“The difference between your best and your worst? The perception of others. Block out the noise and you’ll stay on track.”
Phil Hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) is an American professional poker player who has won a record fourteen World Series of Poker bracelets. He is the winner of the Main Event of the 1989 World Series of Poker (WSOP), the Main Event of the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE), and he is a 2007 inductee of the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame. Hellmuth is also known for his temperamental “poker brat” personality — reflected in his new book, Poker Brat: Phil Hellmuth’s Autobiography.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- The importance of setting goals and blessings
- How he became the youngest person to win the World Series of Poker
- The right way to manage your money
- His prep for high-stakes games
- What it takes to compete at the highest level
- And much, much more.
This episode comes from my new television show Fear(less), where I interview world-class performers about how they’ve overcome doubt, conquered fear, and made their toughest decisions. You can watch the entire first episode with illusionist David Blaine for free at att.net/fearless. (To watch all episodes, please visit DIRECTV NOW).
We recorded three hours of material and only one hour was used for the TV show. This podcast episode is almost entirely new content that didn’t appear on TV.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast with a guest from Fearless? — Listen to this episode with Micahel Gervais. We discuss how to win the war against anxiety, some of the more effective (and less effective) ways to self-talk, behind-the-scenes stories of Michael’s clients, understanding mastery, and much more. (stream below or right-click here to download):
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This podcast is also brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. They are a personal favorite of NFL phenom J.J. Watt, alongside many professional athletes. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Phil Hellmuth:
- Poker Brat: Phil Hellmuth’s Autobiography by Phil Hellmuth
- Final Hand of World Series of Poker 1989: Phil Hellmuth vs. Johnny Chan
- Godwin’s law
- Top 5 Phil Hellmuth Explosions
- Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth
- The Ugly Truth About Staking in Poker by Miikka Anttonen, Upswing Poker
- My First: Phil Hellmuth Revisits His First World Series of Poker Cash by Chad Holloway, PokerNews
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: Practical Guide for Improving Communication by John Gray
- A Promising Treatment for Athletes, in Blood by Alan Schwarz, The New York Times
- Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California
- Hellmuth on ‘HighRoller Rampage’ by Andrew Burnett, PokerTube
- Can you tell when someone’s lying? Can you lie and not get caught? Phil Hellmuth has spent 30 years practicing both. [05:15]
- Swearing is part of the lexicon shared by poker players and people from Long Island. [06:16]
- How Phil constantly reminds himself of goals and blessings every morning — and how this practice has motivated others. [07:05]
- Phil’s coping mechanisms and strategies during tough times. [09:55]
- Dealing with criticism — especially of the anonymous, online variety. [13:10]
- Young Phil sets his life goals after an epiphany in wintery Wisconsin. [17:41]
- What happened when some of these life goals started to fall into place — and how his first book became a New York Times bestseller. [22:39]
- Why Phil places more value on his money management acumen than poker skills, and what system has worked best for him. [25:01]
- Phil talks about his late ’80s showdowns with Johnny Chan. [30:48]
- The Antonio Effect as a tonic against unbridled hubris. [36:17]
- What’s Phil’s secret to marriage longevity? [40:10]
- How do Phil’s poker skills help him away from the table? [43:56]
- Who are the first people who come to mind when Phil hears the word “successful?” [48:23]
- On the concept of forgiveness and its unexpected rewards. [52:11]
- From forgiveness to rampage. [59:52]
- Tiger Woods
- Michael Jordan
- Vince Vaughn
- Stephen Fry
- Kathy Sanborn Hellmuth
- Ted Forrest
- Johnny Chan
- Antonio Gracias
- Elon Musk
- Bill Clinton
- George W. Bush
- John Bonetti
- John Romaniello
- Allan Mishra
- Kobe Bryant
- Chamath Palihapitiya
- Bill Lee
- Brigette Lau
- Dan Smith
- Fedor Holz
- Cus D’Amato
- Mike Tyson
Posted on: August 24, 2017.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.