Event #15
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $1,500
Number of Entries: 2,628
Total Prize Money: $3,587,220
Date of Tournament: June 9-11, 2007

WSOP GOLD BRACELET WINNER
EVENT #15 – PHIL HELLMUTH, JR.

The winner of the 1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event was Phil Hellmuth, Jr. The poker superstar from Palo Alto, CA won his record 11th gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker. He is now the all-time leader in wins, one ahead of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan with ten each.

Coming into the 2006 WSOP, Hellmuth was one-win behind Brunson and Chan. But he has won the last two titles and taken the lead for the first time ever.

He is on his way to shattering several poker records. This was Hellmuth’s 38th final table appearance (lifetime). He is now one away from the all-time leader, T.J. Cloutier – currently with 39. This marked the 59th time Hellmuth has finished in-the-money at the WSOP. He is the all-time leader in that category. Hellmuth is currently five cashes ahead of the second-place player.

This marked the largest field Hellmuth has ever conquered. The tournament attracted a whopping 2,628 entries. Incredibly, all 11 of his WSOP wins have been in hold’em tournaments.

Hellmuth dropped out of the University of Wisconsin to pursue a poker career. His phenomenal WSOP run over the past 19 years all started in 1988, when he placed fifth in a Seven-Card Stud High-Low tournament. He won the main event the following year, the youngest player in history to do so – at age 24. He is also one of only three players in history to win three gold bracelets within a single year. He holds a record which is unlikely and perhaps impossible to break – three consecutive WSOP wins in three consecutive days (April 26-28, 1993). He has been one of the most successful players of the last twenty years. “Hellmuth” has become a bona fide trademark – representing to poker what Tiger Woods is to golf and Michael Jordan was to basketball.

First place in this event paid $637,254. Hellmuth has won and earned millions of dollars over the past ten years. But he, his wife, and two children continue to live in the same house they bought together back in 1996. He drives a gold Lexus with the license plate reading “9POKER9.” He got that after winning his ninth gold bracelet in 2003. One must ask if he can fit “11POKER11” onto a California plate.