Phil Hellmuth Turns Down TV Wife Swap Opportunity

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Jon Pineda
Phil Hellmuth Wife Swap offer

Phil Hellmuth was up for a Wife Swap appearance, but his wife Katherine turned down the offer. (Image:

The hit ABC TV show Wife Swap nearly saw Phil Hellmuth as a part of one of the show’s famous familial exchanges, but an objection from another member of the Hellmuth clan put the kibosh on the proposed appearance. Hellmuth announced the invitation on Twitter earlier this week, but said that it wouldn’t be happening, because his wife wasn’t comfortable with the plan.

“Have an offer to be on ABC television show ‘Wife Swap,’ but wife won’t do it!” tweeted Hellmuth. “Though I’m SURE she would look amazing!”

Show Swaps Families

Wife Swap is a reality television show in which two sets of couples (typically with children or other family members) swap mothers/wives for a two-week period. The idea is to mix and match families from different backgrounds and with values that are often at odds, thus creating the maximum amount of drama. Sometimes this results in everyone learning a little bit more about themselves; in others, it devolves into fights between incompatible families.

Hellmuth wouldn’t have been the first celebrity to appear on the program (there’s even a spin-off dedicated entirely to swapping celebrities), but his distinctive and often pugilistic personality could have made for some unique television viewing. On the other hand, Hellmuth told that he would have been on his best behavior had he ended up on the show.

“That kind of stuff is fun for me, and I feel like it’s a chance for the world to see me, to see the real me,” Hellmuth said. “I think too often people think I’m a jerk. If they see me on that show over two weeks – never lose my temper, never swear, a lot of patience – I think they would say wow, this is the Phil that we’ve never seen before, but this is the real Phil.”

That would be the opposite of what viewing audiences have grown to expect from the man they call the Poker Brat. Hellmuth’s ability to get invitations to programs like Wife Swap is due to the fame he has built through his appearances on televised poker broadcasts. And while winning ten World Series of Poker bracelets has helped his brand, it’s his infamous blow-ups that have made him a household name, even outside of poker circles.

Wife Says No

Ultimately, it was Hellmuth’s wife Katherine who was the one who nixed the idea of appearing on the program. According to Phil, his wife, who is a psychiatrist at Stanford University, isn’t interested in the publicity and doesn’t even like it when she appears briefly during coverage of WSOP events. Hellmuth called her feelings “unfortunate” for him, as he believes she’d do great in a television appearance.

“She’s brilliant, she’s stable, she’s very logical, and so I think she would do just phenomenally well on the show,” Hellmuth said of his wife. “People would love her and say great things about her.”

While Hellmuth isn’t exactly a television sensation, his high profile has gotten him some opportunities outside of the world of poker. Most recently, Hellmuth has been seen in a Carl’s Jr. commercial for the Texas BBQ Thickburger, in which he takes a bite out of the monster sandwich.

Hellmuth says he would love to do other reality shows, including the always popular Dancing With the Stars.

“I’m sure I would not have done great, but I would have done that show,” he said.

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