Hellmuth Just Misses "Masterpiece" at WSOP Europe 2011

Phil Hellmuth
“When Picasso drew a masterpiece he didn’t have to deal with luck.”

Phil Hellmuth’s deep run in Event 1 of the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe ended in a seventh-place finish but according to the Poker Brat it could have been his masterpiece.

Finishing seventh out of 360 and earning €24,184 might seem like something to celebrate for most but for Hellmuth it’s a failure.

“I don’t play these things to finish seventh, I feel horrible,” Hellmuth told PokerListings.com moments after shaking hands with the players still alive in this WSOPE tournament with a shot at the €215,999 first-place prize.

“If I had won I would have called it my masterpiece but I guess I missed a few brush strokes along the way,” he said.

“When Picasso drew a masterpiece he didn’t have to deal with luck,” Hellmuth added.

While Hellmuth may look at tonight’s result as yet another missed opportunity, the rest of the poker world has to see it as even more evidence that Hellmuth is indeed among the very best tournament poker players on the planet.

Long criticized for only succeeding in big-field Hold’em events – every one of his eleven WSOP bracelets were won in that format – Hellmuth fired back this summer with an unbelievable three runner-up finishes, all in big buy-in, non-Hold’em events.

Phil Hellmuth
Despite failing to extend his lead with a 12th WSOP bracelet, Hellmuth has silenced the critics with an unbelievable year of tournament poker.

Notching seconds in two $10k championship events, Stud Hi-Lo and No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven, as well as the $50k Eight-Game Players Championship, it’s impossible to deny that Hellmuth has not only adapted his game, but surpassed most of his colleagues.

All told Hellmuth earned over $1.59 million at the WSOP this summer, more than twice what he took for winning the Main Event in 1989.

“I know what I’ve done this year has been a little special but it’s not a lot special,” Hellmuth said as he stared back at the final table he had just bubbled.

Not one to downplay his own performance, Hellmuth talked about the role luck plays in tournament poker, especially when it gets down to the wire.

“As the blinds go up and these kids think they have to move in with every ace-ten off-suit there’s a lot of luck involved,” he said.

“I was never all-in and I was never low on chips and I moved my chips so perfectly and my timing was so perfect.

“I put myself in a wonderful spot here but it’s just frustrating to lose every flip and lose every race,” he said, shaking his head.

Phil Hellmuth remains the leading all-time WSOP bracelet winner with eleven victories, and has amassed over $13 million in lifetime tournament earnings, good for the fourth spot on poker’s all-time money list behind Erik Seidel, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey.

Action continues at the final table of Event 1, €2,680 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold’em, at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe in Cannes. Keep an eye on our Poker News section for the results once a winner has been decided.

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