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Poker Legends: Phil Hellmuth

Written by Ben Blaschke

No player polarizes opinions in the poker world quite like the enigmatic Phil Hellmuth. Renowned for his explosive blow-ups at the tables where he has made a habit of admonishing opponents who dare win a pot from him, his strong opinions have seen him clash with any number of rival players over the years.

Yet there is no denying his incredible record when it comes to tournament poker. The youngest ever winner of the WSOP Main Event when he denied Johnny Chan victory in 1989, his 13 WSOP bracelets is the most won by any player and he remains one of only three alongside Chan and Doyle Brunson to have won 10 or more.

A Hold’em specialist, 12 of Hellmuth’s bracelets have come in either No Limit or Pot Limit Hold’em events although he broke the mould in 2012 when he won a Seven Card Razz event to claim his 12th bracelet.

Most impressive about Hellmuth’s performances over the years has been his consistency. He is known for placing extremely high value on his tournament life and despite a five-year gap between bracelets from 2007 to 2012 – when he won two – he continued to make multiple final tables. In total he has reached 49 WSOP final table to go with 100 career cashes – a remarkable conversion rate given the size of most WSOP fields these days.

Hellmuth also achieved a significant first in 2012 when he won the WSOP Europe Main Event – becoming the only player to ever win both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events.

The “Poker Brat” might not be everybody’s cup of tea but there is no doubt he adds plenty of color to any event he plays in. And as for how many more bracelets he might add in the coming years, it seems that the sky is the limit.