Note:  Phil Hellmuth was interviewed moments after he won his record-13th gold bracelet, which took place in the WSOP Europe Main Event Championship, held at Hotel Majestic Barriere, in Cannes, France.  Here are the highlights of that interview:

On where his 13th gold bracelet victory ranks among his many poker accomplishments:

“It’s got to be up there. It’s got to be right up there. The Main Event in 1989 is up there at number one, of course. It has to be number two, I guess. It’s the WSOP Europe Main Event! What would I want more than this? The Poker Players Championship, I would say – which I had a massive chip lead in at one point and couldn’t get it done, but this has to be my second most valuable bracelet, I think.”

On winning two of the biggest events on two continents -- North America (WSOP) and Europe (WSOPE):

“People like to put things in groups and categories, which I think is very cool, but I can’t really assign meaning to it. That’s the kind of thing people will look back on 20 or 30 years and say “I did that and that and that.’ Right now, I was just in such a great space. I’m so happy. When I was in Malta, I was partying every night, but here I didn’t spend any time partying. I just stayed in my room. I’ve been in this great state of mind. I’m in the zone right now. You continually make tweaks to your game…. You play great and that can get you so far, maybe into the money or deep, but you need more than that to win. I made a lot of the luck I had in this tournament. I played the best I’ve played in my life. This was the best No-Limit Hold’em tournament I have ever played.”

On facing a tough heads-up challenge by runner Sergii Baranov:

“Sergii is a very positive guy. He kept coming up to me before and saying ‘we’re going to play heads-up, we’re going to play heads-up – and you’re going to beat me.’ It was just strange to have it come where we play heads-up…..there were a couple of times where I got upset. I was like a pit bull, where I made the right call. But sometimes they put all their money in bluffing me, and then hit their miracle card. Sergii is a very positive guy. I finally got him when I picked him off with a pair of jacks. That hand won the tournament for me.”

On his next goals in poker:

“I need to win 24 gold bracelets and the Poker Players Championship and the 25K World Poker Tour Championship. There’s still a lot of work left to do. For a while, they said I couldn’t play the mixed games. Then, I had two great years of mixed game results. And then there were rumors I couldn’t play Hold’em anymore. I was like, ‘What?’ So, the kids will be the kids. I love most of them, but there will be some haters out there. It’s kind of nice to say, ‘I’m not bad at Hold’em either.'”

On what he’s doing differently than everyone else, consistently producing these kinds of results:

“In this tournament, nobody played faster than I did. I called every single big blind every day for three straight days. I didn’t care if it was 9-4 offsuit. You know why? Because -- I was going to make them play the flop. And I check raised them so many times. I knew they had nothing. So, they were defenseless. So, if they are going to raise me, I am just going to do the anti-raise bet. It gets into more levels. Of course, it isn’t always that way, but a lot of times, I hit bottom pair and I was willing to put in a lot of money. If I did flop something, it seems they would try to bluff and bluff and bluff, and so it’s a different game. Everyone was afraid of me. Every time they three bet it, I called. I didn’t care what I had. I sent them a message. Every time you three-bet I am going to call. And, so they were scared to death. It was muck, muck, muck, muck, muck. I was accumulating chips at a great rate. You can’t always play that fast. Of course, I caught some breaks. Once I had pockets aces and someone raised me all in with pocket nines. Another hand, I had aces and Curt Kohlberg moved all-in with J-T. I still had to dodge a bullet when the flop came 8-9. But, the aces held up. That was the closest I got to being all-in…..I think I had all the moves in my arsenal in this tournament.”

On if he’ll still be playing A-level poker in 30 years:

“I hope so. I hope that I continue to play at this level. I hope I have the reading abilities that I have now, because that’s what separates the best. That’s what gives me an edge. I have a great strategy for playing the cards, but reading allows me to take it to the next level. I know that in thirty years I’ll be cashing a lot. I hope I can still win. I know I’ll be staring the young kids down and then say (with old man’s husky voice) “all in!”

On how his game is still evolving:

“I’ve had all these thoughts recently about how to play, that I hadn’t had before. I was hearing it in my head….new thought, new thought, new thought. I was writing everything down. I was sending all this information to my wife. I shared some of this with (Bandon) Cantu. He listened to me, and he went on a deep run too, and won. And so, yeah – you have to evolve. If you do not, then you should just give up the game.”