Phil Hellmuth is still not a WSOP record breaker
When you have won as much as Phil Hellmuth has in his career you can afford to take defeat graciously but finishing second in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship in Las Vegas. This was the third runners-up spot he has taken this summer and all the more annoying given that Hellmuth remains one win away from becoming a 12th time-winner of a WSOP gold bracelet. The thrill of the bracelet becomes very addictive and given that Hellmuth was won 11, there is probably a tendency to have little sympathy for him. After all, it is good to spread the joy around players but with Hellmuth being just one away from a record, it was hard to take.
Over a million reasons to be happy
Then again, this second place finish was Hellmuth’s biggest ever money finish. He topped the $1m mark last night, taking home $1,063,034 in one sitting, which is clearly a fantastic amount. If anything is going to take the edge off failing to grab a world record it would be taking home over $1m for one event. Given his other high placing this summer, Hellmuth has cleared well over $1.5m this season alone. Who in the world wouldn’t be happy to swap with regards that fact. And let’s not forget, there were 128 entrants in the event and 126 of those poker players would have gladly swapped positions with Phil.
Brian Rast was the real winner
Of course, one man wouldn’t and that was Brian Rast, who grabbed the win and took home the biggest win from a prize pool that was over $6m. This is an outstanding amount of money to play and it indicates that those predicting the demise of the WSOP badly misjudged it. If anything, the series has really upped its game this season and has brought poker into even more homes and raised the awareness. When the runner-up is taking home more than $1m for an event, you know there is something major happening and this is definitely the case with the WSOP in 2011.
Hellmuth still has another chance to grab this 12th win before the summer closes as the $10,000 No Limit Hold’Em Championship event will no doubt interest him. He may fall short once again in his desperation to pick up that next trinket but don’t be surprised if Phil finally gets the prize that he wants and bags a lot more money along the way.