Alec "traheo" Torelli Interviews Phil Hellmuth

Former online (now predominantly live) poker player Alec "traheho" Torelli recently caught up with Poker legend and 14 time WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth in a short two-part "Ask Alec" video interview. The interview took place at the recent "Poker Night in America" cash game in Choctaw, Oklahoma at which both Alec and Phil participated.

Despite being very much a product of the online generation, it's clear that Torelli has a great deal of respect for Hellmuth and his live game - as he says on his blog "nobody wins 14 bracelets without knowing something that others don’t. Period"

In the interview Phil says that he rates reading ability as the biggest single factor for his success, far greater than his use of maths in poker. Talking about the "online whizzkids" he says that they are all math wizards but put them at a live table and they still have to pick up their cards - and that's when Hellmuth goes to work.

He also says that he is very socially aware, another key factor in keeping him at the top of the game for the past 4 decades. He is very aware of how he is perceived and how other players at the table are likely to view/play against him - which makes his decisions fairly easy. He also claims that as so many people have seen him make so many great calls, either playing with him or on TV, that players are often afraid to make bluffs against him.

Phil says the two things which he mostly has to contend in his game are ego and fatigue. He feels that he's largely got his ego in check these days as he realises that his success isn't just his success, and that without his wife he wouldn't have the 14 bracelets. He also says that although fatigue is still a problem he is seeking help for it.

When asked if there was any single piece of advice he was given/read early in his career which has helped him he pondered hard before saying he read an obscure poker book ealry in his career saying that "you should be bluffing about 50% of the time". Now, obviously that isn't in itself a great piece of advice as Phil acknowledges that he only bluffs "about 10% of the time" - but he says it got him thinking about bluffing a lot more than he did, which helped him immensely at the time.

You can view the interview below




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