The Notorious Poker Brat: Phil Hellmuth Jr.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Phil Hellmuth joined Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson in 2006 as one of only three best poker players in history with 10 WSOP bracelets to their names. But what separates Phil Hellmuth from even this legendary pack is that all of his WSOP wins have come in Texas Hold'em events - that and a record 11th bracelet in No-Limit Hold'em won by the poker brat himself at the 2007 WSOP.

Phil Hellmuth also holds the distinction of being the youngest poker player to win the WSOP Main Event after beating two-time defending champion Johnny Chan in 1989 at just 24 years old. He learned the game of poker while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin, moving up from cash games at the student union to higher stakes poker with the professors and eventually dropping out of school to play professionally, much to the chagrin of his academic father.

After the win at the 1989 WSOP, poker pro Phil Hellmuth spent the next decade and a half accumulating more tournament victories than any other professional poker player before him. In addition to the 10 WSOP bracelets, he has more than 50 poker tournament titles, 5 World Poker Tour top 10 finishes and has amassed tournament winnings over a whopping $8.8 million.


But it is for his offensive table monkey tricks for which he is best known. Constant chatter and insults directed to fellow poker players are common, as well as bragging remarks such as his famous boast that if it weren't for luck he'd win every game. He is fond of commenting on opponent’s lack of brainpower, often calling players idiots, and once came to blows with fellow poker player Sam Grizzle, who knocked the poker brat to the pavement outside Binion’s Horseshoe.

During the WSOP 2008, Phil Hellmuth's verbal abuse of fellow poker pro Cristian Dragomir got so bad he was issued a warning and then finally received a one-round penalty that was to be carried out at the beginning of the next day's play. Overnight, Phil Hellmuth appealed to the then WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack who overruled the decision. Phil Hellmuth finished the tournament in 45th place, while Cristian Dragomir came in 29th.



Despite his smashing success at the World Series Of Poker, Phil Hellmuth still has no won a World Poker Tour title although he has had 3 final table placings and cashed a total of 10 times. At current he has over 800, 000 in winnings from the WPT.

Phil Hellmuth's other notable performances include being the season 3 champion of Late Night Poker and winning the first annual National Heads Up Poker Championship. He defeated a horde of fellow top poker pros including Men Ngyuen, Huck Seed, Lyle Berman on his way to the final showdown against Chris Jesus Ferguson. He ended up besting Ferguson in two out of three games, despite catching a bad beat to lose one. He has also been a regular on NBC's Poker After Dark and played in 2 seasons of High Stakes Poker.

Phil Hellmuth has made instructional poker videos, written numerous articles, authored books such as Play Poker Like the Pros, the autobiographical-themed Poker Brat, The Greatest Poker Hands Ever Played and Bad Beats and Lucky Draws.

His newest book called Deal Me In is a collection highlighting the top 20 poker players in the world and contains first-person biographies of Hellmuth himself, as well as Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson, Daniel Negreanu, Scotty Nguyen, among others.

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