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Phil Hellmuth extends record with 16th WSOP bracelet

Updated October 18, 2021 - 11:56 pm

Phil Hellmuth has put even more distance between himself and his peers at the World Series of Poker.

Hellmuth extended his record by winning his 16th WSOP bracelet late Sunday at the Rio, defeating a field of 272 entries in Event 31, the $1,500 buy-in No-limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, to take home $84,951.

Hellmuth, the 1989 WSOP Main Event champion, now has six more bracelets than his next closest rivals — Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. (The WSOP awards trophy bracelets for tournament victories.)

Hellmuth said he was excited to win a bracelet in No-limit 2-7, a favorite of high-stakes cash game players such as Brunson and Chip Reese when Hellmuth entered the poker world.

“I’ve wanted a deuce-to-seven bracelet ever since the 1980s because it was the coolest bracelet to win,” Hellmuth told PokerGO. “It was the one tournament that Chip and Doyle showed up for. … I wanted this bracelet so badly.”

No-limit 2-7 is played like Five-card Draw, except the worst hand wins the pot. The best — in other words, worst — possible hand is deuce-three-four-five-seven of different suits.

Hellmuth won heads-up against Jake Schwartz, who earned $52,502. In the final hand, Hellmuth went all-in with a two-card draw to nine-high (nine-eight-deuce), and Schwartz called with a one-card draw to ten-high (ten-four-three-deuce).

Hellmuth drew a seven and a five to make his nine-high, leaving Schwartz drawing dead. (He ended up pairing his four.)

Hellmuth’s victory continues his scorching start at this year’s WSOP. The No-limit 2-7 was his fourth final table of the series after he finished sixth in the $25,000 HORSE, fifth in the $10,000 Omaha High-Low and fourth in the $10,000 Seven-card Stud.

Hellmuth lived up to his “Poker Brat” moniker at some of those final tables by tearing into his opponents verbally after losing key hands. He said he accepted criticism of his behavior and tried to be better Sunday.

“Today I told myself no swearing tirades and no threats,” Hellmuth told PokerNews. “I swore a little bit. I am sure the cameras caught it, but I was a lot more mellow, probably because I went too far the other day.”

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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