Phil Hellmuth Makes it a Dozen in 2012

by , Jun 11, 2012 | 11:13 pm

Poker superstar Phil Hellmuth Jr. won his record-setting 12th World Series of Poker individual event championship bracelet early Monday morning at the Rio, further separating the self-described “poker brat” from his two closest rivals. Hellmuth topped a field of 309 players to win the $2,500 buy-in Seven Card Razz event to earn the gold bracelet and $182,793. Hellmuth’s 12th individual event championship bracelet puts him two ahead of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan, who each have 10 bracelets.

The late Johnny Moss earned nine bracelets in his World Series of Poker career, while two other players, Eric Siedel and Phil Ivey, each own eight bracelets.

Ironically, Ivey came within one place of earning his ninth bracelet Monday morning, finishing second in the $10,000 buy-in Pot Limit Hold’em event.

Hellmuth has earned more than $8 million in his World Series of Poker career and has cashed (finished among the money winners) in a record 89 individual events. So far at the 2012 World Series of Poker, Hellmuth has cashed in four of the 18 events that have been played in tournament, which is scheduled to hold 61 bracelet events.

Hellmuth’s last gold bracelet came in 2007. His first was in 1989, when at age 24; he defeated Chan heads-up during the $10,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em World Championship to become the then-youngest Main Event champion in history.

Hellmuth’s record stood for 19 years until 2008, when 22-year old Peter Eastgate became the youngest to win the title. The following year, Joe Cada broke Eastgate’s record as the youngest, when at 21 years, 11 months; he won the 2009 Main Event.

Hellmuth had three second place finishes in last year’s World Series of Poker, including the $50,000 buy-in Players Championship, finishing runner-up to Brian Rast.

“It’s unbelievable,” Hellmuth said after the victory on the live stream of the event at WSOP.com. “I’ve been waiting for this since ’07. I’ve been knocking, knocking, knocking on the door.”

Monday morning’s victory also marked the first time Hellmuth had won an event in game that didn’t feature Texas Hold’em. Razz is a seven-card stud form of poker requiring players to make the lowest possible hand.

Hellmuth defeated Don Zewin in a heads-up match that lasted nearly two hours. The final table included players that included six former gold bracelets winners with 20 combined victories.

Ivey, who is making a return to the World Series of Poker following a self-imposed one-year exile following last year’s U.S. government crack down on Internet poker, reached his second final table of the weekend in the Pot Limit Hold’em event. He finished second to Andy Frankenberger of New York, earning $275,599. Ivey finished seventh Friday night in the $5,000 buy-in Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better event.

Frankenberger, who won his second-ever World Series of Poker gold bracelet, earned $445,899 for topping a field of 179 players.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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