After finally winning a record-breaking 12th World Series of Poker bracelet on 10th June, 2012 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, legendary poker player Phil Hellmuth announced to the spectators, “This was the first time I’ve won a bracelet when I have absolutely no idea what first-place was worth. I just wanted to win.” To which someone from the crowd yelled back, “$182,000.” A happy and relieved Hellmuth replied, “That’s nice.”
It was a historic night for Phil Hellmuth, when he defeated longtime grinder Don Zewin in the event #18 – Seven-Card Razz in the World Series of Poker, 2012. A total of 309 players entered the event, which started on 8th June and went on till the night of 10th June in front of a packed gallery of audience encircling the Pavilion stage. While one half of the audience was cheering for Hellmuth, the other half was hooting against him. Each spectator in the audience was one of the lucky few who witnessed history being made by a skilled craftsman on the Sunday night. Amidst all the cheering, Hellmuth outlasted all the players of the final table which included the likes of Don Zewin, Brandon Cantu, Scott Fischman, and Barry Greenstein.
This is the first time Hellmuth won a bracelet in a non-Hold’em event. With this bracelet, he is the new record holder of 12 WSOP bracelets beating the records of Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan who each have ten World Series wins.
After three runner-up finishes in 2011 Hellmuth was desperate for victory. “It feels so good,” said Hellmuth. “Last June 1st according to millions of players on the internet I was a horrible player and by July 1st I was one of the greatest. People are results-oriented but they should be in life so I don’t have a problem with that. If you want to be great in our game you have to win.”
Due to his earlier successes in No-Limit Hold’em events and the 11 bracelets won from them, Hellmuth was nicknamed one-trick pony. He said, “I was just thinking one thing, ‘Play perfect poker,’ and pushing all the negative thoughts out of my head. I just wanted to win.”
The full final table payouts for that day were:
1. Phil Hellmuth – $182,793
2. Don Zewin – $113,024
3. Brandon Cantu – $74,269
4. Scott Fischman – $54,248
5. Brendan Taylor – $40,167
6. Barry Greenstein – $30,150
7. Michael Chow – $22,945
8. Jeffrey Mitseff – $17,693