No matter what you think of Phil Hellmuth, there’s no denying his success and longevity in the poker world.
The legend known as the Poker Brat is the all-time leader in wins at the World Series of Poker, adding a 15th bracelet to his collection in 2018. What’s more, he’s in the top 25 in all-time tournament earnings rankings.
Let’s take a look at some of Phil Hellmuth’s notable wins and most memorable hands, including some of his biggest tantrums at the table.
Phil Hellmuth’s Tournament Results and Biggest Cashes
As of May 2020, Phil Hellmuth’s career tournament earnings total $23,417,333. His top five tournament cashes are:
- 2012 World Series of Poker $1,000,000 Big One For One Drop (4th – $2,645,333)
- 2016 Super High Roller Bowl $300,000 No-Limit Hold’em (4th – $1,600,000)
- 2012 WSOP Europe $10,000 Main Event (1st – €1,022,376)
- 2011 World Series of Poker $50,000 Poker Players Championship (2nd – $1,063,034)
- 1989 World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event (1st – $755,000).
Check out Hellmuth’s entire resume of tournament poker cashes at his Hendon Mob pagehere.
Memorable Hands & Top Blowups
Scroll past each of the videos for a written recap of the hands.
Hellmuth vs. Tom Dwan: “Let’s see if you’re even around in five years.”
The 2008 NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship featured a first-round matchup between Hellmuth and a then 22-year old Tom Dwan.
This match between poker legends ended in just three hands, with an outcome that sent Hellmuth into an all-time classic blowup.
The final hand begins with Hellmuth calling on the button with A♦ A♠ with the blinds at 150/300.
Dwan raises to 1,100 with his own premium hand, T♥ T♣, and Hellmuth 3-bets to 3,600. Dwan 4-bet shoves for 20,000 and Hellmuth snap-calls with the aces.
The flop comes 2♠ K♥ 7♠, putting Hellmth two cards away from a quick win. The turn T♠, however, brings disaster for Hellmuth, giving Dwan a set of tens.
Hellmuth still has plenty of outs with a flush draw, but the 9♦ on the river seals the victory for Dwan.
The two minutes that follow are vintage Hellmuth.
Son, I would tell you this much son, I would never have put more than $3,000 in with two tens before the flop…
Hellmuth lectures as the chips are counted in the aftermath.
Let’s see if you’re even around in five years.
Hellmuth vs James Campbell: “This mother****ing guy.”
Hellmuth’s rant during this hand from the 2018 World Series of Poker Main Event drew the ire of many high-stakes poker pros.
With the blinds at 800/1,600, Alex Kuzmin raises to 3,200 with K♦ 2♦, Hellmuth calls in the cutoff with 7♥ 7♣, and James “Camby” Campbell calls in the small blind with A♦ 9♦.
The flop comes 4♦ 3♦ T♠ and action checks to Kuzmin, who bets 3,000. Hellmuth min-raises to 6,000, and Camby check-raises all in for 26,200.
Before Kuzmin can act, Hellmuth goes into a profanity-laced verbal tirade about Camby’s raise. The out-of-turn comments from Hellmuth — clearly indicating that he wasn’t holding a strong hand — drew almost universally negative feedback from the poker community.
Kuzmin eventually calls and Hellmuth, as expected, folds. The turn 2♣ and river 6♠ made Kuzman the winner with the turned pair of twos. Hellmuth later apologized for the incident, and offered to pay Campbell’s entry into the 2019 WSOP Main Event.
Hellmuth vs. Gabe Kaplan: “****, they both hit their ***ing ace like it was nothing.”
This hand from a classic-era episode of Poker After Dark features Hellmuth and Gabe Kaplan going head-to-head in a sit n go hand that leaves Hellmuth fuming.
Things start with a rather jovial Hellmuth discussing a chicken sandwich with a table that includes Phil Gordon and Todd Brunson. The blinds are 300/600 with an ante.
Kaplan raises to 1,400 with A♦ 9♣ and Hellmuth makes what he calls “a really loose call” with K♥ J♥ in the big blind. (In case you’re new to poker, this is not a loose call.)
Both players find a pair on the 9♥ 6♣ J♦ flop. Hellmuth checks in the dark and calls a 2,400 chip bet from Kaplan.
Hellmuth checks again on the A♠ turn, which gives Kaplan two pair. Kaplan bets 4,300 and Hellmuth calls, with a little banter between the two before Hellmuth’s chips go in.
The 5♦ hits on the river and Hellmuth checks for a third time. Kaplan bets 4,900, enough to put Hellmuth all-in. Hellmuth makes the call, but sees that his second pair is no good against Kaplan’s aces up.
