Poker Brat adds to legend with victory in $2.5k Razz
Rewind the clock 12 months and Phil Hellmuth fans wondered if the greatest player in WSOP history had blown his chances for a record-extending twelfth bracelet. After three heart-breaking runner-up finishes at last year’s WSOP, some thought the moment had passed. But the Poker Brat banished his demons with victory in this year’s $2.5k Razz… and there might be a few people out there eating their words.
Hellmuth came into this year’s WSOP on eleven bracelets, one ahead of long-time nemesis Johnny Chan and poker legend Doyle Brunson. But after a near-perfect showing in a stacked 290-strong Razz event, victory takes poker’s biggest personality two WSOP wins ahead of his nearest rivals, and he might not be finished.
The Razz bracelet is Hellmuth’s first in a non-Hold’em event and arguably the biggest headline of the series so far. While fellow poker great Phil Ivey faltered in the $10k PLHE, Hellmuth dismantled a stacked final table, including Barry Greenstein, Brandon Cantu and Scott Fischman, before seeing off Don Zewin heads-up.
And while the $182k winner’s cheque is a drop in the ocean when compared with the Poker Brat’s $13.3m in live tournament winnings, for Hellmuth, this success may just be his greatest of all time after the near-misses of 2011.
‘This was the first time I’ve won a bracelet when I have absolutely no idea what first-place was worth. I just wanted to win,’ Hellmuth said afterwards.
So, whether you’re a Hellmuth fan or not, no one can deny his WSOP record in the past two years alone. And, with four cashes already in the 2012 series, don’t doubt that Hellmuth can make it 13.
‘Last June 1st according to millions of players on the internet I was a horrible player and by July 1st I was one of the greatest,’ added Hellmuth. ‘People are results-oriented but they should be in life so I don’t have a problem with that. If you want to be great in our game you have to win.
‘I was just thinking one thing, ‘Play perfect poker,’ and pushing all the negative thoughts out of my head. I just wanted to win.’
Here’s how the $2.5k Razz finished up:
1. Phil Hellmuth $182,793
2. Don Zewin $113,024
3. Brandon Cantu $74,269
4. Scott Fischman $54,248
5. Brendan Taylor $40,167
6. Barry Greenstein $30,150
7. Michael Chow $22,945
8. Jeffrey Mitseff $17,693