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Phil Hellmuth hits straight flush to win US Poker Open event

Updated March 31, 2023 - 6:57 pm

Phil Hellmuth secured his first PokerGO Tour victory. And he did it in style, too.

Hellmuth made a straight flush on the final hand to win event No. 5 at the U.S. Poker Open on Wednesday. He defeated Jeremy Ausmus heads-up in the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em tournament at the PokerGO Studio near Aria for the $211,200 first prize.

“I have something,” he told PokerGO. “I have this thing called reading ability. And a lot of the younger generation doesn’t understand that. They see me make these plays and they’re like, ‘That’s a bad play. That’s a bad play.’ But if you know that they can’t call then I feel like it’s a great play. Sometimes they don’t give me enough credit, so it’s kind of nice.”

Hellmuth arrived at the final table fourth in chips but ran hot and was responsible for five of the six eliminations.

George Wolff went out in fourth place when his ace-queen suited couldn’t hold against Hellmuth’s ace-jack, as a jack showed up on the turn. Jesse Lonis was the next to be eliminated after Hellmuth’s king-jack outflopped his opponent’s ace-three holding.

On the final hand, Hellmuth flopped a flush against Ausmus while holding six-deuce of clubs and eventually moved all-in. Ausmus called with top pair and a queen-high flush draw, but a three of clubs on the turn gave Hellmuth the unbeatable hand.

“Jeremy is a classy guy,” Hellmuth said. “And I like him a lot. He called me out on social media for being a little bit too bratty, but he was (expletive) right. But no, there was no revenge. I was keenly aware that I finished second to him in the (2021 World Series of Poker) $50,000 Pot-limit Omaha, because he had no chips. And he won like 13 all-ins in a row or something. So, I knew he would be tough.”

It was the first career U.S Poker Open title for Hellmuth and his 71st documented live tournament victory, which includes a record 16 WSOP bracelet wins. He now has more than $28.6 million in career tournament earnings, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database.

With the victory, Hellmuth moved up to sixth place on the U.S. Poker Open leaderboard. He also sits 41st overall on the PokerGO Tour standings, with the top 40 qualifying for the season-ending PGT Championship $1,000,000 freeroll.

“It’s nice, you know, after last year,” Hellmuth said. “Last year, I had two seconds and a fourth in the U.S. Poker Open. I don’t play that many tournaments here, but if you look at like the last 10 tournaments I played here at the studio, it’s pretty crazy. I think I have four final tables in 10 events. Now people are going to say that’s not true, but it’s pretty easy to check.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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