Poker Superstar is First Player to Win 11 Gold Bracelets If Doyle Brunson is poker’s Babe Ruth, Phil Hellmuth, Jr. just became its Hank Aaron.
Phil Hellmuth surpassed Brunson and fellow poker legend Johnny Chan to become the first player in history to capture 11 coveted World Series of Poker gold bracelets last night at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Hellmuth reached the milestone upon winning a three-day, $1,500 No-Limit Texas Hold’em event at the 38th Annual World Series of Poker presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light.
Brunson and Chan, with 10 bracelets each, were on hand Monday night to present Hellmuth with the record 11th bracelet.
“This is the one I really wanted,” Hellmuth said in a post-tournament press conference. “I have so much respect for Doyle and Johnny. To now be at the top of the all-time (WSOP wins) list is really about as good a feeling as I have ever had.”
“Poker players everywhere measure themselves against each other by how many WSOP bracelets they have,” said World Series of Poker Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack. “Now, all WSOP bracelet holders must measure themselves against Phil Hellmuth. He is a true sports champion and we are proud that he is part of the WSOP family.”
The record-setting victory marked the largest number of opponents Hellmuth has ever defeated in a tournament. When Hellmuth won the final hand Monday at 7:55 p.m. PDT, he had bested a field of 2,628 participants.
Each of Hellmuth’s 11 bracelets came from victories in No-Limit Texas Hold’em events. His most celebrated victory prior to Monday night was his first – at the 1989 World Series of Poker $10,000 No-Limit Texas Hold’em Championship, commonly referred to as the Main Event.
Hellmuth won three bracelets in a single year – 1993 – and won his 10th WSOP title last year, after trailing rivals Brunson and Chan for more than two years.
With a total of 55 events on this year’s WSOP schedule, Brunson and Chan have ample opportunity to retake a share of the record. Both men plan to play several more tournaments this year, including the Main Event.
Luxury Swiss watchmaker Corum designed and manufactured all 55 bracelets being awarded at the 38th Annual World Series of Poker presented by Milwaukee’s Best Light.