Phil Hellmuth took down his record-setting 13th bracelet in one of the most impressive victories in poker history on Friday at the WSOPE in Cannes.
Hellmuth beat Ukrainian opponent Sergii Baranov heads-up to seal the WSOPE Main Event win and a €1.02 million payday.
“I’m humbled by this,” said a stunned Hellmuth after winning. “I’m still trying to figure out if this is real life.”
By winning the WSOPE Main Event Hellmuth also took the lead in the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race. Hellmuth can only be topped by Greg Merson should he go on to win the WSOP Main Event.
Hellmuth has nine cashes in WSOP events this year including four final tables, two bracelet victories and an astounding $4.3 million in WSOP earnings.
Spectacular Display of Poker
Hellmuth entered the final table as the chip leader and, although he ran well, he also put on a spectacular display of poker - particularly in making some tough calls against eventual heads-up opponent Baranov.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest No-Limit Hold’em tournament I’ve ever played,” he said.
Hellmuth also became the only poker player in history to win both North American and European WSOP Main Event titles.
Mercier, Cheong, Brammer All Fall Short
The final table was no cakewalk with pros Jason Mercier, Joe Cheong and Christopher Brammer looking to upset Hellmuth’s bracelet bid.
Unfortunately for Mercier he entered as one of the short stacks and couldn’t get anything going. He was the first player to bust and finished the tournament in eighth place.
Brammer lasted significantly longer, making it to fifth place, but eventually had to shove his short stack in the middle with king-ten to Baranov’s ace-jack.
Cheong had the potential to make a serious run at the title but couldn’t get anything going against the two big stacks – Hellmuth and Baranov.
Cheong would eventually bust in fourth place.
The great French hope Stephane Albertini made it to three-handed but couldn't overcome the deep stacks of Hellmuth and Baranov either.
Heads-up between Hellmuth and Baranov, who had been friendly needling each other for the entirety of the final table, only lasted a few hands.
Baranov shoved with ace-four and Hellmuth snapped him off with ace-ten saying, “I’m going to win this right here.”
The statement proved prophetic as the board bricked and Hellmuth immediately jumped into the air to celebrate.
Only Competing With Himself
At this point Hellmuth is only competing with himself when it comes to WSOP bracelets.
Both Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan have 10 bracelets but haven’t won a bracelet since 2005.
Here are the complete final table payouts:
- 1. Phil Hellmuth – €1,022,376
- 2. Sergii Baranov – €632,593
- 3. Stephane Albertini – €423,360
- 4. Joseph Cheong – €292,320
- 5. Chris Brammer – €207,648
- 6. Paul Tedeschi – €149,184
- 7. Stephane Girault – €108,864
- 8. Jason Mercier – €84,672
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