Phil Hellmuth is one of the biggest poker celebrities in the industry today. He is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and has a long and illustrious poker career.
Some of his accomplishments include winning the main event of the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE), the main event of the 1989 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and holding 13 WSOP bracelets. While Hellmuth remains one of the biggest celebrities in the poker industry, he comes across as an individual who is very brash and temperamental.
Hellmuth recently had a chance to change all that when he was offered a role in a celebrity reality TV show that gave him the opportunity to take his fans behind the scenes and give them a glimpse into his personal life and family. ABC’s popular reality show Celebrity Wife Swap approached Hellmuth with an offer to star in an episode that would cover his family life for two straight weeks.
The show is based on a model where two families from completely different backgrounds are chosen to experience a completely different lifestyle by swapping wives for two straight weeks to see how different things turn out to be. After two weeks, both families meet to discuss their experiences. Some of the celebrity couples that have been featured on the show include actors Lorenzo Lamas and Andy Dick, wrestlers Roddy Piper and Ric Flair, musicians Mark McGrath and Coolio.
This was the first time that the network approached a poker professional, giving Hellmuth the opportunity to gain a lot of publicity along with a fee of close to $100,000. The 50 year old Hellmuth has been married for the last 24 years to wife Katherine who is a psychologist from Standford. The couple has 2 children and have a stable marriage that has stood the test of time.
However, Hellmuth turned down ABC’s offer and stated that while he would love to accept the challenge; his wife did not want to do the show.
In a statement, Hellmuth said
Unfortunately my wife is a psychiatrist at a pretty famous institution, and she hates press. She doesn’t like it when they show her on the World Series of Poker coverage … It’s unfortunate for me that she just really has no interest. My wife is beautiful, she’s in fantastic shape, I drool over her every day. She’s brilliant, she’s stable, she’s very logical, and so I think she would do just phenomenally well on the show. People would love her and say great things about her.