Everyone’s favorite BS poker show returns tonight for its seventh tournament. They’re playing in New Orleans with all the proceeds going to Katrina relief.
Phil Gordon is gone as commentator, replaced by Phil Hellmouth, so that kinda sucks. Still, if you like mediocre poker played by second- and third-tier celebrities, your long wait for new episodes is over.
FWIW here’s Gordon’s comment on leaving: "After 42 episodes of Celebrity Poker, I just want to see people play in turn, bet more than $200 into a $5,000 pot, and know when they have the nuts. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than saying ‘Phil Hellmuth loses another big pot and it looks like he’s ready to implode!’ on national television.”
I agree with him that the poker playing is pretty horrid on the show, and I can easily see that being the reason to leave CPS and go to covering professionals. Good for him.
Phil Hellmuth Jr. (and it’s actually “Hellmuth” but I’m doing my damndest to get him called “Hellmouth” in national print or on national TV) is a professional poker player. He is the youngest player ever to win the World Series of Poker main event (in 1989) and has won a total of nine World Series bracelets. He is known as “the poker brat” because he has terrible manners at the table (but is also quick to upbraid others for perceived breaches of poker etiquette). He’s a tournament specialist and the concensus of opinion among the pros is that his cash game sucks. He’s written some poker books and has a nationally syndicated poker column (none of which are very good IMHO), and is also a contributor to Cardplayer magazine. You’ve undoubtedly seen him in commercials if you’ve watched any poker on TV because he shills for UltimateBet dot net.
I used to be mildly entertained by his antics but over the last couple of years have grown increasingly tired of them. He is from Madison so I felt some small measure of hometown loyalty but not any more. One of my favorite moments from last year’s WSOP was when, in the tournament of champions, another player told him that no one should buy his books or DVDs because he’s a punk.
I’m glad to know that it was his choice to leave. I found him very informative and entertaining on the show and several of his tips have made me some money over the last couple of years. I loved it when he flat-out called Jeff Gordon an idiot for making some horrible laydown. Hellmouth I’ve only heard commentate on old WSOP events where he wasn’t the main commentator and before there were hole card cameras, and about the best I can say is that he managed not to be overshadowed by Dick Van Patten.
Hellmuth may be a putz, but I think his personality will make a better fit for the show. Gordon would always introduce himself as “the co-host of Celebrity Poker Showdown.” I wouldn’t brag about that dude, especially to real poker enthusiasts. CPS was always about watching stupid celebrities having fun and playing stupid poker for charity. Hey, it’s a nice change from watching these young punks on WPT with their shades, hoods, and iPods, taking forever to act and complaining about string bets and bad beats.