Phil Hellmuth barely misses WSOP bracelet #17; how many times has he finished runner-up?

Dave Consolazio
Published by:
Posted on 10/21/2021

Phil Hellmuth earned his record-breaking 16th World Series of Poker bracelet to further cement himself as the WSOP GOAT late Sunday night by winning the 2021 WSOP Event #31 $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw event. Remarkably, just three nights later, Hellmuth was right back in position to make history again as he found himself heads up against Adam Friedman in the 2021 WSOP Event #36 $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship. Bracelet No. 17 wasn’t meant to be in this event as Friedman won a thrilling heads up match to lock up his third straight win in the Dealer’s Choice Championship.

Without doing the research, one might assume that Hellmuth’s staggering 16 bracelet wins have come in large part due to unbelievable luck heads up. After all, no other poker player in history has more than 10 career bracelets. Three players are tied with that many in Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. It would make sense if Hellmuth’s bracelet discrepancy could be attributed in some manner to an absurd win-rate during heads-up play in bracelet events. But that really hasn’t been the case.

Phil Hellmuth has finished runner-up 12 times in WSOP bracelet events.

Hellmuth’s runner-up finish to Friedman marked the 12th time in the Poker Brat’s career that he has finished in second place in a WSOP bracelet event. Here is the complete list of Hellmuth’s 12 runner-up finishes:

  1. 1992, Event #4: $2,500 Limit Hold’em ($84,000)
  2. 1993, Event #20: $5,000 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball ($72,500)
  3. 1994, Event #4: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em ($93,900)
  4. 2001, Event #23: $5,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo ($103,785)
  5. 2002, Event #9: $2,500 Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em ($17,000)
  6. 2006, Event #9: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em ($423,893)
  7. 2011, Event #16: $10,000 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Championship ($226,907)
  8. 2011, Event #33: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship ($273,233)
  9. 2011, Event #55: $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship ($1,063,034)
  10. 2014, Event #7: $1,500 Razz ($74,848)
  11. 2019, Event #10: €25,500 Mixed Games Championship (€238,509)
  12. 2021, Event #36: $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship ($153,493)

Phil Hellmuth followed up his three runner-up finishes in the 2011 WSOP with two bracelet victories in 2012. In total, Hellmuth has finished in the top five 47 times in WSOP bracelet events with 16 wins, 12 runner-up finishes, four third-places, seven fourth-places and eight fifth-places.

The 16-time WSOP bracelet winner has advanced to five final tables in 2021: finishing in sixth place in the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E., fifth place in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, fourth place in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, second place in the $10,000 Dealer’s Choice Championship, and first place in the $1,500 2-7 No-Limit Lowball Draw. And that’s only through the first 38 events of this 88-bracelet WSOP live schedule.

Featured Image Credit: Chris Wallace