"Excited" – Phil Hellmuth on 2024 WSOP schedule and rumored changes from "high up"

Craig Tapscott
Posted on: February 22, 2024 24:40 PST

[UPDATE: Shaun Deeb has commented on proposed changes to the WSOP POY format - see below]

The 2024 WSOP schedule finally dropped last week, boasting 99 bracelet events (up from 95 in 2023), a raft of new events, including the opening $5k Champions Reunion, and over 100 additional tables. It’s going to be a biggie.

But what does Mr. WSOP himself, aka Phil Hellmuth, make of it all? 

First reactions and Champions Reunion 

“It's good news,” exclaimed Hellmuth. “I like that the schedule isn’t front-loaded with high buy-ins this year. Last year, they made a mistake with all the high rollers at the beginning. I didn’t like that. Those should be toward the end of the series. That gives someone like me a chance to be up $300,000, and maybe I’ll fire $200,000 at a $100k event.”

"As for the Champions Reunion, first of all, it seems like people are always gunning for me! This time, they win a Main Event seat if they take me out. It's going to be a really fun tourney!"

  • Event #1: $5,000 Champions Reunion NLH Freezeout – May 28, 12pm
2023 World Series Of Poker, Phil Hellmuth Phil Hellmuth Jamie Thomson

Razzle dazzle

“I like that the World Series of Poker continues the trend of an Omaha 8 or Better tournament with a $1,500 buy-in and then a $10,000 buy-in. I'm really excited about the Omaha 8 or Better tournaments. I think I'm a top-five Omaha 8 or Better tournament player in the world. 

"I don't have the right to say that yet because my results aren't good enough. You'll notice I have a ton of final tables but just not enough wins. I'd love to win an Omaha 8 or Better tournament. There's a tremendous amount of skill in the game.

"Then there is the week of Razz. But why only two tournaments? Razz has become such a popular game. Mark my words. They will have huge numbers because it’s a very simple game to play. It’s not simple to win, but simple to play. So, I'd prefer three Razz events. 

"I love the game. I’d like to win another Razz bracelet. I’m one of the best in Razz now. Winning a Razz bracelet is way up there on my list for this year.”

  • Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (8-Handed) – May 29, 2pm
  • Event #10: $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship (8-handed) – June 1, 2pm
  • Event #40: $1,500 Razz – June 14, 2pm
  • Event #50: $10,000 Razz Championship – June 19, 2pm
Phil Hellmuth Razz winner 2015 Phil Hellmuth won the $10k Razz Championship in 2015

Double Board PLO & Triple Draw

“Double-board PLO is so much fun. I applaud the WSOP for adding this event. It's a fun game, and they recognize that poker continues to shift and change. It’s good for poker.

“I finally became world class at 2-7 Triple Draw. I’d like to win one of those bracelets to show people I’m world-class. I think I’m top twenty in the world rated at that game, probably top ten.”

  • Event #22: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw (6-Handed) – June 6, 2pm
  • Event #29: $10,000 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship (6-Handed) – June 10, 2pm
  • Event #41: $1,500 Mixed NLHE; PLO Double Board Bomb Pot – June 15, 12pm

Poker Players Championship

“I love the Players Championship. I feel like that's a great event for me. I have to admit I was very disappointed last year. I felt like I was card dead for an entire day. 

"It's weird. People like the word fair. But you can't say it was fair or unfair in poker. But I felt like I deserved better. 

"But then, wait a minute, I can’t say that. Because I had really good cards when I won my bracelet in the $10K Super Turbo Bounty event last year. So, shut the fuck up, Phil.”

  • Event #58: $50,000 Poker Players Championship – June 23, 2pm
Hellmuth wins 17th WSOP bracelet Phil Hellmuth won his 17th bracelet at the 2023 WSOP this summer and is looking to make it 18 in Paradise

Dealer’s Choice events

“These dealer-choice tournaments are fun. I’ve nearly won one of those. I’ve finished second in the past. I was super disappointed. It was the only time that I really hit the wall. 

