In the world of poker, one name shines brighter than most — Phil Hellmuth. With a career that spans decades, the Poker Brat has consistently showed his unmatched skills and unparalleled dedication to the game.
Recently, he etched his name in the annals of poker history by capturing his 17th coveted WSOP gold bracelet, surpassing his own extraordinary record.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I must have a smile just fixed to my face,” Hellmuth told PokerNews after his epic win.
Prior to his win, Hellmuth was going through a series of frustrating moments as not being able to make any final tables despite a remarkable display of skill in nine deep runs throughout the series.
However, the tides of fortune shifted dramatically when his tenth deep run materialized, accompanied by an extraordinary milestone — a record-extending 17th WSOP bracelet win in Event #72: $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty.
In a fashion reminiscent of most of his bracelet wins, Phil Hellmuth clinched his 17th victory in the No-Limit Hold’em variant. The Bounty event attracted a field of 642 participants, resulting in a prize pool of just north of $4 million.
At the culmination of the intense battle, Hellmuth emerged victorious after beating Justin Zaki, claiming a first-place finish that not only earned him an impressive $803,818 but also included the additional bounty rewards
To commemorate this momentous milestone, let’s take a closer look at the remarkable journey of Phil Hellmuth and uncover 17 intriguing facts about his highly successful career.
- Hellmuth’s first gold bracelet came in 1989, when he triumphed in the prestigious Main Event defeating Johnny Chan. He was the youngest player to achieve this feat at that time.
- With his latest win, Hellmuth now holds the record for the most World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelets won by an individual player — an impressive total of 17 and counting. The next highest is 10 bracelets held by Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan.
- Hellmuth is among just six players who have won three bracelets in a single year.
- The “Poker Brat” holds the record for the most runner-up finishes, coming in 2nd place 14 times. Imagine if he had converted just half of those into victories — he would have around two dozen bracelets today (though converting 17 of the 31 times he’s got to a final two is a solid heads up win rate of 55%!). Additionally, he has the most number of final table finishes, totaling 75 to date.
- With his 17 bracelets, Phil Hellmuth holds the record for winning nearly 1% of all bracelets given out to date.
- He is the only player to have won both the WSOP Main Event (1989) and WSOP Europe Main Event (2012) to date.
- In addition to his 17th gold bracelet win, Hellmuth has also achieved the milestone of 200 WSOP cashes, a distinction held by very few players.
- Hellmuth’s remarkable career has spanned over five decades, making him the only player to have won bracelets in the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, and now the 20s, showcasing his ability to adapt and excel in different eras of poker.
- On average, Hellmuth has been winning one bracelet every two years.
- Out of his 17 WSOP gold bracelets, Hellmuth has chosen to keep only his first one, generously giving away the rest to his friends and family.
- With over $26 million in live tournament earnings, Hellmuth’s success is not solely measured by his bracelet count but also by his consistent financial prowess.
- Surprisingly, Hellmuth has yet to secure a coveted WSOP gold ring.
- The 1989 World Champion has cashed in the WSOP Main Event over a dozen times and holds the record for the most final tables in the WSOP Main Event.
- During the poker boom, Hellmuth’s instructional book, “Play Poker Like the Pros,” became a New York Times Bestseller.
- Hellmuth was inducted into the WSOP’s Poker Hall of Fame in 2007.
- Hellmuth has not experienced much success in tournaments with buy-ins in six figures, cashing in only five of those events.
- Although Phil Hellmuth grew up playing card games, he didn’t start playing poker until his college years.