‘The Hellmuth’ – Has Queen-Four become the Poker Brat’s signature hand?
The notion of a poker hand representing a poker player is not new. For decades, ten-deuce has been known as “Texas Dolly.” Named after Doyle Brunson, the hand gained notoriety by winning back-to-back World Series of Poker Main Events in 1976 and 1977.
Last week, Phil Hellmuth’s queen-four call for his tournament life – and subsequent success – went viral. Playing against Alex Foxen at the 2022 US Poker Open, the so-called “Poker Brat” has become associated with hole cards around the world…but how long will that last?
From Will Smith-related memes to Hellmuth’s own reaction to the hand, how did a week in the spotlight give Queen Four the most unlikely popularity gains?
The hand takes place
Whichever way you look at it, Alex Foxen and Phil Hellmuth played one of the most viewed hands in poker history on PokerGO at the 2022 US Poker Open. for the Event title but also for the leaderboard win at this point, Foxen saw Hellmuth’s three-bet and four-bet enough to put the Poker Brat all in with a call.
Hellmuth weighed things in as co-commentator Brent Hanks, working alongside Jeff Platt on the PokerGO booth, said how each viewer felt.
“He’s a guy who can dodge bullets but can’t escape queen four? I’m shocked he’s taking time to make that decision. He’s do not a decision.”
It was, however, and as Hellmuth said, “I guess I better play to win.” He put in his remaining chips, deciding not to end up with nine big blinds.
Of course, a queen came on the flop and to add insult to injury, another queen on the river gave Hellmuth the crucial double-up. No nines made it through the board, which left Foxen puzzled, and he slowly looked around the PokerGO studio in wonderment.
“What have we just witnessed? What was that?” Hanks said.
The whole world was about to provide a different answer to this question.
Poker Twitter explodes
No sooner had the hand been played than PokerGO itself split what has become one of the most popular poker hands in living memory to watch. The quotes, retweets, likes, and engagements alone sent the hand around the world faster than you could locate your push-fold graphics to prove the call was “wrong.”
can someone explain to us what is going on here?
IS THIS THE POKER HAND OF THE YEAR? pic.twitter.com/rpkIP3GwgR
—PokerGO (@PokerGO) March 25, 2022
As expected, some of the comments on Poker Twitter were brilliant.
“I swear the next time I get a [queen-four], I put my chips in it,” said a Poker Brat fan. “Instead of calling for my ‘one time’, I’ll announce ‘For Phil!'”. Many Hellmuth supporters came out to defend not just their man, but the hand itself.
“I secretly love [queen-four]”, said one. “It’s my weird hand.” Another stood for several dozen with their claim that: “From now on the queen-four will be known as ‘The Hellmuth’ or “The Brat”. People will play it like the [seven-deuce] Gambling. Poker rooms across America will be talking about the hand!”
They already were.
Memes are taking over
From the moment the clip was shot by social media canon PokerGO, the poker circus that exists online was thrilled. Max Pescatori hinted that an element of jealousy would float throughout high roller games
Each HR actor pic.twitter.com/PWztsv5YDw
— Max Pescatori 🇮🇹🇺🇸🏴☠️ (@maxpescatori) March 26, 2022
Hellmuth himself shared the effect the internet loved having on the Queen-Four.
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) March 26, 2022
Many fans were on Hellmuth’s side, and more than happy to show that this runaway train of a meme subject wouldn’t be stopped by anything in its path.
No Hellmuth train stop pic.twitter.com/zvvQ8SvKt8
— Beginner (@FPLFledgling) March 26, 2022
When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars in Los Angeles, Poker Twitter was quick to appropriate the action at Hellmuth’s hand.
— Jerod Smith (@jsmith84poker) March 28, 2022
While the clever debate was thin on the ground, that didn’t mean the best couldn’t parody it, and Phil Galfond’s message was a thing of beauty and a joy forever.
We have been here before. @phil_hellmuth makes a game that looks ridiculous, and every poker fan at home – including top players – is quick to jump on him.
I’m by no means a tournament expert, but I have a few thoughts to share… pic.twitter.com/kWzknTeoRA
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) March 26, 2022
Hellmuth even shared a modified hand ranking chart, giving new power to this craziest calling hand.
Official Announcement: After much debate, thought, and careful study, I have decided to add Q-4 out of costume to my list of “Top Ten Hands”. AA, KK, QQ, AK, JJ, 10-10, AQ, 9-9, 8-8 and Q-4: I lost 7-7. Too, @KevinRobMartin has a graph that reflects the current value of Q-4 pic.twitter.com/ntx4WISKb8
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) March 26, 2022
Could ‘The Hellmuth’ stand the test of time?
A fan’s claim that Johnny Chan could have prevented Hellmuth from winning his iconic WSOP Main Event in 1989 really drove the controls of the out-of-control juggernaut “crazy.”
“Your 1989 WSOP win appeared on my YouTube feed today,” they said. “What’s funny is that if he played [queen-four] against your [pocket nines] he would have won. I think there’s something magical in your hand.
Magic or not, Hellmuth did not win the USPO event or any other event with the hand in question. So can it really stand the test of time?
Eager to show that it was possible, the Poker Brat were on their way to a meet match later in the week, and what would be their first hand? You guess it.
OMG!! Q-4 first hand!! Crazy https://t.co/5i2QRllr7C
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) March 30, 2022
There’s a “Queen-Four” Facebook group, and before long you know there will be t-shirts. If the hand spreads to the World Series, then the memes will all come out for a second run.
Hellmuth himself, as is so often the case, seems in control of the fate of the hand. Doyle Brunson played ten deuces in not one but two vital points. Both times he won a WSOP Main Event as a direct result, but while Hellmuth may not have the opportunity to do so, what the Poker Brat has in 2022 is a much more powerful media machine to fuel. .
If Phil Hellmuth makes a final table at the 2022 World Series of Poker, then the Poker Brat will be waiting for two particular hole cards to go crazy with a live stream. Set aside the value he stacks by less experienced hopefuls supposing he plays queen four along the way, Hellmuth should definitely play him under the lights.
If Queen Four makes it onto mainstream television, we may never hear the end of a hand that lives in the moment far longer than anyone has given it the chance to.
All-in ? You better believe it.