"I had just won a bracelet a few days before. Now I’m playing for another bracelet. I just got too tired and didn’t finish. I definitely want to come back and win a dealer’s choice.”

  • Event #7: $1,500 Dealers Choice (6-Handed) – May 30, 2pm
  • Event #13: $10,000 Dealers Choice Championship (6-Handed) – June 3, 2pm

Mystery Bounties, Big O and H.O.R.S.E.

“I think these Mystery Millions are just fantastic for poker. There’s a randomness there, but they’re so much fun!

“I believe it’s the first year they’ve had a Big O $10k tournament. That’s good for poker to recognize new variance.

“It would be nice to win a H.O.R.S.E. tournament. Winning a H.O.R.S.E. tournament has been at the top of my list for a long time. That was right next to winning a 2-7 no limit bracelet.”

  • Event #5: $1,000 Mystery Millions NLH – May 30, 10am
  • Event #37: $10,000 Big O Championship (Five Card PLO Hi-Lo 8 or Better) – June 13, 2pm
  • Event #35: $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. – June 12, 2pm
  • Event #45: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship – June 17, 2pm
  • Event #91: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. (8-Handed) – July 11, 2pm
  • Event #96: $25,000 High Roller H.O.R.S.E. – July 14, 2pm
Phil Hellmuth, 2023 WSOP Phil Hellmuth playing in the $10k Secret Bounty event

The 1% Club – "nobody cares"

“If you look back at the last year in poker, I played fewer tournaments than all the other top players. But the number of times I finished in the top 1% of a no-limit hold’em tournament is scary.

"There were 3,400 players in the WSOP Bahamas, and I finished 34th. It's just scary. Then, there were 5,000 players in a tournament, and I finished 50th. I keep getting to the one percentile, which is so significant. 

"You don’t get credit for that; nobody cares. But for the people studying stats, I’m sure they’re impressed with how many times I've finished in the top 1% of a no-limit hold’em tournament in the last eight months.

“Let’s look back, perhaps from 1988 till the present day, I’ve done the best. From 2000 till now, I’ve done the best across the board at the WSOP.

"Daniel Negreanu has been running a $25,000 buy-in WSOP Fantasy draft every year since 2011, and I’m #1 in points. Shaun Deeb is right there with me. If I look back at the last three WSOPs, Shaun and I probably have the most final tables of anybody, or at least, I’m in the top three."

Player of the Year

Shaun Deeb at the 2023 WPT World Championship Shaun Deeb: Planes, trains and automobiles

“I'm hearing rumors they're changing the WSOP Player of the Year requirements to ten tournaments; your best ten results. This change is great for poker

"Why? Because when you have unlimited results, someone like Shaun Deeb can literally play 85 out of 99 tournaments. And all those cashes add up, but those min-cashes are completely worthless

"What happens then is it becomes the world series of stamina. And you shouldn't award Player of the Year based on stamina. It's not fair. Most people can't win it that way. So that was a really big flaw they had in the system. That is great for poker if they've changed it to the top 10 results.

"And I am hearing rumors from high up that this is the case.”

“First, let me say I look at Shaun Deeb as my biggest competition. Josh Arieh [ended fourth in the 2023 WSOP Player of the Year race] has a way of winning. But he's not technically sound in a lot of the games. Deeb and I will make fun of Josh. We tell him that he misplayed this or that hand, whatever. But Josh just keeps winning. He’ll say, ‘Shut the fuck up, Phil. Shut the fuck up, Shaun.’


"I know Shaun watched him and was betting against him the whole way. There's no way you can play all these hands that goofy and get away with it? 

"But Josh Arieh must be given respect. We don't even know what he's doing. It doesn't make sense to Shaun and me. If Shaun and I are the two greatest mixed game players in the world, we don't know what Josh Arieh is doing based on our results over the last three years. But then people will say they don't know what I'm doing. So, there you have it.”

UPDATE: Shaun Deeb is on board with POY changes

Whether or not a new Player of the Year format is brought in, Shaun Deeb has expressed agreement with Hellmuth that a change would be healthy - even if it impacts his own bottom line.