Phil Hellmuth Wins Record 16th World Series of Poker (WSOP) Gold Bracelet
After four final tables and a lot of frustration at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Phil Hellmuth finally won his record-extending bracelet No. 16 in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. The win marks the sixteenth WSOP title for Hellmuth, whose incredible WSOP career includes 157 cashes and a breakout victory in the 1989 Main Event that made him the youngest champion in history at the time.
This is Hellmuth’s first WSOP gold bracelet in a deuce-to-seven poker game and his third in a non-Hold’em variation. The popular lowball variant drew a star-laden field of 272 runners and generated a prize pool of $363,120 that paid $84,851 to Hellmuth for the win.
The win represents a breakthrough in the frustration that has followed Hellmuth in his pursuit of a 16th bracelet. He has reached seven final tables since his last win in 2018, four of which have come at the 2021 WSOP in $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.(6th), $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (5th), and the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event (fourth).
Hellmuth’s tournament run was not without problems, and he found himself on the brink of elimination at points throughout Day 1. The nature of no-limit 2-7 lowball draw lends itself to a lot of swings, and Hellmuth weathered them to finish Day 1 with a healthy chip stack.
The turning point came on Day 2 as Hellmuth continued to weather the breaks in the early going. The low point came early in Day 2 when Rok Gostisa turned over a nine-eight that left Hellmuth steaming with a handful of big blinds. The tide soon turned and Hellmuth dominated the later stages of Day 2, going on a red-hot run to bag over a million chips and the second biggest chip stack of the final ten players for the Day 3 finale.
Event #31 Final Table Results
|1||Phil Hellmuth||United States||$84,851|
|2||Jake Schwartz||United States||$52,502|
|3||Chris Vitch||United States||$36,387|
|4||Rep Porter||United States||$25,661|
|5||Joshua Faris||United States||$18,421|
|7||Jason Lipiner||United States||$10,023|
|8||Kevin Gerhart||United States||$7,602|
“What did I tell you, honey? I’ve always wanted a deuce-to-seven bracelet,” Hellmuth said to his wife Katherine shortly after shaking his opponent's hand.
She was by his side for the big win after missing out on two of his final table runs earlier in the series.
“My wife has been at a spa for two weeks, so she missed my tirade and two of my final tables. She never misses my final tables because we have an agreement. We have been married for 31 years and she has to be at all my final tables. But she was at a health spa and she deserves a break.”
This particular victory is a culmination of years of preparation for the 16-time champ, who wins his first WSOP gold bracelet in the popular lowball variation.
“I’ve wanted a deuce-to-seven bracelet ever since the 1980’s because it was the coolest bracelet to win. It’s the one tournament that Chip, Doyle, and all the big named poker players showed up for. I’ve been fighting so hard for this bracelet for so long, and my game has gotten better and better. I’ve worked really hard at it and I know all these tricks because I’ve been playing since the eighties. It feels really good.”
"I just seemed to understand what everyone had every hand, and that reading ability translated well for me.”
It’s a long time coming for Hellmuth, who came into the 2021 WSOP at peak preparation. The no-limit lowball format allowed him to showcase his best skills in reading people and situations.
“I felt like I was unlucky at three final tables after putting myself in a great position and I think there is more skill in deuce-to-seven. If you have great reads you can do things that no one else does. You can make calls that no one else makes. I just seemed to understand what everyone had every hand, and that reading ability translated well for me.”
The victory is a relief after a tumultuous week that saw Hellmuth fall into some of his old “Poker Brat” behavior after luck didn’t go his way.
“I’ve studied these games my whole life, so I have all the knowledge. What’s been killing me is that I get tired and I blow it. Or I get tilted and I blow it. I’ll be down here at the Rio and it’s one in the morning and I’m so tired. And I just play a bunch of bad hands and I’m out.”
Hellmuth was much more calm and well-rested than in previous finales at the 2021 WSOP.
“I keep getting down there (to the final table.) Today I told myself no swearing tirades and no threats. I swore a little bit and I am sure the cameras caught it, but I was a lot more mellow, probably because I went too far the other day.”
Hellmuth isn’t done by any stretch, and he thinks he can run his gold bracelet total up to at least 24, all while adding more mixed game bracelets to cement his legacy.
