Phil Hellmuth Slams GTO Strategy, Calls Negreanu "Delusional"

Critics of Phil Hellmuth often point out that he fails to keep up with the times with regard to the latest trends in poker strategy.

One of those trends is GTO or game theory optimal. GTO play has been en vogue for at least the last few years. But not according to the Poker Brat.

By: Charles Rettmuller

“I don’t play GTO,” he said. “I play a game that beats GTO."

In a recent interview with Cardschat, Hellmuth revealed how he manages to exploit his opponents who rely heavily on a GTO model.

"These guys are always floating the flop with nothing and I love that," Phil explained. "So, what I do is I hammer the flop and turn like I have the nuts and they usually fold.”

In support of Phil and his strategies are the 15 WSOP gold bracelets he has won throughout his career. That includes no. 15, which was captured just six months ago in $5,000 NLHE for a $485,082 payday.

That victory pushed him to more than $22 million in lifetime earnings, putting him in 17th place on the all-time money list. He's currently 5th on the WSOP all-time money list with $14,513,570, trailing Jonathan Duhamel ($14,647,089), Daniel Negreanu ($16,364,794), Daniel Colman ($17,413,655) and Antonio Esfandiari ($21,834,853).

One of those players ahead of him, Negreanu, while also being a good friend to Phil, has criticized his style of play.

"He’s a bit delusional about my play,” the Poker Brat said of his fellow Hall of Famer. “Back in 2008 he told me I’d never win again playing the way I do. And he said last year I have to learn GTO. But here I am, still winning. So, yeah, he’s delusional when it comes to my game and sometimes even his own.”


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