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Phil Hellmuth undoubtedly is one of the most controversial personalities in all of the poker world. One does either love him or hate him and rarely you will find someone who feels indifferent about this guy..
Phil Hellmuth undoubtedly is one of the most controversial personalities in all of the poker world. One does either love him or hate him and rarely you will find someone who feels indifferent about this guy. Nevertheless the feelings people have for him, Phil Hellmuth is certainly a great poker player. With 12 WSOP Gold Bracelets he is No 1 in WSOP Rankings. He is surely not a youngster any more as his first cash finish in the WSOP was back in 1988 when poker was still a live game and no one had any idea that a phenomenon such as online poker may rock the world. Let's meet Phil Hellmuth aka The Poker Brat.
Phillip Jerome Hellmuth, Jr. was born in 1964 in Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Started playing poker in college, when he was 19. He attended the University for three years but in order to pursue his dream and play poker professionally he had dropped out. During the college years he had met his future wife Katherine Sanborn. They now reside at Palo Alto, California and raise two boys Philip III and Nicholas.
In 1989, when Phil was 24 years old, he won WSOP Main Event and became the youngest player ever to win the WSOP Poker Championship Bracelet. His record has been untouched for 17 years. However, since online poker blossomed and more younger players got a chance to learn the game more easily, his record has been broken twice. Peter Eastgate won Main Event in 2008 when he was 22-years old. Joe Cada won the Main Event in 2009 when he was 21.
Phil Hellmuth has been widely known for his legendary entries. For example, in 2008 he entered WSOP dressed as a Roman Emperor while in 2009 he came with a military uniform and 11 stars on his helmet (for each WSOP bracelet). He is also known for his classic exits after busting out or abuse after seeing other player cards. For example, in 2008 at WSOP Main Event when he folded A♠ K♥ after a bet on a 9♣ 10♣ 7♠ flop from C. Dragomir who later showed 10♦ 4♦, Hellmuth did not stop verbally abusing his opponent until floor manager did penalize Hellmuth with one round penalty.
But behind all his verbal abuse and entertainment, all of the emotional explosions, everyone who finds themselves at the same table with Hellmuth are aware that they are playing against one of the best players in the world that has been playing poker for over 25 years. Even though, his WPT history does not include any titles won, 12 WSOP bracelets speak for themselves. Overall, his winnings exceed $14 million from live tournaments only.
11 out of 12 WSOP Bracelets that Hellmuth has won since 1989 are NL Holdem but that by far does not mean that it might be easier to play against him in non-holdem games. Not only he was a runner-up in 2009 WSOP Players Championship, his last WSOP bracelet comes from $2.500 buy-in Seven Card Razz and on numerous occasions he has finished high in a variety of non-holdem games.
In live events Phil Hellmuth has cashed in a number of times but there are some really spectacular ones. His first WSOP bracelet in 1989 brought him over $750.000 which in comparison to today's prizes is 10 times smaller (Pius Heinz, WSOP 2011 Main Event winner collected over $8 million). Hellmuth's all-time largest win comes from WSOP 2012 Event 55 The Big One for One Drop where he finished fourth and claimed $2,645,333 .