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Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth Discussed Michael Jordan Challenging Him To A High-Stakes Game

Michael Jodran in Las Vegas
Michael Jodran in Las Vegas

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth recently told a story about Michael Jordan challenging him on the felt and discussed which poker game the Chicago Bulls legend prefers to play.

Phil Hellmuth is the greatest World Series of Poker tournament player in history and he has 17 WSOP bracelets, 7 more than anyone else, to back that claim up. Michael Jordan is believed by many to be the greatest NBA player in history and someone who, both on and off the court, is one of the most competitive human beings to ever exist.

During a recent appearance on NESN’s Chicken Dinner Podcast with Sam Panayotovich, Hellmuth recalled Michael Jordan‘s challenge, Phil’s inability to play at that time, and how they’ve spent lots of time together over the years.

Phil Hellmuth said “MJ and I have hung out at a lot of different places, but we’ve never played poker. He challenged me once and I didn’t have a lot of money in town.”

The Poker Brat has a lot of friends everywhere he goes. He’s one of the most famous people in Poker and has been for years. He probably could’ve scraped money together easily but didn’t. Hellmuth went on to say “I was stupid, I should’ve just called my friends (to stake me). But he would’ve wanted to play ’til seven in the morning and who knows at that point.”

Michael Jordan’s Aggressive Style Of Poker, According To Phil Hellmuth

Phil describes Jordan as a grinder. Saying “He will grind you down, but I’m a little stronger. I’m not some 23-year-old playing his first session with MJ. I would give him an hour notice of course, which is reasonable and he would accept that. Then I would leave.”

So the two have never played heads-up in Texas Hold’em Poker. But Phil Hellmuth has familiarity with Michael Jordan’s preferred game: Badugi.

This year actually marked the first time there was a Badugi tournament at the World Series of Poker. Michael Rodrigues became the first-ever Badugi bracelet winner at the WSOP and took home $144,678 after winning the $1,500 buy-in tournament with a field of 516 players.

Phil Hellmuth very much wanted to win the first-ever Badugi WSOP bracelet. It’s a game he is fond of. And he described how it’s played and why Michael Jordan loves it so much.

Hellmuth said “Michael likes to play badugi, which is a very fun game. You’re dealt four cards and you want to have a club, a diamond, a heart or a spade. Ace, deuce, three, four (in four different suits) is the best possible hand. And (Jordan) wants to play no limit, so things can get really crazy.”

The first-ever WSOP Badugi bracelet event was a ‘limit’ tournament. But MJ prefers to play the no-limit variety and things can go off the rails in a hurry.

Hellmuth went on to describe Badugi, saying “If you have ace, deuce, three, but you don’t have the badugi and he doesn’t either, then the best three cards (win). So if you have ace, deuce, three, you’ve got to get the money in because you get three draws and ace, deuce, three will hold up a lot of times. But if he puts in with four, five, seven and he hits his card and you don’t, he wins the pot. It’s a swingy game and that’s what he likes to play.”

To stream the episode of Chicken Dinner with Phil Hellmuth just hit ‘play’ below.

For more on what makes poker legend Phil Hellmuth so successful, read my interview with him from Summer 2021.

The post Poker Legend Phil Hellmuth Discussed Michael Jordan Challenging Him To A High-Stakes Game appeared first on BroBible.


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