We’re down to seven players in the 2011 WSOP $50k Players Championship and Phil Hellmuth is the chip leader with nearly five million chips.
Hellmuth has been waiting for his record-setting 12th bracelet since 2007 and you’d have to think his bracelet hunger is at an all-time high today.
When you think about it, this just might be the most-important final table Hellmuth has ever played.
OK, scratch that, without beating Johnny Chan in the 1989 Main Event, there’s a good chance Hellmuth wouldn’t be nearly as well-known.
Outside of that table, however, this is an absolutely pivotal final table for the Poker Brat.
Consider that Hellmuth lost his major online sponsorship deal with UB earlier this year and, as previously mentioned, has not won a bracelet for nearly four years.
You should also take into account that the biggest knock on Hellmuth has always been that he’s only won Hold’em events and usually against weaker fields.
The $50k Players Championship is not a Hold’em tournament, although the final table is, and it’s widely considered to be the most pro-heavy tournament in the poker world.
If Hellmuth actually pulls this off and wins the tournament he’s going to finally get the respect from pros he’s always craved and he’s also going to once and for all prove that he deserves all the sponsors he can get.
We’re not sure the poker world is ready for a Phil Hellmuth with 12 bracelets.