It had been a pretty uneventful World Series of Poker for Phil Hellmuth through Saturday. He’d cashed in several events and found some deep runs. But Hellmuth is about winning bracelets and had yet to even reach a final table.
However, Hellmuth went on a huge run in the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty, adding a 17th bracelet just after 5 a.m. on Sunday. The poker pro from Wisconsin now calls Palo Alto, California, home and grabbed $803,818 for the win after some early exits from recent tournaments.
“Maybe part of the reason I busted the Pot Limit Omaha was to come and win this,” he told WSOP.com afterward. “Maybe part of the reason I busted the deuce to seven was so I could get rest.”
Making a Comeback
Getting to the title wasn't easy. Hellmuth topped a field of 642 entries, but was short on chips after a break earlier on Saturday. With blinds at 15,000/30,000, the Poker Hall of Famer had just 60,000 remaining.
Always tight-fisted with his chips on a short stack, Hellmuth found some quick wins right after a break. The first saw a double-up with A-3 versus an opponent’s A-5. Shortly afterward two more doubles propelled him back into the tournament.
Hellmuth sat fourth in chips at the final table, which also included Phil Ivey searching for his 11th bracelet. Hellmuth found pocket Aces when Ivey moved all in with Kd10d, sending the poker legend to the rail in sixth for $133,461.
At heads-up, Hellmuth faced off against Florida’s Justin Zaki. The match lasted a single hand when Hellmuth caught two pair with 8c4h and Zack with 6s7s on a flop of 8sKc4s. Zack moved all in with his flush and inside straight draw.
The 4d on the turn gave Hellmuth a full house and the Ks on the river secured the victory. The 17-time WSOP yelled “yes” and ran through an almost-empty tournament area in celebration. After the event wrapped up, Hellmuth was pleased to see everything come together after some tough luck on the poker felt so far this summer.
"I tried not to complain,” he said. “I've been unlucky in key spots. Fuck all that bullshit … because things happen for a reason.”
Adding to His Legacy
The win becomes the 11th bracelet in No Limit Hold’em for Hellmuth, who also now has $17.8 million in WSOP winnings. His last bracelet came in 2021 in the $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw for $84,851.
With a survival mentality on a short stack, the quick-paced “super turbo” action may work well for his skill set. He put those skills to good use and has now stretched his bracelet lead even more.
Johnny Chan, Phil Ivey, and the late Doyle Brunson are all tied with 10 bracelets. Hellmuth had no time yet for sleep and stayed up to give a speech at the WSOP’s celebration of Brunson’s life. Hellmuth poked some fun at himself in the process to end quite an eventful day.
“This man bluffed me in the ‘80s,” he said of Brunson. “This man bluffed me in the ‘90s This man bluffed me in the 2000s and now in the 2000s it was recorded. So I got to see all these freaking bluffs he put on me because it was on Poker After Dark.
“Well done Doyle, I’ll miss you. But I'm not sure I’ll miss being bluffed by you.”