Hellmuth wins #12: Where he stands among poker greats

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 11, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

On Sunday night Phil Hellmuth won the twelfth World Series of Poker bracelet of his storied career, and it was the first of his record twelve bracelets that came in an event other than Texas Holdem. Hellmuth has been the butt of many jokes (for both his antics and his perceived lack of poker skill) in recent years, but after a phenomenal run in 2011, followed by his 2012 WSOP campaign, maybe it’s time to reexamine Phil’s game, and maybe he has finally rededicated himself and adjusted to the new poker climate he now faces.

To me Hellmuth has always been a paradox in poker, a guy who means well, but just comes off really bad when he gets riled up. So over the years it’s been easy for me to root against “The Poker Brat” and I was one of the many peopled that felt Phil’s 2011 WSOP run was merely an anomaly. However, with four cashes in 2012, including two Day 3’s and now another WSOP bracelet, I’m left eating a little crow when it comes to Mr. Hellmuth, and honestly I’ve found myself rooting for him over the past two WSOP’s.

For me, Hellmuth’s near Player of the Year performance in 2012, and early good start to the 2012 WSOP has pulled him off the salvage heap with other names like TJ Cloutier, Men Nguyen, et al. who simply fizzled out as the fields got bigger and the competition got stiffer since the poker boom. It now seems like Phil CAN compete against the younger players, and even his personality has been toned down quite a bit, considering there are no more Halloween entrances at the WSOP and the self-titled “Best Player in the World” moniker has been shelved –he is still the Twitter name-dropper/player-berater we have come to know and love, but now it’s a bit less over the top.

So if you are like me and tried to cast aside Phil Hellmuth two years ago, you might want to rethink that decision (I did) and give the poker brat his due. He has had an amazing run over the past two WSOP tournament series.

Here is a look at Phil Hellmuth’s 12 WSOP bracelets:

* 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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