HEADLINES FROM CANNES:

Phil Hellmuth’s Thirteenth

“I Played the Best Poker of My Life in this Tournament,” Poker Icon Says

Hellmuth Wins 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event Championship

Hellmuth Adds to Legacy with 13th WSOP Gold Bracelet Victory

Ukrainian Sergii Baranov Finishes as Runner Up

Stephane Albertini Falls Short of Another French Championship this Year at Cannes – Finishes Third

Sixth Annual WSOP Europe Concludes with Yet another Memorable Moment

Cannes, France (October 5, 2012) – Poker legend Phil Hellmuth was in top form in just about every manner possible with his electrifying victory tonight in the World Series of Poker Europe Championship, held at Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes, France.

Hellmuth’s win was monumental on every level -- first as yet another exclamation point in the storied history of the most accomplished and revered WSOP career of any player in the world.  Moreover, Hellmuth managed not only to dominate his opponents, but also entertain a worldwide viewing audience in an event that may very well have been watched by just as many people as any poker event in history.  Last but not least, Hellmuth’s second gold bracelet victory this year catapults his name atop the leader board in the much coveted 2012 WSOP Player of the Year race.

For Hellmuth, this was gold bracelet victory number 13.  It comes three months after his 12th win, which took place in the Razz Championship, held in Las Vegas.  That was Hellmuth’s first career non-Hold’em-related victory.

But Hellmuth returned to more familiar territory this time, dominating the tournament during the last two playing sessions, including a tough final table that featured seven other players hungry for victory.  One by one, they fell short of the prize, leaving the vulnerable poker superstar with more chips with each passing hour.

The tournament concluded with Hellmuth defeating Ukrainian runner-up Sergii Baronov with a pair of aces and a better kicker.  The final pot of the tournament was worth €1,022,376 euros to the new champion.  But at least two other things seemed to be on his mind.

“I don’t say this often, but I am truly humbled by this,” said Hellmuth afterward.  “This is one of the most prestigious titles in poker and to get this one, it’s right up there with the (1989) World Championship.”

Indeed, the victory was the 13th at the WSOP by Hellmuth, the most by any player in history.  The poker superstar from Palo Alto, CA now pulls away three gold bracelet victories ahead of his closest rivals – Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, who increasingly seem removed from the strides Hellmuth continues to make in the game.

Moreover, Hellmuth’s victory places him squarely in the points lead in the Player of the Year race for 2012.  Only one player can now surpass Hellmuth, and that is Greg Merson, who must win the WSOP Main Event Championship in order to surpass Hellmuth in points.  The final table will be played at the end of October at which time  the Player of the Year winner will be determined.

This marked the sixth WSOP Europe Main Event Championship and the second time the competition has been played in France.  Just about every major poker superstar on every continent made their way to the French Riviera for this year’s attraction.  Among those who cashed were gold bracelet winners Jason Mercier, Scott Seiver, David Benyamine, Andy Frankenberger, Bertrand Grospellier, Keven Stammen, Elio Fox (last year’s WSOP Europe Main Event Champion), Eugene Katchalov, Daniel Negreanu, and Justin Bonomo.

Hellmuth’s victory is yet another thrilling moment in what has been six action-packed years of excitement at WSOP Europe.  Starting with 18-year-old Annette Obrestad’s stunning win in the inaugural played back in 2007, to John Juanda’s marathon victory in what was the longest WSOP final table in history a year later, to Phil Laak and Gus Hansen’s first gold bracelet triumphs, WSOP Europe has given the poker world more than its share of great memories.

But for Hellmuth, no memory is likely to outshine what turned out to be lucky number 13.  With this crowning achievement, Hellmuth is staking a serious claim at being perhaps the best of all time, particularly when it comes to tournament poker.  Hellmuth not only has the most wins, but has also posted the most final table appearances in history as well as the most lifetime in-the-money finishes.

“I played the best poker of my life in this tournament,” a beaming Hellmuth announced afterward.  “My game is constantly evolving.  I tried some new things out that really worked this time.  My game is never the same.  You’ve got to constantly be improving, and that’s what I do.”

This was the seventh and final gold bracelet event played in Cannes.  Officially listed as Event 7, the €10,000 (+450) No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 420 entrants. The total prizepool amounted to €4,032,000. The top 48 finishers were awarded prize money.

Official results were as follows:
 
1st - Phil Hellmuth, €1,022,376
2nd - Stephane Albertini, €632,592
3rd - Stephane Albertini, €423,360
4th - Joseph Cheong, €292,320
5th - Christopher Brammer, €207,648
6th - Paul Tedeschi, €149,184
7th - Stephane Girault, €108,864
8th - Jason Mercier, €84,672