It’s been a long time coming but Phil Hellmuth has finally won a record-breaking 12th World Series of Poker bracelet.
Hellmuth finished second on three separate occasions at last year’s WSOP but managed to close the door on old-school mixed game player Don Zewin in Event 18, $2,500 Razz, early Monday morning in Las Vegas.
It was Hellmuth’s first bracelet in a non-Hold’em event, and it puts him two up over Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan who each have ten World Series wins.
“This was the first time I’ve won a bracelet when I have absolutely no idea what first-place was worth. I just wanted to win,” Hellmuth announced to the mob of spectators moments after clinching the victory.
“$182,000,” yelled someone from the crowd.
“That’s nice,” said Hellmuth.
After a long string of close calls that included a runner-up in the $50,000 Players Championship in 2011 Hellmuth has cemented himself as one of the very best tournament poker players on the planet.
“It feels so good,” said Hellmuth.
After three runner-up finishes in 2011 Hellmuth was desperate for the win.
“Last June 1st according to millions of players on the internet I was a horrible player and by July 1st I was one of the greatest,” said Hellmuth.
“People are results-oriented but they should be in life so I don’t have a problem with that. If you want to be great in our game you have to win."
"I was just thinking one thing, 'Play perfect poker,' and pushing all the negative thoughts out of my head," he said.
"I just wanted to win."
12th Bracelet, First in a Non-Hold’em Event
Hellmuth’s three runner-up finishes last year all came in non-Hold’em events and historically Hellmuth has performed very well in mixed-game tournaments.
But despite what the results say, many labeled Hellmuth a one-trick pony based on all eleven of his bracelets being won in No-Limit Hold’em events.
“After three seconds I don’t feel like people were bringing up the non-Hold’em thing quite as much,” said Hellmuth.
“All the games make sense to me, except Stud high. I still feel like I’m a donkey in Stud High,” he joked.
“Right now the games just makes sense to me and it’s just a beautiful place to be and I’ve worked hard to get there,” he added.
Zewin, his heads-up opponent tonight, is a well-respected mixed-game player who has been earning a living playing cards since the 1980s.
In fact, Zewin finished third in the WSOP Main Event the year Phil Hellmuth beat Johnny Chan to become world champion.
Cantu, Fischman, Greenstein Make Final Table
Before the heads-up match between Hellmuth and Zewin could get underway the field had to be cut down from the eight players who made the final table.
Wading through the 209-player field to get within striking distance of the bracelet were a number of well-known poker pros.
Three-time bracelet winner Barry Greenstein made his second final table of the 2012 WSOP, having finished second in the $1,500 Stud event on May 31.
Two-time WSOP bracelet winners Scott Fischman and Brandon Cantu also made the final eight, finishing fourth and third, respectively.
Here are the full final table payouts:
- 1. Phil Hellmuth - $182,793
- 2. Don Zewin - $113,024
- 3. Brandon Cantu - $74,269
- 4. Scott Fischman - $54,248
- 5. Brendan Taylor - $40,167
- 6. Barry Greenstein - $30,150
- 7. Michael Chow - $22,945
- 8. Jeffrey Mitseff - $17,693