“There is a lot of skill in these tournaments. It’s harder to win the mixed games. If I can win four of five mixed bracelets, I think it will say a lot about my legacy. I think I am playing a bunch of games at a world-class level now.”
In the meantime, the champion has some much-needed rest in store.
“I’m probably going to give myself two days off. There might be a big tournament I want to play on Monday or Tuesday, but I’m going to give myself the day off.”
Final Table Action
The final eight players combined to the main stage table quickly after Jason Papastavrou was eliminated in 10th place and Ryan Riess bowed out in ninth. Dario Sammartino had the chip lead going into final table action and Kevin Gerhart was the short stack.
Gerhart quickly fell to Rep Porter’s eight-six when he drew to a seven-six but came up with a ten. Jason Lipiner wasn’t far behind in seventh after calling down an eight-seven from Joshua Faris before being eliminated by and his seven-five just a few hands later.
Sammartino could not convert his final table chip lead into his first bracelet and he finished in sixth place after he shoved and ran into Porter’s perfect wheel.
Faris looked like he was gaining momentum in final-five play when he took a pot from Hellmuth that had the 15-time WSOP champion steamed. Hellmuth came right back and took it back before Faris was ousted when his ten-nine fell to the ten-eight of Chris Vitch.
Porter came into Day 3 as the chip leader but his run ended in fourth place when he made a pair of fives and was outdrawn by Jake Schwartz. Vitch went out in third a short time after, having won a few big pots at the final table but not enough to get through the nine-eight of Hellmuth.
Hellmuth faltered early in heads-up play when he called down a big bet from Schwartz, who turned over nine-eight to beat Hellmuth’s ten high. The now 16-time champion fought back and flipped the chip counts when Schwartz bet big and then folded to Hellmuth’s post-draw shove.
Hellmuth went to work and kept the pressure on Schwartz, pulling in pots of all sizes until he had the young pro on the ropes. The big moment came when Hellmuth shoved and Schwartz called. Hellmuth made a nine-eight to beat Schwartz’s pair of fours.
Phil Hellmuth's WSOP Bracelet Wins
|1989||$10,000 WSOP Main Event||$755,000|
|1992||Event #8: $5,000 Limit Hold'em||$188,000|
|1993||Event #7: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em||$173,000|
|1993||Event #8: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em||$161,400|
|1993||Event #9: $5,000 Limit Hold'em||$138,000|
|1997||Event #15: $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em||$204,000|
|2001||Event #3: $2,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$316,550|
|2003||Event #12: $2,500 Limit Hold'em||$171,400|
|2003||Event #32: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$410,860|
|2006||Event #34: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em||$631,863|
|2007||Event #15: $1,500 No Limit Hold'em||$637,25|
|2012||Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz||$182,793|
|2012||WSOPE €10,000 Main Event||€1,022,376 ($1,333,841)|
|2015||Event #17: $10,000 Razz Championship||$271,105|
|2018||Event #71: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em||$485,082|
|2021||Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw||$84,851|
Las Vegas-based PokerNews Live Reporting Executive, originally from Chicago, IL
In this Series
- 1 Caesars Palace Dealer Jimmy Barnett Crowned Casino Employees Champion
- 2 Jesse Klein Tilts Hellmuth on Way to 2021 WSOP $25K H.O.R.S.E. Win for $552,182
- 3 Jeremy Ausmus Wins First Gold Bracelet of the 2021 World Series of Poker
- 4 Long Ma Tops Near 13,000-Player Field to Win The Reunion and First WSOP Bracelet
- 5 Connor Drinan Wins Second Bracelet in Event #5: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better
- 6 Tyler Cornell Gets Signature Victory in 2021 WSOP Event #6: $25,000 High Roller ($833,289)
- 7 Jaswinder "Jesse" Lally Wins 2021 WSOP Event #7: $1,500 Dealers Choice 6-Handed ($97,915)
