Early Monday morning, Phil Hellmuth broke his own World Series of Poker bracelet record by winning Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz at the 2012 World Series of Poker, and capturing his 12th WSOP bracelet.
"It feels incredible. I've been grinding so hard," Hellmuth told PokerNews' Lynn Gilmartin shortly after his victory.
Phil Hellmuth's WSOP Victories
|May 1989||$10,000 No-Limit Hold'em World Championship|
|May 1992||$5,000 Limit Hold'em|
|April 1993||$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em|
|May 1993||$2,500 No-Limit Hold'em|
|May 1993||$5,000 Limit Hold'em|
|May 1997||$3,000 Hold'em Pot-Limit|
|April 2001||$2,000 No-Limit Hold'em|
|April 2003||$2,500 Limit Hold'em|
|May 2003||$3,000 No-Limit Hold'em|
|July 2006||$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em|
|June 2007||$1,500 No Limit Hold'em|
|June 2012||$2,500 Seven Card Razz|
The record-setting win had been five years in the making. Hellmuth's last taste of victory at the WSOP came almost exactly five years ago — June 9, 2007 — but that doesn't mean he wasn't trying. At the 2011 WSOP, Hellmuth had three brushes with history, only for it to fall just out of his grasp; he finished second on three separate occasions.
"Fear set in a couple of times. When he made a nice run, I was like, 'oh my God, not again,' and I said, 'no, eliminate all negative thoughts and just focus on playing great,'" Hellmuth said when asked about his run at the 2011 WSOP.
Hellmuth's 12th bracelet is his first in a non-hold'em variant. He currently sits alone at the top of the bracelet leaderboard. Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan sit just below him on the list with 10. Arguably, no one is gunning for Hellmuth's record more than Phil Ivey, who has eight bracelets. On Sunday, Ivey had the opportunity to add another piece of hardware to his collection, but finished in second-place to Andy Frankenberger in Event #17: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em.
When asked about Ivey's second place finish, Hellmuth said, "I've been where he is right now. Second I hate....It was a big swing in the bracelet race too I guess, because if I don't win and he does wins, it's 11 to nine, and if I win and he doesn't win, it's 12 to eight, and I know he wants to race me to 25."
Hellmuth's wife and son, Phillip, were on hand to celebrate the victory with him. Phillip had the opportunity to present his father with the bracelet. "I told my wife, 'fly Phillip in,' this morning I said, 'fly him in I have the chip lead. I think if he's here I might just win it.' To have him come here, it means so much to me as a father."
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