Jeff Shulman Actually Does Something Smart - Ivey Still Unphased
The announcement was made this week that Jeff Shulman has hired Phil Hellmuth as his poker coach for the final table of the World Series of Poker in November. When, I first hear this, the first thing I thought was "I thought you wanted to throw the bracelet in the trash." But it appears he has changed his mind and is touting this as a big deal.
It makes sense that Shulman would pick Hellmuth to coach him. Hellmuth does have 11 bracelets and is a former Main Event champion. In Poker, Hellmuth could almost be considered the "Babe Ruth" of poker. Ruth is primarily known for his home run power and Hellmuth his Holdem prowess. Much like Ruth, Hellmuth dominates weaker competition and has racked up records that will take a long time to break, if ever.
With that being said, the addition of Hellmuth as his coach has got to have a couple of the pros salivating over Shulman's chips. Hellmuth's gimmick so to speak is the ability to do well against WEAK fields. This final table is far from being a weak field. In fact, it is probably the strongest field in a long time. I am not saying that Phil cannot win against pros, because he can. What I am saying is that Phil does not have as easy a time against them. They know most of his play and how he plays at the table. If you watch Hellmuth play against pros, you will see in some cases, he has to run well to do well. Obviously that is not the case, but the times I have seen him do well on TV against a group of pros, it is because he ran well.
However, I think that Shulman has made the right choice in a poker coach. You want the person that is considered the best to train you. While many will argue that Hellmuth is the best Holdem player in the world, when it comes to the World Series of Poker, Hellmuth is king. Shulman could do a lot worse than use Phil as coach.
With that say, I still hope Shulman implodes and gets his ass kicked. Anyone wanting to trash a bracelet deserves to lose in my opinion. (Insert random praise of Phil Ivey here.)