- 8 Aces in the Final Hand as Zhi Wu Wins Event #8: $600 Deepstack ($281,604)
- 9 Ari Engel Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 Championship; Hellmuth Fifth
- 10 Michael Perrone Wins 2021 WSOP Event #10: $1,000 Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em ($152,173)
- 11 Jason Koon Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in Event #11: $25K Heads-Up Championship ($243,981)
- 12 Yuval Bronshtein Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in Event #12: $1,500 Limit Hold'em
- 13 Harvey Mathews Wins Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($371,914)
- 14 Lebron Captures Gold; Wins 2021 WSOP Event #14: $1,500 7-Card Stud
- 15 Bradley Jansen Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #15: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em ($313,403)
- 16 John Monnette Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet in Event #16: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship ($245,680)
- 17 Daniel Lazrus Wins 2021 WSOP Millionaire Maker for 2nd Bracelet ($1,000,000)
- 18 Vladimir Peck Wins 2021 WSOP Event #18: $2,500 Mixed Triple Draw Lowball ($134,390)
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Denied 16th Bracelet as Anthony Zinno Wins His 3rd in the $10K Stud Championship
- 20 DJ Alexander Captures 1st WSOP Bracelet in Event #20: GGPoker Flip & Go ($180,665)
- 21 Dylan Linde Wins His First WSOP Bracelet in Event #21: $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo ($170,269)
- 22 Lara Eisenberg wins 2021 World Series of Poker Ladies NLHE Championship
- 23 Ryan Leng Wins Event #23: $1,500 Eight Game Mix 6-Handed for $137,969
- 24 Michael Prendergast Wins Maiden Bracelet in Event #24: $600 Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack ($127,428)
- 25 Scott Ball Celebrates First WSOP Bracelet in Event #25: $5,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
- 26 Czech Pro Dalibor Dula Becomes First European Bracelet Winner at the 2021 WSOP
- 27 Anthony Zinno Wins Fourth Gold Bracelet in Event #27 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.
- 28 Dylan Weisman Wins WSOP Event #28: $1,000 Pot-Limit Omaha for First Bracelet ($166,461)
- 29 Chance Kornuth Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in Event #29: $10,000 Short Deck ($194,670)
- 30 Michael Noori Captures First WSOP Bracelet and $610,437 in the Monster Stack
- 31 Phil Hellmuth Wins Record 16th World Series of Poker (WSOP) Gold Bracelet
- 32 Jim Collopy Wins 2021 WSOP Event #32: $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. for Second Gold Bracelet ($172,823)
- 33 Ran Koller Wins WSOP Event #33: $800 Eight-Handed No Limit Hold'em Deep Stack ($269,478)
- 34 David "Bakes" Baker Wins Third WSOP Title in Event #34: $1,500 Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw
- 35 Anthony Koutsos Wins First WSOP Bracelet In Event #35: $500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em ($167,272)
- 36 Adam Friedman Defeats Phil Hellmuth to Win WSOP $10k Dealer's Choice for Third Straight Year
- 37 Karolis Sereika Wins First WSOP Bracelet in Event #37: $1,500 Super Turbo ($195,310)
- 38 Michael Addamo Wins Third WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #38: $50K High Roller ($1,132,968)
- 39 Josh Arieh Wins Third Bracelet in Event #39: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha ($204,766)
- 40 Kevin Gerhart Wins Third Career Bracelet in Event #40: $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship
- 41 "Hobby Player" Carlos Chang Wins First Bracelet in $2,500 NLHE Freezeout
- 42 Bradley Ruben Dazzles in the $1,500 Razz; Wins Third WSOP Bracelet
- 43 Dreams to Win a WSOP Bracelet Come True for Anthony Denove in the $1K Double Stack
- 44 Ryan Hansen Wins First WSOP Bracelet in Event #44: $3,000 6-Handed Limit Hold'em ($109,692)
- 45 Tommy Le Wins WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Championship For Second Time
- 46 Chad Norton Wins A Bracelet in His First-Ever WSOP Event!
