Phil Hellmuth Gets Unprecedented 17th World Series of Poker Bracelet Win
In the world of poker, Phil Hellmuth (pictured) has once again proven his prowess, securing his 17th World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet over the weekend.
The poker pro came in first in a field of 642, with a $4.044 million prize pool on the line, during Saturday and Sunday’s WSOP event at Paris Las Vegas.
This achievement further extends his lead in the all-time WSOP title record, leaving him seven bracelets ahead of his nearest competitors.
Hellmuth walked away with slightly more than $800,000 for the victory, taking him to $29.7 million in career earnings, according to poker database Hendon Mob.
“I’m feeling pretty good. I must have a smile just fixed to my face,” he told reporters after the event.
A Record-Breaking Win
This latest Hellmuth victory came in a 2023 WSOP $10,000 no-limit hold’em super turbo bounty event.
The 58-year-old poker legend outlasted a field of 642 entries in a tournament that spanned a single day. Despite the rapid pace of the event, the final hand wasn’t dealt until around 5:20 in the morning, marking a grueling 15-hour competition.
The win not only earned Hellmuth his 17th gold bracelet, but also a hefty $803,818 prize. This marks the fifth-largest score of his career.
A significant portion of this, more than $17.7 million, comes from Hellmuth’s 197 cashes at WSOP events, the third-most of any player in the history of the series.
Hellmuth’s Legacy in Poker
Hellmuth’s poker career is decorated with numerous achievements. He is the only player to have won bracelets in five separate decades since his first tournament win back in 1989.
He’s also one of two players to have won a tournament at all three of WSOP’s Las Vegas host venues from the past three decades — Binion’s, the Rio, and Bally’s/Horseshoe.
Hellmuth’s victories span across five different poker variants, a feat only 35 other players have achieved.
Hellmuth’s first bracelet win was a big one, too, bagging the 1989 WSOP main event. He also claimed the WSOP Europe main event in 2012, making him the only player to have won both of these main event titles.
The Road to Victory
The final table of the event was a tough battlefield. Hellmuth had to face Justin Zaki in a one-hand, heads-up match. Zaki has never won a bracelet, compared to Hellmuth’s stack of them.
And among his 17 victims along the way to the final table were four Poker Hall of Famers, a two-time world champion, and Mike Gorodinsky.
The final hand came in at around 4 a.m. Las Vegas time. Hellmuth flopped on the two pair, but called Zaki all-in on a $1.4 million bet. Hellmuth then built a full house on the turn to come away with the final victory.
Best Player in the Tournament
Hellmuth’s stature in the poker world is undeniable. He has consistently performed at a high level at the WSOP for more than 35 years, a feat unmatched by any other player. Even still-active poker legends like Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and Mike Matusow have not been winning big WSOP tournaments in the past decade.
Meanwhile, Hellmuth has won four times over that period, despite being older than all three of those players.
Hellmuth’s WSOP resume extends beyond his bracelet wins. He holds the record for the most runner-up finishes at the WSOP with 14.
In total, Hellmuth has reached a total of 75 final tables at the WSOP in his lifetime, another record, averaging more than two per year for the past 35 years.
“This is the first year of my career that all the great players called me great or the greatest,” Hellmuth said.
“Shaun Deeb is one of the greatest players in the world. He finally understands, and was giving me compliments like, ‘You’re the best player in the tournament.’”