Poker Masters Champion Steffen Sontheimer

Poker Masters Champion Dumps on White Magic

Steffen Sontheimer says Phil Hellmuth late-registration strategy “reduces negative edge.”

German poker pro and 2017 Poker Masters winner Steffen Sontheimer joined Poker Life Podcast host Joey Ingram recently for a two-hour show that included an epic response to televised and social media rants initiated by 14-time WSOP bracelet winner and King of The Hill title-holder Phil Hellmuth.

Sontheimer — who stormed through the recent five-event Poker Masters series to win its prized Purple Jacket — had his poker skill and potential longevity in the game brought into question while competing alongside the former WSOP Main Event champion late last month.

“[Phil Hellmuth] does one thing right… he is late registering for the tournaments. This increases variance and reduces negative edge,” offered the $6 million USD live poker tournament cash prize winner known on Twitter as @RunGo0seRun.

“I’m not really sure what White Magic is exactly,” continued Sontheimer. “If it’s like talking a lot when you face a bet — and then fold the best hand — this works out perfectly. It’s something [Hellmuth] does super well.”

The 2017 Poker Master is part of a growing contingent of young pros who are rapidly moving up the all-time money list. This thanks in part to super high roller events that have spread in popularity in recent years — which in turn have threatened Hellmuth’s coveted Top 10 status as a career live event money leader in his own right.

Phil Hellmuth Surge in Popularity?

Phil Hellmuth

Hellmuth — who used his “White Magic” live poker reading skills to defeat highly touted pros Doug Polk and ‘Jungleman’ Daniel Cates during the inaugural Poker Night in America KOTH telecast — has experienced a surge in popularity among his colleagues and fans in 2017.

Despite frequent barbs at opponents that have persisted throughout his career, the 53-year old Wisconsin native has displayed a renewed vigor in growing the game of poker this year, openly communicating with fans of all skills levels on a wide range of topics. The outreach has been in-line with that of fellow high profile pros who have granted unprecedented access to the high roller lifestyle and real money poker competition.

The Poker Brat‘s heads-up victory has also given confidence to a fair deal of vociferous “recreational” poker players who have enjoyed watching the controversial personality compete against top-notch talent in all-new televised poker formats.

Furthermore, the $22 million USD live tournament cash prize winner’s personal website currently shows up when visiting the RealKidPoker.com domain.

The world’s career live event money leader Daniel Negreanu (known on Twitter as @RealKidPoker) has publicly disagreed with many of the Poker Brat‘s beliefs related to poker skill level — culminating in a Twitter spat that was documented in detail by PokerNews on September 20th.

Hellmuth to Defend KOTH Title This Weekend

Fans around the world can watch Phil Hellmuth in action this weekend as he defends his King of The Hill title-belt at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. The $50,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em contest will award $200,000 USD to the eventual winner.

The Poker Night in America live stream will begin Friday around 6:00pm Eastern Time with two semi-final matches including Hellmuth, Upswing Poker Lab Coach Parker Talbot, Olivier Busquet and Shaun Deeb.

Our very own Doug Polk will be commentating the action both Friday and Saturday, which can be viewed directly on the @PokerNightTV Twitch channel for free.

Free Guide: 20 Rules for Playing Flush Draws in 2017

Ryan Fee and Doug Polk want to share their 20 “rules” for playing flush draws that you can use to separate yourself from the average poker player. Click here to access now.

Read more Upswing Poker content from David Huber:

  • Phil Hellmuth Defies Odds, Becomes King of The Hill Champion (Aug 24, 2017)
  • Televised Poker Gains Momentum in 2017 (Aug 15, 2017)
  • Poker Life Podcast Year in Review (Dec 21, 2016)


    David Huber (known as “dhubermex” online) has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade. He currently assists several poker and gaming entities as a researcher, writer, and consultant. Former Editor-in-Chief & Head Moderator of online tournament rankings site PocketFives (2006-2011).

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