- 47 France's Alexandre Reard Wins 2021 WSOP Event #47: $5,000 Freezeout NLH ($428,694)
- 48 Poker Philanthropist Gershon Distenfeld Wins WSOP Bracelet, Pledges All Winnings to Charity ($204K)
- 49 Farzad Bonyadi Wins Fourth Bracelet in $10K 2-7 NL Single Draw, Ends Sixteen-Year Drought
- 50 Premonition Becomes Reality as Darrin Wright Wins First WSOP Bracelet
- 51 Brian Rast Wins Fifth Bracelet; Sets Sights on Poker Hall of Fame
- 52 Robert McMillan Wins 2021 WSOP Event #52: $1,000 Seniors Championship ($561,060)
- 53 Shaun Deeb Wins 5th Bracelet in WSOP Event #53: $25,000 PLO ($1,251,860)
- 54 Nicholas Julia Wins Event #54: $2,500 Nine-Game Mix 6-Handed ($168,608)
- 55 Anatolii Zyrin Defeats Massive Field in Colossus to Claim Second WSOP Bracelet ($314,705)
- 56 Ben Yu Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #56: $10,000 6-Handed NLH Championship ($721,453)
- 57 Brian Yoon Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #57: $10,000 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw Championship ($839,350)
- 58 Jean-Luc Adam Wins First Bracelet and $255,623 in Event #58: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em
- 59 Team Ruter Crowned Event #59: $1,000 Tag Team Champions ($113,366)
- 60 Dan "Jungleman" Cates Takes Down $50,000 Poker Players Championship for First WSOP Bracelet
- 61 Cole Ferraro Comes From Behind to Win WSOP Event #61: $600 Deepstack Championship ($252,491)
- 62 Kevin Gerhart Earns Fourth WSOP Bracelet in Event #62: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($186,789)
- 63 Eric Zhang Wins 2021 WSOP Event #63: $500 Salute to Warriors ($102,465)
- 64 From Online Crusher to WSOP Gold: Eelis Parssinen Wins Event #64: $5,000 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha
- 65 "It Feels Amazing": Georgios Sotiropoulos Wins Mini Main Event for 3rd WSOP Bracelet
- 66 Josh Arieh Wins Fourth Bracelet in Event #66: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship
- 67 Koray Aldemir Wins 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for $8,000,000
- 68 Scott Ball Wins Second WSOP Bracelet in Event #68 $1,111 Little One for One Drop
- 69 Jermaine Reid Reschedules Flight Before Winning WSOP Event #69: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better ($113,459)
- 70 David Moses Wins Maiden Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #70: $888 Crazy Eights ($888,888)
- 71 Mourad Amokrane Dominates the Final Table On His Way to Winning Event #71: $1,500 Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha
- 72 Motoyoshi Okamura Wins Event #72: $1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha for $209,716
- 73 Brian Hastings Becomes 29th Player in WSOP History to Claim Five Gold Bracelets
- 74 Denis Strebkov Wins His Second WSOP Gold Bracelet in Event #74: $2,500 Big Bet Mix
- 75 Chad Himmelspach Comes Back From a Single Blind to Win WSOP Event #75: $1,500 Freezeout No-Limit Hold'em ($270,877)
- 76 Romain Lewis Captures 1st Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #76: $10K Super Turbo Bounty
- 77 Paulo Joanello Makes Dream Come True After Winning First WSOP Bracelet in Event #77 $1,500 Fifty Stack ($321,917)
- 78 Benny Glaser Wins Event #78: $10,000 Razz Championship for 4th Gold Bracelet ($274,693)
- 79 Ole Schemion Breaks WSOP Duck; Wins Event #79: $1,979 Hall Of Fame Bounty No-Limit Hold’em For $172,499
- 80 Robert Cowen Wins 2021 WSOP Event #80: $3,000 6-Handed PLO ($280,916)
- 81 Jason Wheeler Wins First Bracelet in 2021 WSOP Event #81: $800 NLH Deepstack ($202,274)
- 82 Adrian Mateos Wins $250K Super High Roller for Fourth WSOP Gold Bracelet ($3,265,262)
- 83 Leo Margets Wins First Bracelet and $376,850 in Event #83: $1,500 The Closer
- 84 Ausmus Denies Hellmuth and Negreanu; Wins Third WSOP Bracelet in $50K PLO High Roller ($1,188,918)
- 85 Mikita Badziakouski Claims First Gold Bracelet in Event #85: $50,000 High Roller ($1,462,043)
- 86 Michael McCauley Wins Event #86: $1,000 Super Turbo No-Limit Hold'em ($161,384)
- 87 Michael Addamo Wins $100,000 High Roller for His Fourth WSOP Bracelet
- 88 Boris Kolev Wins Maiden Bracelet and $511,184 in Event #88: $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold'em