After quite a lot of frustration and four different final tables, Phil Hellmuth has finally managed to win his 2021 World Series of Poker in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. This is Phil’s 16th WSOP bracelet of his career, which once again solidifies Hellmuth’s status as the most successful WSOP player of all time. Not to mention that this is his first bracelet in a deuce-to-seven poker variation and his third in a non-Hold’em format. This event gathered a field of 272 entries and featured a total prize pool of $363,120. Phil Hellmuth was awarded $84,851 for his first place-finisher. Read on to find out more about this record-breaking win.
The Record-Breaking Win
This win is definitely an emotional relief for Hellmuth after all of the frustration he had to go through in pursuit of his much desired 16th bracelet. As a reminder, his last WSOP win was all the way back in 2018 when he won the $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event. He has been in a drought since that time. Since his last win in 2018, he was able to reach seven different final tables and four of those came at the 2021 WSOP. It was a rough tournament run for Phill Hellmuth, especially during Day 1 when he was on the brink of elimination. However, he was able to limp his way onto Day 2 where he felt much more confident and was able to bag over a million chips and become the second biggest stack of the final table during Day 3.
The final table featured eight players after Jason Papastavrou was eliminated in 10th and Ryan Riess was eliminated in 9th. At the start of the final table, Dario Sammartino was the cheap leader and Kevin Gerhart had the shortest stack of all the players. Consequently, Gerhart was quickly eliminated by Rep Porter’s eight-six. Just a few hands later, Jason Lipiner was eliminated in 7th by Joshua Faris’s seven-five.
Unfortunately for Sammartino, he was unable to maintain his cheap lead and convert it into his first bracelet win. He was eliminated in 6th by Porter’s perfect wheel. Faris looked like a real potential winner. Especially after he took a pot from Hellmuth. However, Hellmuth was able to take it right back. Faris was then eliminated by Chris Vitch’s ten-eight against his ten-nine. The next player to be eliminated was Rep Porter. He was outdrawn and eliminated in 4th by Jake Schwartz. Shortly after, Chris Vitch was knocked out in 3rd by Hellmuth’s nine-eight.
Hellmuth lost some chips when he called a big bet from Schwartz who consequently beat him with nine-eight against Phil’s ten high. However, the future 16-tie WSOP champion fought back and pressured Schwartz by snatching pots of all sizes. The battle culminated when Hellmuth went all-in and Schwartz called. Hellmuth beat him with a nine-eight against his pair of fours.
Here are the 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|
There is no doubt that winning this bracelet has been a great relief for Phil Hellmuth. It was his first bracelet in the lowball format and this victory is a result of years of preparation. Here is what Hellmuth had to say about his most recent win:
“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.”
Hellmuth also recognizes that taking control over his mindset played a huge role in his victory. After all, Phil Hellmuth is known for his temper and tilts.
“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. 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.”
Moreover, Phil stressed the importance of “reading” people at the poker tables, which is one of his main strengths.
“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.”
It is fair to say that most of the poker community is happy for Phil Hellmuth. He continues to win titles and impress us with his skills. It is also great to see him develop in a more cold-headed player, as he starts to recognize that in many cases his temper gets the best of him and prevents him from winning big tournaments.