The showdown freezes Hellmuth for several moments, but the “Poker Brat” eventually stands up and lets the world know how he feels about what just transpired. Much profanity followed.
Hellmuth vs. Dani Stern: “Of course I could have bluffed him.”
A 2010 episode of the PokerStars Big Game saw Hellmuth and Dani Stern go head-to-head several times. Stern seems to have Hellmuth’s number in this cash game, much to the delight of Daniel Negreanu and others at the table.
One such hand tarts with Stern raising to $1,500 with 5♥ 5♣. Hellmuth 3-bet to $5,500 from the small blind with A♠ K♣, Andre Capella cold call in the big blind with T♣ 3♣, and Stern making the call.
The three players go to the Q♥Q♠8♠ flop. Action checks to Stern, who bets $8,500 into the $17,100 pot. Hellmuth calls, and Capella gets out of the way.
The turn comes 6♠, and both players check. The river comes 7♦, Hellmuth checks again, and Stern tanks briefly before checking back. “Ace-high” announces Hellmuth, only to see that Stern has him beat with the pocket fives.
Stern needles Hellmuth for checking the river, sending Hellmuth into a vintage Poker Brat blowup.
If you want to see a truly unbelievable Hellmuth tirade, skip to the hand that ends at 9:20 in the video above. Spoilers: it’s an example of Hellmuth showing that he can dish it, but he can’t take it.
“Idiot From Northern Europe” and Other Blowups
Some of Hellmuth’s most famous meltdowns can only be accessed with a PokerGO subscription, but the entertainment value of these alone might be worth the subscription price.
A particularly famous blow up occurred in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. This tournament featured Hellmuth blow ups against Adam Levy and later Santeri Valikoski. The hand against Finland’s Valikoski leads to an epic Hellmuth rant, with Hellmuth calling Valikoski an “idiot from Northern Europe” in one of his all-time greatest tirades.
Season 1 of the classic-era run of Poker After Dark sees Shawn Sheikan and Hellmuth go at it throughout the first few episodes of the season. The season’s third episode features a nuclear-level meltdown from Hellmuth, as he tries to decide whether to call an all-in from Annie Duke, while Sheikan continues to needle.
An untelevised hand from the 2019 WSOP $2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event send Hellmuth storming out of the Amazon Room at the Rio in the aftermath. After losing a 2-7 Triple Draw hand to Layne Flack, Hellmuth left the room with “You donkey motherf****r, I bet you think you played your hand good.”
Another classic rant from Phil Hellmuth came during #WSOP Event 43: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet.
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) June 20, 2019
Poker Career Highlights
Hellmuth is without doubt one of the most famous and accomplished poker players of all time. He’s the all-time leader in WSOP bracelet wins with 15, spanning three decades of appearances at the world’s biggest poker event.
The first of these bracelet wins came in the 1989 WSOP Main Event. Hellmuth, as a 24-year-old, became the then-youngest player to ever win the Main Event, outlasting Johnny Chan in the heads-up battle and taking home $755,000. That score is still one of Hellmuth’s top five biggest cashes.
Hellmuth was already a well-established poker pro when the “poker boom” era of the mid-2000s thrust poker into the mainstream. His poker accomplishments and penchant for meltdowns made Hellmuth a much-invited guest on the televised poker shows of the poker-boom era.
While many of Hellmuth’s contemporaries touted sponsorships from PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker in that era, Hellmuth was the face of UltimateBet. UltimateBet, with Hellmuth as an ambassador, rose to status as the third-biggest online poker site in the world.
UltimateBet, along with PokerStars and Full Tilt, were shut out from operating in the US in April 2011. Those shutdowns marked the end of an era for poker in the US, with many of the stars of the 2000s fading into obscurity.
Hellmuth, however, has remained as one of poker’s biggest stars throughout the modern era. He won the 2012 WSOP Europe Main Event, making him the first player to ever win Main Event bracelets at both the World Series of Poker and the WSOP Europe.
Most of Hellmuth’s bracelet wins have come in hold’em events at the WSOP. Hellmuth won six bracelets from 1989-1997, added five more in the 2000s, and four more in the 2010s.
Hellmuth’s last bracelet win came at the 2018 WSOP, in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.
Phil Hellmuth’s Net Worth
With an estimated net worth of $20 million, Hellmuth’s on-table poker results, and off-table marketing, have made the “Poker Brat” one of the most successful and recognizable personalities in the game.
As of May 2020, Hellmuth has more than 50 six- and seven-figure cashes in recorded tournament poker results.
If you’d like to read an in-depth article of Hellmuth’s poker skills and results, check this out:
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