The most acclaimed poker player in WSOP history has a chance to further his legacy today in Melbourne, Australia.
The one and only Phil Hellmuth - he of 13 career WSOP gold bracelets - is vying for his record-setting 14th at the Crown Casino.
You can catch the full hand reports over at WSOP.com but we'll be on the scene with live reports and color from the rail right here. You'll also find the WSOP livestream at the bottom of the page.
Update: Hellmuth crashed out in fourth place for a $38,909 score.
Alexander Antonios Wins
Once Phil Hellmuth was out the door, the latest WSOP APAC bracelet was being fought over by Michael Tran, Alexander Antonios and Steven Zhou.
And the fight was long and hard, taking three hours before Zhou was sent to the rail to usher in heads-up play.
Zhou, a Sydney-based Macau regular, was short stacked and all in preflop holding K♥ 9♦ and had to come up against the A♠ 2♠ of Alexander Antonios.
Zhou hit a king to move ahead on the flop, but an ace on the river meant that he was eliminated in 3rd place collecting $79,646.
Antonios had a big chip lead to begin heads-up and it wouldn’t take long for him to take home the top prize and the bracelet.
The final hand of the tournament saw Tran all in preflop holding T♠ 9♣ against the K♥ 4♣ of Antonios. The board ran out 7♣ 6♥ Q♠ 7♠ 3♣ and the $2,200 Six Max No Limit Hold’em was all over!
1st: Alexander Antonios - $128,784
2nd: Michael Tran - $79,646
3rd: Steven Zhou - $55,365
4th: Phil Hellmuth - $38,909
5th: Yu Kurita - $27,624
6th: Bruno Politano - $19,809
Phil Hellmuth Eliminated in 4th Place
Phil Hellmuth will not be winning his 14th WSOP gold bracelet today.
Hellmuth had been nursing a short stack for much of the four-handed action before he moved all in preflop for 72,000.
Hellmuth was holding A♣ 7♠ and was up against Michael Tran with 4♣ 4♠.
Hellmuth sat stoically staring at the board as the dealer spread out Q♥ 5♦ 6♦ 3♦ Q♦ to end Hellmuth’s tournament in 4th place.
“I took all those bad beat and was all in one time with aces,” Hellmuth said to no one in particular as he shook the hands of his opponents and made his way out of the studio.
“That’s brutal,” he added as he was already ten feet away from the table.
Tran will now begin three-handed action as the chip leader.
Check back here to find out who wins the event!
Karita Gone in 5th, Hellmuth Kicking On
When Phil Hellmuth was left short stacked during five-handed play it was looking like he would be the next player eliminated.
However, Hellmuth would hang on to his tournament life while Yu Kurita would be sent home in 5th place.
Kurita’s final hand saw her all in preflop holding J♦ J♥ against Michael Tran’s A♣ K♠.
Tran hit both an ace and a king on a bad runout for Karita and extended his chip lead at the final table.
With the final table down to four, Hellmuth had locked up $38,909 for himself.
But of course, Hellmuth's not playing for payjumps.
He’s playing for bracelet 14.
Stil has a lot of work to do with that short stack though.
Riding the Hellmuth Roller Coaster
The dreams of bracelet number 14 hang by a thread following another big clash between Phil Hellmuth and Australian Michael Tran.
Tran opened with a raise before Hellmuth three-bet from the small blind. After some friendly banter, Tran committed to the call and the flop landed Q♣ 9♦ 5♦.
Hellmuth led out with a quick bet and Tran gave it some thought before making the call.
The turn brought the 6♣ and Hellmuth bet again but was met with a raise that caused Hellmuth to jump out of his chair in disgust.
After a little more theatre from Hellmuth, he let it go, leaving himself just 55,000 chips behind.
After the hand Tran and Alexander Antonios gave each other a high-five. Perhaps a little inappropriate at a final table, but clearly Hellmuth’s verbal attacks have made him an obvious target.
“Unlucky,” chirped Tran.
“Unlucky? You have no idea,” sighed Hellmuth.
The pain continued on the very next hand when Hellmuth’s fours were rivered by Tran’s ace-ten.
Hellmuth had bet a baby flop with Tran floating before both players checked the rest of the board to allow Tran to catch up.
At the end of the hand, Hellmuth dropped his head in disbelief, reeling that he was now looking over the edge at potential elimination.
Then the big blind rolled around and Hellmuth chirped, “this might be it” as he looked down at his stack of just six big blinds.
Action folded to Steven Zhou in the small blind who raised it up. Hellmuth didn’t move all in. Instead he clicked it back with a tiny three-bet.
Zhou moved all in and Hellmuth happily splashed his remaining chips in the middle as he quickly revealed A♣ A♠!
Just in the nick of time!
Zhou showed A♦ 7♦ but couldn’t improve enough to stop Hellmuth from doubling up.
Hellmuth is back over 70,000 in chips with the blinds at 2,500/5,000/500. We know he’s a fighter with a short stack, so that will be enough for him to work with.
But it’s a long road back to bracelet number 14 from here.
Hit to Hellmuth's Chances
Just before the first break of the day, Phil Hellmuth took a hefty whack to his chip stack and to his hopes of bracelet number 14.
Once again he tangled with Michael Tran. The action was three-bet preflop before Hellmuth bet very small on the 8♠ 7♠ 2♦ flop. Tran called and the turn was the J♦.
Hellmuth again nibbled small with a bet of 20,000 but Tran came back with a raise to 60,000. Hellmuth snap-called and the river was a repeat J♣.
Tran bet out 62,000 and Hellmuth wasted no time in making the call.
“You’re not going to like this,” said Tran before exposing J♥ J♠ for quads.
