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Hellmuth gunning for number 12
And although the Poker Brat narrowly missed an opportunity for his record 42nd WSOP final table and 12th bracelet, busting with under 30 players remaining, he remains as motivated as ever.
"Oh man, it's an honor and a privilege just to be here," he told PokerListings. "The other day I was complaining that it's such a grind and blah, blah, blah. Maybe because I finished 23rd and they paid 21.
"But I woke up the next day, I meditated, I ran, I lifted and I said to myself 'it's an honor and a pleasure to be here.'
"I'm living the dream. I get to play in poker tournaments at the World Series of Poker, and number one, most people can't afford them. Number two; it's a fabulous position to be in, in life, because I get the chance to break records every day."
A total of 1,646 mostly unknown players started the tournament two days ago, and in typical Hellmuth-like fashion, he spent the entire time chatting up his tablemates probing for information.
"You can learn a lot real quickly about who is going to play fast and who is going to play slow, or whether they are weak or strong," he said.
"If you get people talking about their hand and you can figure out if it's the truth or not, and you know whether they are weak or strong, then you can use that information against them later.
"Plus, in general, I like to be pretty friendly at the table most of the time."
Widely accepted as the best big-field player in the game today, Hellmuth said his edge is rather simple.
"I know how to play the game right and my big advantage is reading people," he said.
"I do things that no one else does and they don't understand it, but it's all about having the best hand at the right time."
PokerListings will continue to follow Hellmuth's quest for his record 12th bracelet on our 2009 WSOP homepage throughout the entire World Series of Poker.