Is Phil Hellmuth the best WSOP player of all-time?

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 13, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed, WSOP News | No Comments »

After adding yet another World Series of Poker bracelet to his already record of 11, Phil Hellmuth is starting to change people’s opinions of where the self-titled “Poker Brat” stands when compared to other legends of the game. Just two years ago I would have told you that Hellmuth was washed-up, with his best years in the rearview mirror, but after back-to-back WSOP’s where he has been amongst the top performers, a revitalized Hellmuth is once again pushing for the crown of best World Series of poker player of all-time.

Phil was Mr. Runner-Up at the 2011 WSOP, finishing second in a record-setting three events, as well as in the WSOP Player of the Year race. But even though he didn’t win a bracelet in 2011, the 2011 WSOP proved that the Phil Hellmuth of the 1990’s and early 2000’s may indeed be back. Not only was his 2011 run impressive based on his results, but also because Phil did all of this in non-Holdem tournaments –having been tagged with the title of Holdem Specialist in recent years.

Now in 2012 Hellmuth picked up right where he left off, making his second deep run (once again in two non-Holdem tournaments) and this time going all the way and picking up WSOP Bracelet #12 in the $2,500 Razz tournament.

It’s safe to say that Phil Hellmuth will retire from poker (as much as poker players retire anyways) with just about every major WSOP record, other than being the all-time money winner, which could change if he wins the Main Event again or the One Drop tournament:

* Most Bracelets: Currently 1st with 12 (Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson each have 10 bracelets, with Phil Ivey and Erik Sediel sitting at 8 each)

* Most Cashes: Currently 1st with 89 (Men Nguyen is a distant second with 75 and Erik Seidel is 3rd with 70)

* Most Top 10 Finishes: Currently 1st with 48 (Only Men Nguyen and TJ Cloutier have more than 36 and neither player seems capable of overtaking Phil)

* All-Time WSOP Money List: Currently 7th with $8,026,895 (Phil is currently just $4 million behind the all-time money-list leader Jamie Gold)

In addition to these records Phil has also finished second in nine WSOP events; appeared at Two WSOP Main Event final tables (he won in 1989 and finished 5th in 2001) as well as a 27th place finish in 2003 and a 45th place showing in 2008; and as mentioned above finished second in the 2011 WSOP Player of the Year Race.

Here is a look at the 12 WSOP bracelets Phil has won over the years:

* 1989: $10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship — $755,000

* 1992: $5,000 Limit Hold’em — $168,000

* 1993: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em — $161,400

* 1993: $2,500 No Limit Hold’em — $173,000

* 1993: $5,000 Limit Hold’em — $138,000

* 1997: $3,000 Pot Limit Hold’em — $204,000

* 2001: $2,000 No Limit Hold’em — $316,550

* 2003: $2,500 Limit Hold’em — $171,400

* 2003: $3,000 No Limit Hold’em — $410,860

* 2006: $1,000 No Limit Hold’em with rebuys — $631,863

* 2007: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em — $637,254

* 2012: $2,500 Seven-Card Razz — $182,793

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