Phil Hellmuth, one of the most widely acclaimed poker pros in the world, recently played a charity poker tournament with Jennifer Tilly, an actress who has been nominated for the Oscar award; Richard Roeper, the film critic; and two wealthy entrepreneurs from Chicago.
Hellmuth, who dropped out of the University of Wisconsin and began playing poker professionally, has won 13 World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelets so far. Now aged 50, he has won around $16 million playing live poker tournaments alone.
Once they finish playing this charity poker tournament, several pros, including Mueller and Hellmuth, will take part in the Rivers’ Pittsburgh Poker Open Main Event, which is giving several recreational players the chance to interact with pros.
Commenting on poker TV shows, Hellmuth says that poker is “an infectious, exciting game with a lot of skills,” adding that there is plenty of drama involved in it too.
Todd Anderson, president and co-founder of Rush Street Productions, the company behind Poker Night in America, says that each 30-minute episode allows viewers to peep into a high-stakes poker game. Revealing more details about the show, he said that it is more of a lifestyle show than a poker show, adding that the show focuses on the personalities of poker players. He said: “Our mission is to pull in the casual fan, too, try to make it lighter and not as heavy-handed on poker jargon and things like that. I heard a lot of women really like the show.” Four episodes of Poker Night in America will be based on the Pittsburgh poker event.
Tilly said that she is eager to play at the Pittsburgh Casino as she has heard a number of good things about it. Expressing her appreciation of Todd, she said that he “does a great job of putting together personalities who have fun at the table and don’t just have their sunglasses on and stare solemnly at each other.”
Admitting that he is still a poker brat, Hellmuth says that ESPN has already shown the brat in him over and over again. He also expressed his opinion of himself as an honest and honorable player who employs an aggressive, but patient style.
When asked about women’s contributions to poker, Tilly said that women are more intuitive and “biologically wired” to understand the thoughts of others. She expressed hopes that she will inspire more women to play poker.