I was minding my own business one day a few weeks back when Creative Artists Agency (CAA) agent Nick Styne, who represents Cameron Diaz, Luke Wilson, and many other top stars, e-mailed me to ask about a hand that Tobey Maguire played against me. The e-mail read, “Was it a jackpot hand?”
I wondered, “How is it possible that Nick knows the details of this hand?”
It turns out that I have finally arrived … yeah, right! You see, I made Page 6 of the New York Post — which I had never heard of, but is supposed to be a big deal — where it was written: “A spy told me that Tobey crippled cantankerous poker pro Phil Hellmuth Jr. when his four of a kind beat Hellmuth’s full house at the WPT’s (World Poker Tour) Mirage championship no-limit hold’em tournament. Hellmuth responded by throwing a tirade.”
Well … not exactly. I mean, Tobey did beat my full house with four of a kind — and yes, Nick, it was a jackpot hand. (And my wife and I agree that cantankerous is a good word to describe me!) However, as far as throwing a tirade goes, even though I have thrown far too many in my poker life, I didn’t throw one in this case. Instead, I said, “Nice hand, Tobey.” You see, I didn’t feel that Tobey did anything wrong, and I happen to like him, as well. By all accounts, he is a good guy.
With the blinds at $100-$200 and a $25 ante, Tobey opened for $600 with the Aspades Qhearts. A few players passed, and then I made it $1,500 to go with the Kspades Khearts. Tobey called. The flop came down Adiamonds Aclubs 4diamonds, and he bet out $3,000. These days, it seems like no one ever actually plays a hand straight up, especially by making a big pot-sized bet when hitting a monster hand. Thus, I didn’t think Tobey would bet $3,000 into a $3,000 pot with an ace in his hand. So, I called the bet, with plans of who knows what on fourth street.
The 8clubs came off on the turn, and Tobey bet out $4,000. I called one more time, but began to strongly suspect that he had an ace. I was thinking I would dump my hand on the river for a big bet, or, less likely, call him down, depending on my read. The last card sealed my fate when the case ace hit the board (A-A-4-8-A). Now, I had an unbeatable hand, unless of course Tobey had the last ace. He bet out $5,000, and I studied briefly and decided that I couldn’t fold my hand at this point. In fact, I probably would have called a bigger bet.
Afterward, Tobey berated himself, saying, “I should have bet poker online more on the end, because there’s no way you could have folded, and you had only $5,000 left. I really should have busted you.” True, he should have busted me, but it is possible (but not likely) that I would have folded on the end for a $10,000 bet? For $5,000, I didn’t even study him, which was a mistake, even though I don’t think I could have folded anyhow.