Phil Hellmuth ‘GOAT’ Status Fiercely Debated On Twitter By Poker Community
Phil Hellmuth is one of the world’s most accomplished poker players. He holds the record for the most WSOP bracelets won, and has accumulated nearly $24 million in live tournament earnings throughout his career.
He was at his prime prior to the poker boom era, and continued to add victories to his illustrious resume the years after.
Today, Hellmuth’s play style is often described as old school, mainly hinged at exploitative strategy.
It worked best before the Moneymaker era when the pros play the game using a feel-based approach. His strategy differs from what the newer generation of players use these days, which is geared towards game theory optimal (GTO) play.
Some think Hellmuth’s strategy no longer works when it comes to advanced high stakes games. Many in the poker community believe this outdated strategy and his “brat” attitude at the tables are the primary reasons he struggles to get that much respect from the poker pros of the modern generation.
Phil Galfond is not one who shares those thoughts as he took to social media recently to say that he believes the Phil Hellmuth is one of the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) in poker history.
In a recent post on Twitter, Galfond fanboyed on Hellmuth’s exemplary skills which were recently put on display during his heads-up match with Antonio Esfandiari on the televised poker show High Stakes Duel.
We so often criticize the plays we see on TV from the comfort of our couches. I think it’s only fair to also give credit where credit is due.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) October 7, 2020
The Run It Once founder praised Hellmuth’s unorthodox style of reading hands and his “uncanny” ability to turn every spot he’s in to his own favor. According to him, Hellmuth’s recent heads-up clash with Esfandiari was by far “the most impactful” accomplishment of his career.
Elite Pros Disagree
Galfond expressed approval of Hellmuth’s skills by sharing screenshots of a lengthy note on his phone. While some shared a similar view, a number of high-profile pros disagreed with the GOAT status being conferred on Hellmuth.
Among them is Fedor Holz, one of the best high-stakes players in the world. Holz is currently ranked 8th on the All-Time Money List. Holz thinks Hellmuth couldn’t beat the tougher lineups with his traditional style.
Dan Smith, another highly-accomplished poker pro, also does not share the same opinion as Galfond, saying a lot of people are willing to “bet big” Hellmuth isn’t as great when it comes to high-stakes heads-up games.
The most notable comment came from Olivier Busquet, who labelled Galfond’s opinion as “one of the silliest things” he’s read from someone he respects. He then went on to criticize Hellmuth and said he was the most disrespectful and obnoxious player in the game