Kill Phil

word type: noun

  1. A book written by Blair Rodman and Lee Nelson about making smart preflop plays that make playing postflop easier.

Who is 'Phil'?

Unfortunately to the disappointment of many, this is not a book about how to kill Phil Hellmuth. Instead, 'Phil' is any opponent you come across in a tournament who is better than you. The book mainly details a strategy which, if used correctly, can take away any edge that 'Phils' have against you.

About the Authors

Blair Rodman has been a professional gambler for over 25 years. He is an expert blackjack and craps player, but his favorite game has always been poker. In 2004, Rodman had six cashes at the World Series of Poker, including three final tables. In 2005, he made two WSOP circuit final tables, finishing 2nd in both the WPT Reno event and the Ultimate Poker Challenge.

Lee Nelson is a medical doctor who specializes in prostate cancer research, and merely plays poker for fun. His 'hobby' has landed him at several big final tables over the last few years, including wins in the 2004 St. Maarten Open, the 2005 Party Poker World Open, and the the 2005 PLO Championship at the Irish Open.

The Strategy

Essentially, there are four levels of Kill Phil (KP) strategy: KP Rookie, KP Basic, KP Basic +, and KP Expert. At the core of the levels is a hand ranking system divided into groups that get weaker as you move from Group 1 to Group 10.

KP Rookie, the simplest of the levels, states that you should move all-in with the strongest range of hands and fold everything else.

KP Basic revolves around the concepts of CPR (chips per round), CSI (chip status index), and the four levels of stack size (CSI more than 30, between 30-10, between 10-4, less than 4). Using these three concepts, Rodman and Nelson develop a rigid set of rules that should dictate your play in a given situation. They tell you when to move all-in, in what position, vs. opponents in what position - all dependent on the stack sizes. They also give consideration to whether the pot is unopened, raised, or limped, as well as further details on playing short vs. long handed.

KP Basic + delves into strategies that are less rigid and more open to your interpretation, such as what hands to call a short stack's all-in with.

Lastly, KP Expert discusses plays that require a full understanding of the first three KP levels in order to implement successfully. If you make it to this level you will be fully capable of complex plays and strategies.