Phil Hellmuth Captures 15th WSOP Bracelet at $5k Turbo NLHE

Phil Hellmuth Captures 15th WSOP Bracelet at $5k Turbo NLHE

Last night, the $10k Main Event played down to its final table, with the 2009 WSOP champion Joe Cada attracting most of the media attention after successfully navigating his way through to a second final table. In fact, everybody was so engrossed in the proceedings that another astonishing feat failed to garner much coverage at that time, namely Phil Hellmuth’s impressive run at Event #71: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em (30 minute levels).

Nevertheless, the Poker Hall of Famer has now produced one of the most remarkable stories of the 2018 WSOP. No, I’m not referring to his outburst during the Main Event which eventually led to him essentially refunding one of his opponent’s entry fees. I am, of course, referring to the 53 year-old pro picking up a 15th career bracelet, in the process putting further distance between himself and Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey on 10 bracelets apiece.

“It means everything to me, because my life is poker, number one,” explained a jubilant Hellmuth. “Number two, I’m trying to spread positivity to the world. I want to be remembered in two ways: one, having 24 bracelets and number two, starting the positivity movement and having a lot of influence on people lives.”

$5,000 NLHE Turbo

The $5,000 NLHE Turbo event attracted 452 entries, resulting in a prize pool worth $2,101,800. Amongst the notable pros then finishing in one of its 68 money places was Chris Ferguson in 53rd ($8,701), Davidi Kitai in 36th ($11,176), Liv Boeree in 31st ($11,176), Chance Kornuth in 18th ($15,726), Griffin Benger in 15th ($19,280), and Jeremy Ausmus in 12th ($24,147).

After the final table of nine had been set, Steven Wolansky (A-9) eliminated Ralph Wong (5-5) in 8th, while Aliaksei Boika (J-6) took care of Matt Glantz (J-4) in 6th, before being dealt A-4 and doing likewise to Ken Fishman in 5th. Nevertheless, Boika was the next to fall after his A-K came off second best against the K-K of Steven Wolansky, with the latter’s A-Q subsequently seeing off Alan Sternberg (J-9) in 3rd to force heads-up play against Hellmuth for the bracelet.

Phil Hellmuth vs Steven Wolansky

Phil Hellmuth entered the final battle at a 3-1 chip disadvantage against Steven Wolansky, a 2-time WSOP bracelet holder, who in 2014 took down the $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw event for $89,483, before in 2017 claiming victory at the $1,000 WSOP No-Limit Hold’em event for $298,849.

Hellmuth battled hard, but at one stage it looked liked he might have to settle for a runner-up finish after getting his chips all-in preflop holding K-10 to his opponent’s K-J. Fortunately for Hellmuth, he hit a 10 on the river, which also propelled him into the lead.

Soon after, Wolanksy moved all-in preflop holding A-9, only to receive a call from Hellmuth with pocket threes. The dealer then laid out a 9-3-2-6-8 board to secure yet another famous victory for ‘The Poker Brat’, and commenting later upon his thoughts during the final battle, Hellmuth said:

“I thought, I have to try and steal more pots against him to give myself a chance because he’s just not giving a chip away.. I said let’s not give up; these things can turn. When is the next time you’re going to have an opportunity where you’re heads-up for a bracelet? You just need to hang in there and stay strong and I stayed strong. And then, luckily, I hit some cards.”

Final Table Results

1: Phil Hellmuth (US) $485,082
2: Steven Wolansky (US) $299,807
3: Alan Sternberg (US) $204,789
4: Aliaksei Boika (Bel) $142,458
5: Ken Fishman (US) $100,956
6: Matt Glantz (US) $72,911
7: Paul Hoefer (GER) $53,682
8: Ralph Wong (US) $40,309
9: Eric Hicks (US) $30,881

Poker World Reacts

Following his historic 15th WSOP bracelet win, social media was abuzz with players expressing amazement as to Phil Hellmuth’s remarkable achievement. While the temperamental “poker brat” has an equal amount of detractors as supporters, Mike Sexton summed things up nicely after tweeting:

“Some love him & some hate him, but if you play poker, you need to salute him. 15 bracelets speaks for itself. Congrats @phil_hellmuth Truly impressive!”

Continuing the theme, Mike Matusow, another pro who has suffered his fair share of criticism over the years, tweeted:

“They all laugh at @phil_hellmuth but all he does is win and be told how bad he is. I’m so proud of you phil words can’t Describe! #15”