Phil Hellmuth has made poker history yet again. The 53-year-old Poker Hall of Fame member was already the all-time leader in World Series of Poker titles with 14. Hellmuth extended his advantage today by defeating a field of 452 entries to win the 2018 WSOP $5,000 no-limit hold’em 30-minute level event to capture his fifteenth bracelet and the $485,082 first-place prize.
“It means everything,” said Hellmuth when asked about extending his bracelet lead. “I want to be remembered in two ways: 1.) For having won 24 bracelets, and 2.) For starting the positivity movement.”
Hellmuth recently released a book titled ‘#POSITIVITY’, a project that came about when he realized the impact he has on fans.
“The spotlight that I have becomes a responsibility. Once I realized that I could inspire people, I took that seriously,” said Hellmuth.
“It’s humbling. I haven’t had a very good summer, but I’ve kept myself positive,” continued Hellmuth. “Every night I come back to the room, saying, ‘Life is good, relax. Life is good, relax.’ … Before this tournament, I called my wife and said, ‘Honey, I’m not sure I want to play this event. She said, ‘Get in there in play.’”
Hellmuth did play, and emerged victorious. As a result, he went home with his 15th bracelet, the prize money and 1,440 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his third final table of the year, and as a result of this win he now sits in 70th place in the 2018 POY race.
Hellmuth came into the final day of this quickly-paced event in eighth chip position with 39 players remaining. By the time the final table was set he was in second place behind only Alan Sternberg. Hellmuth found a way to continue to build his stack despite not knocking out any of his opponents at the final table en route to heads-up play.
Two-time bracelet winner Steven Wolansky, on the other hand, knocked out three players at the final table to take roughly a 3-to-1 lead into heads-up play against Hellmuth. Hellmuth fought his way back to nearly even early on before Wolansky regained control. Then Hellmuth found a double up, winning with the K10 against Wolanksy’s KJ all-in preflop. Hellmuth paired his ten on the river to double into the lead.
Not long after that Wolanksy moved all-in from the button with the A9 and Hellmuth called with the 33. The board ran out 93268 and Hellmuth made a set of threes to secure the pot and the title. Wolanksy took home $299,807 as the runner-up finisher.
Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:
|Place||Player||Earnings (USD)||POY Points|