Hellmuth didn’t show, but indicated that he also held a pocket pair.
With that, the players were sent on a fifteen-minute break which is probably good timing for Hellmuth. The final table set here at Studio 3 has nearby access to an outside balcony.
As long as no one is smoking out there, Hellmuth will be able to get some fresh air to come back rejuvenated and refreshed as the battle continues.
For those keeping score, Hellmuth immediately put his headphones on when he got up from the table.
It didn’t take long for Phil Hellmuth to fight his way back from the short stack.
Hellmuth checked from the big blind and Tran made a continuation bet of 13,500. Hellmuth check-raised to 28,000 but Tran came back with another re-raise to 60,000.In a clash with Michael Tran, the action got a little wild on a flop of K♣ Q♣ K♦.
Hellmuth didn’t waste any time in declaring himself all in for an additional 73,500 to send Tran into the tank.
“You’re ahead. There’s just so much money in there,” sighed Tran before eventually finding a fold.
“Of course I have a king! I’m Phil Hellmuth!” announced Hellmuth before flashing the K♥.
In dissecting the hand with Alexander Antonios, Hellmuth declared that he had Tran drawing dead to which Tran was quick to correct him.
“No. I had two outs,” said Tran.
“Oh, you had aces?” posed Hellmuth, to which Tran gave a slight nod.
Hellmuth is certainly looking a little happier now that his stack is a little healthier.
“If I win this, I’m gonna come back to Aussie Millions!” Hellmuth exclaimed.
Phil Sends Bruno Home, Then Loses Massive Pot
The delayed start to the final table didn’t seem to deter Phil Hellmuth as he got straight down to business, mixing it up in the early pots of the day.
It was on the seventh hand of the day where Hellmuth really did some damage, as he removed the other high profile name on this final table in November Niner Bruno Politano.
Politano opened to 8,000 before Hellmuth three-bet to 30,000 in position. Back on Politano and he moved all in with Hellmuth quick to call with ace-king to be racing with Politano’s queens.
The flop was a bare J♦ J♠ 5♣ but the K♠ on the turn was what Hellmuth needed to take the lead.
The river bricked the 7♣ to see Politano eliminated and jump Hellmuth up with the chip leaders.
However the first level wouldn’t be all roses for the 13-time champ.
Yesterday Hellmuth spoke about his ongoing battles with Alexander “AJ” Antonios, and it didn’t take long on the final table for the two to reunite their rivalry.
After three-betting preflop, Antonios continuation bet on the 7♠ J♣ 5♠ flop, only to see Hellmuth make a check-raise. Antonios called and the A♠ appeared on the turn.
Hellmuth fired out big but Antonios wasn’t going away, making the call before action slowed down as the 2♣ river was checked through.
Hellmuth showed 6♥ 6♦ but leapt out of his chair in disgust when Antonios showed A♣ K♣.
Hellmuth walked around the table for several minutes, launching a huge tirade in a manner than only Hellmuth can.
“You did exactly what I knew you would do!” exclaimed Hellmuth among a barrage of verbal warfare.
“You won like twenty pots in a row against me yesterday. I’ve been waiting to get you. You’re gonna get it in so bad!”
The tantrum continued as further hands were dealt, with the Aussie seemingly enjoying the banter.
“I’ve been studying you for a day and I thought about you for two hours last night while I was sleeping. I’ve figured you out!” declared Hellmuth.
With that, Hellmuth ended the first level of the final table as the short stack and pretty steamed.
Antonios now has a pretty handy chip lead, while the other three players are staying out of trouble.
Hellmuth's Quest for 14 Begins
“Because we are live streaming, everyone just make sure you watch your language,” WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel said when the final table was about to begin.
“It looks like a friendly table,” Phil Hellmuth replied to Effel with a smile.
“I think I’m the only one you might have to worry about.”
Once Effel had got that out of the way and introduced the final six, the cards were in the air!
Hellmuth is beginning the final table with 266,500 in chips and the action kicks off halfway through the level with blinds at 1,500/3,000.
We will have everything you need to know about Hellmuth’s quest for a bracelet right here!
Delay and Fresh Air Time For Phil
“Is it going to be like 20 minutes or more?” Phil Hellmuth asked the tournament director as he waited in the wings for his 52nd WSOP final table to begin.
The players had just been told some technicality difficulties meant the start of the $2,200 Six-Max No Limit Hold’em would be delayed.
“I would like to get outside If I have time?” Hellmuth asked.
He was told it would be at least 20 minutes and so made his way out of the live steaming studio and out to the balcony for some fresh air.
Hellmuth has been here so many times before, so it’s not likely he is too nervous. But then again he is going for a historic 14th bracelet. Maybe it has something to do with the breathing difficulties Hellmuth complained about earlier in the week.
Regardless, Hellmuth’s quest for his next bracelet is going to be slightly delayed.
After Hellmuth left the final table, some machinery loudly entered the studio, propped itself up above the final table and a man started reparing some lights.
This is exactly how Hellmuth imagined the day would begin.
Hellmuth Gunning For 14
Phil Hellmuth has made the final six in Event #7, $2,200 Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em, and despite starting the day fifth in chips he's very much in position to make #14 a reality.
He's only about 50,000 or so chips behind the leader with the Top 5 all bunched between 260k and 315k in chips.
The only other "name" player he'll have to contend with is WSOP November Niner Bruno Politano, who's the decided short stack at just 65,000 in chips.
With 52 career WSOP final tables to his credit Hellmuth has to be the favorite going in but we're sure Steve Zhou, Alexander Antonios, Michael Tran and Yu Karita will all have something to say about that.
The final table is starting at 9:30 pm ET.
Ask us anything; we'll go find out for you!