The legendPhil attended the University of Wisconsin for three years before dropping out and play poker full time as a professional. He had the record as the youngest World Series of Poker Main Event winner when he won it at the age of 24 after a famous heads-up battle with Johnny Chan. The record stood until 2008 when Danish pro Peter Eastgate won at 22 years of age. Nowadays it’s 2009 winner Joe Cada who’s holding the record (age 21).
Phil Hellmuth has a famous and a multilateral character, we all know that and I’ll prove it later here. . But according to my personal opinion, he’s probably the best Hold’em and the greatest WSOP player ever. He’s also one of the best tournament players, not using the famous smallball poker strategy but he loves to trap them and wait for their mistakes. It suits him as the best, but he hasn’t won a WPT event yet, in spite of his 4 final tables and 13 cashes there. However he won two Poker After Dark titles, was the season 3 champion of Late Night Poker, won the 2000 Poker EM 7 Card Stud Main Event and the first National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2005.
His cash game play however hasn’t been one of the highest level, certainly not at the biggest games with all the rockets out there. It has been proven several times at High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark cash games, where he was banked by peers but went broke everytime. His self-confidence is probably the most famous part of him, as he thinks he’s the best player out there, it’s understandable that he has made several instructional poker videos, has written several poker books, including his last book ‘ Deal Me In ‘ focusing on twenty of the best poker pros in the world. Poker Brat have also been a poker commentator and poker coach.
Phil Hellmuth is probably the most controversial player on the planet, but besides his excellent tournament results and records, everyone knows his needling and attentive table image. He’s a real cry-baby, as Todd Brunson once literally showed during a Poker After Dark episode. It’s just a well-known fact that he can complain as the best, making constantly disrespectful remarks about his opponents’ skills, especailly after bad beats. Famous Hellmuth quotes are: ” Idiot from Northern Europe” and ‘ I can dodge bullets baby“. Other famous blow-ups are: a fight with Sam Grizzle, a hilarious overreaction in Poker After Dark and an insulting blow-up at the 2008 WSOP Main Event against some poor Romanian, resulting in a penalty.
Another part of Hellmuth is his love for attention, which he proves every year at the beginning of the World Series of Poker Main Event when he makes a special, late and remarkable entree. But dear friends, let’s face it. In the end we all love this man, because we all feel his pain sometimes, after a bad beat or an unnecessary comment, and because he always brings excitement to the table and television. He’s just perfectly representing the sad and painful things of the beautiful game of poker. He’s our Bad Beat God. Amen.
I hope to see you next time for the ultimate post of my Most Famous Poker Players top-100 list with a great ode to the number one, Phil Ivey. The other God.
ID & career> born 16/07/1964 in Madison, Wisconsin (USA)
> resides now in Palo Alto, California with his wife Katherine and their two sons, Phillip III and Nicholas
> Nickname : ‘ The Poker Brat ‘
> became the WSOP Main Event World Champion in 1989.
> won 10 other Bracelets !! (’92, ‘93, ‘03 Limit Hold’em/ ‘93, ‘93, ‘01, ‘03, ‘06, ‘07 No Limit Hold’em/ ‘97 Pot Limit Hold’em)
> holds the most World Series of Poker Bracelets (11).
> holds the records for the most WSOP cashes (79) and the most WSOP final tables (42).
> deserved member of the Poker Hall of Fame
> plays online at Ultimate Bet as a member of Team UB.
> has Live Tournament Winnings of almost $ 11,500,000 (until 2010), ranking 4th all time.