goal is due to the fact that Hellmuth hasn’t captured the skills to do a proper “selfie!” But his fifth goal – writing Positivity2 – might depend on the success of the first effort.
Don’t Bet Against “The Brat”
It does seem, if appearances at the start of the year mean anything, that Hellmuth is making a more dedicated effort on the tournament poker scene. Taking part in a $1500 Heads Up tournament on the 2019 Borgata Winter Poker Open schedule, Hellmuth was able to earn the title by defeating Joseph Cappello. He would follow that up by making a run at the World Poker Tour Main Event, finishing with another cash in the 1415 entry field.
Hellmuth’s recent performance is something that many players would enjoy but, perhaps for the man himself, it isn’t enough. Hellmuth “only” earned $648,190 in 2018, but that broke a string of three consecutive years where he earned over a million dollars. It also is a far cry from some of his “down” years, where he made only about $300K (2014), $177K (2009) and a paltry $96K (2004).
You can say that the goals that Hellmuth has set may be audacious and perhaps unreachable. You could say that his book goals are unrealistic in this digital age. But if there’s one thing to remember, it is this – you don’t bet against Phil Hellmuth!