Where to Turn for Political Advice? How About Phil Hellmuth and Jamie Gold?

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In this day of 1000 channel cable conglomerates (OK, probably more along the lines of 300-500 after duplication, but you get my drift) and internet sites, you can pretty much get anything you want on television and the internet nowadays. When it comes to news and information, there are literally almost 100 stations that broadcast the latest information from around the world. So where – and in particularly, who – do you go for information about the 2016 United States Presidential campaigns? Would you believe poker’s Phil Hellmuth and Jamie Gold?

As unlikely as it seems, the two former World Champions have recently been tapped by online news sites and/or television networks to offer their insights on the current campaign for the leader of the Free World. And perhaps just as strangely, the two World Champions both offer their ideas pretty concisely with their professions, offering accurate insight without exactly picking one candidate over the other. It demonstrates one of two things – either these news channels are running out of material or poker and gambling are an integral part of the U. S. culture!

First up was Gold, who last week was interviewed on Fox News about betting on the outcome of the U. S. Presidential elections. Gold, the 2006 World Series of Poker Championship Event winner who took home the largest ever payday for that tournament ($12 million), discussed the history of gambling on elections, stating that it went back “to Roman times” and that such betting lines could be viewed as better indicators of which way a campaign is going than any polls or pundits ever could surmise.

Gold also discussed “arbitrage betting” and offered insight on those actions. Arbitrage betting is being able to find a perfect betting line between two teams or competitors that, after putting down bets on both, you still come out with a win on the other side regardless of the outcome. It usually involves two different books and, in Gold’s example, he showed how you could bet on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (who, according to Gold, are “a 99% chance” to be the two candidates) in a “middle” to make more money on one bet than was wagered on the other bet. If this actually comes to pass then, no matter what, you come out on the net positive financially.

The Fox News analysts were quick to point out, however, that there wasn’t any wagering allowed online in the United States, which Gold agreed. But Gold also told the Fox viewers that there would be “$200 million” in bets on the U. S. Presidential election – and that it wouldn’t all be done by people from outside the United States – before the first Tuesday in November arrives.

For Hellmuth, the 1989 WSOP Championship Event winner, he only had to analyze Trump.

On the website TheStreet.com, which promotes CNBC financial promoter Jim Cramer’s stock wizardry, Hellmuth was asked how he would take on Trump on the campaign trail, especially how the Republicans would make sure he doesn’t get their nominations. According to Hellmuth and journalist Jeremy Greenfield, Trump is the ultimate “LAG” (loose aggressive) player that requires a distinct approach.

Hellmuth says the first step is patience and wait to harpoon the LAG with a big hand. “He’s (Trump) playing many weak hands, so you’d expect him to get harpooned a lot,” said Hellmuth, “but the problem is you’ve harpooned Trump five times and he’s so smart, he’s so resilient, he has so much style, he’s changed the rules of poker.”

The second step of attack is going “over the top,” according to Hellmuth. “(Florida Senator Marco) Rubio made a smart move,” Hellmuth commented. “He finally took it to the next level. He assumed he was just going to win with patience and when you’re waiting for someone else to implode and they don’t implode, all of the sudden you’re way behind in the chips…Rubio can’t wait. Rubio changed tactics, finally aggressively attacked Trump — and he looked pretty good doing it.”

It might not be thought that there is much in common between poker and gambling and the world of politics, but it seems that there is a bit more than we previously thought! It is either that or both Hellmuth and Gold are really working their PR staffs to get as much airtime – and wherever they can – on whatever subject that comes up.

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One Comment


I do not get it. The two worst poker players have insight. They need to improve their attitudes first.

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