Born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1964, Phil Hellmuth is as big as they come in the world of professional poker. Yes, his 11 WSOP bracelets have something to do with the reputation this man has built for himself seemingly effortlessly, but serious poker players know that reaching the final tables so many times over is not luck by chance.
His WSOP satellite bracelets can be readily reckoned to be more than a figure won by any other player, but Phil’s pro career also includes a win in a main event in 1989. So far, Phil has been present at more than 20 final tables of the WSOP competitions and his prize money from these events has crossed 4 millions dollars!
Phil is married and lives with his wife in Palo Alto. They have two sons. His kind of music to tune into on a regular day is ’80s and ’90s style rock and roll.
His life outside poker tables includes celebrity television show hosting, like in 2006, when Phil replaced flavor of the season Phil Gordon on the Celebrity Poker Showdown program and won lots more fans to his credit because of his down to earth presentation manner and lively wit. Of course, his moniker of ‘The Poker Brat’ didn’t really show itself in a poor light on the show because thankfully his temper tantrums were only limited to the poker tables, not television.
Yes, it is true that the ‘poker brat’ Phil Hellmuth did get into a temper and show it too in plays where his opponents would outdraw on him!
However, his phenomenal WSOP innings across 19 years of pro poker play always seem to draw the attention away from such occasional outbursts that are considered a part and parcel of talented player personalities simply living themselves out. For someone who dropped out of college in pursuit of a pro online poker tournaments career in 1988 and earned a 5th position in 7 Card Stud in the High-Lo segment of that year’s tournament, it wasn’t a bad start to better things to come, say his friends.
The next year, Phil won the main event – he was only 24 years old at the time, which made him one of the youngest players in the history of pro poker to achieve this rank. To Phil’s credit, he is counted among the 3 top players in poker history to have won 3 gold bracelets in one year and another feather in his cap is that he holds the record for 3 consecutive WSOP wins across 3 days running (April 26-28, 1993).
Thus, it is no surprise that Phill Hellmuth has turned his family name into one that is associated with pro poker as nothing short of a brand identity for bona fide player recognition, much like the aura of Michael Jordan in pro basketball! Phil Hellmuth’s attitude of “I expect great things to happen to me,” is a perspective that competitors feel brings him opportunities to live out his destiny and is the reason for his figuring 5 times in the top 10 finishes during various World Poker Tour events.
His caustic table image notwithstanding, Phill Hellmuth’s track record of $9,000,000+ in lifetime winnings from various tournament earnings, not to mention successful endorsement deals, poker books and merchandise campaigns has made him one of the prominent faces in professional poker today.