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Aaron Todd

Aaron  Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

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Like Aikman, Hellmuth snubbed by Dancing with the Stars execs

1 Mar 2011

By Aaron Todd
The cast for season 12 of "Dancing with the Stars" was revealed last night, and for those in the poker community, Phil Hellmuth's absence was notable, but also quite predictable.

Hellmuth made the mistake of tweeting that he might be part of the cast in December. Last year, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman made a similar mistake when he prematurely announced he would be competing on Season 11 of the popular reality TV show on ABC.

Of course, ABC wants to make as big a deal out of the announcement. And network executives don't like their contestants jumping the gun, so when the field was announced last year and Aikman's name wasn't included, it wasn't a big surprise. Last year's snub of Aikman led the editorial team here at Casino City to quickly surmise that Hellmuth wouldn't be a part of Season 12, and lo-and-behold, we were right.

So Hellmuth now joins Aikman as a potential DWTS contestant that was so excited he spilled the beans and lost out on a chance to compete for the title. It led me to wonder, how does Hellmuth stack up against Aikman in other areas? Here's a quick "Tale of the Tape" comparison.

Represented the most-hated hated franchise
While the Dallas Cowboys have been referred to as "America's Team," fans of just about every other NFL franchise — especially fellow NFC East teams — will tell you that they take special pleasure in each and every Cowboys loss.

Hellmuth, on the other hand, recently parted ways with online poker room, which has suffered through a multitude of controversies and cheating scandals. He stayed relatively mum on the sordid affairs, and he was never connected to any of the scandals personally. That said, as much as people hate the Cowboys, draws a much more passionate hatred from certain segments of the poker community than the Dallas Cowboys ever could.

Edge: Hellmuth

Reading abilities
Aikman spent his career reading defenses and picking them apart for a 61.5 percent completion rate. In his current capacity, he spends his Sundays reading both defenses and offenses as the primary national color commentator on Fox Sports broadcasts.

Hellmuth likes to talk about his reading abilities. And while he eventually makes the right decision in the case linked to here, he's made a lot of bad reads, too.

Edge: Aikman

Cool under pressure
Do I need to even write descriptions here? Aikman lost 75 games and threw 154 interceptions in his career, and I don't remember him once losing it or blaming anyone else for his misfortune.

Edge: Aikman (Hellmuth didn't even get off the starting line)

Prodigy factor
Both Hellmuth and Aikman were lauded at an early age as the next generation in their game. And once Aikman hit his stride, he was lights out. He won Super Bowls in his fourth and fifth seasons in the league in 1992 and 1993, and picked up a third in 1995. That said, he had a rough start out of the gate. Aikman started 11 games for the Cowboys in his rookie season, and posted a morbid 0-11 record. His record the next two seasons wasn't much better, and he entered the fourth year of his career with a 14-24 overall record.

Hellmuth, on the other hand, won $125,000 in a tournament in Los Angeles in 1988, then picked up three more tournament wins for a total of $86,511 before he became the youngest World Series of Poker Main Event winner in 1989, winning $755,000 to eclipse the $1 million mark in career prize money, all before turning 25 years old.

Edge: Hellmuth

TV analyst skills
Both Aikman and Hellmuth have branched out beyond their own playing careers to spend some time in the broadcast booth. Aikman and Joe Buck make up Fox's top broadcast team for NFL games, while Hellmuth has done live commentary for the WSOP Main Event, and also did commentary for Bravo's now-defunct "Celebrity Poker Showdown".

Aikman, now retired from football, has spent much more time working on his craft than Hellmuth, who still focuses most of his attention on his own game, so the winner in this category isn't too surprising.

Edge: Aikman

Staying power
Aikman had a relatively brief career in the NFL, playing for just 12 seasons before concussions forced him from the game. Hellmuth, on the other hand, has been near the center of the poker universe for more than 20 years with no signs of slowing down. While it's been a few years since he last won a WSOP bracelet, his spread from first to last is 18 years. One could argue that Aikman's second life as a color commentator should count for something, but in this category, only your stats as a player count.

Edge: Hellmuth

The Charlie Sheen "winning" scale
Let's face it, much like Charlie Sheen, both Aikman and Hellmuth are winners. But it's difficult to compare winning in football vs. winning in poker. Since you can only win the Super Bowl once a year, I'm equating that with the WSOP Main Event, which can also only be won once a year. And since you can win multiple bracelets in a single year (but it's mighty hard to do), I'm going to compare WSOP bracelets to NFL playoff wins.

The tale of the tape is awful close, with Aikman posting 11 playoff wins vs. Hellmuth's 11 WSOP bracelets. But Aikman gets the slight edge with three Super Bowl titles vs. Hellmuth's one Main Event title.

Edge: Aikman by a nose

Aikman was a traditional drop-back quarterback during his time in the NFL, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a versatile athlete. In fact, Aikman was drafted by the New York Mets in 1985, and may have had a longer career as a professional athlete had he chosen baseball, where the threat of concussion would have been much, much lower.

Hellmuth, on the other hand, may have won 11 WSOP bracelets, but every single one of them has come in a Hold'em tournament.

Edge: Aikman

Anyone who follows Hellmuth's blog or Twitter feed knows how much he likes to drop the names of who he's been hanging out with, so I'm sure he will be honored to have shared this space with a NFL Hall of Fame quarterback.
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