You can either hate him or love him. He has upset a lot of players in the past and shows little will to change his attitude at the tables. But despite being a somewhat cocky player, Phil Hellmuth is adored by many for his extravagant game play and solid performance throughout every tournament. He is often recognized as the player who won’t sit still for too long and instead just toy around, perhaps tease his opponents.
Phil Hellmuth was born in Madison, Wisconsin with four brothers and sisters. He spent most of his time going to school, doing homework and other study related tasks. After graduating from elementary school, Phil went to the University of Wisconsin, which was the place where he initially started playing cash game poker at low stakes. His fascination for poker was obvious; Phil participated in tournaments and duels several times per week. He perfected his skills and managed to climb from low stakes to higher stakes and joined tournaments with $100 buy-in fees. He even played against his professors who would try to beat him morally, but young Phil was sharp and made sure that would never happen. He managed to clear all his student loan debts and had a bankroll exceeding $20,000 before graduation.
Knowing this, he went to Vegas to seek luck like so many others. Unfortunately, the real world of gambling became a lot more difficult than he expected. He stayed there for a few weeks but lost all of his money in backgammon, craps and other casino games. His determination to push his skills to an extent was bigger than his fascination for poker, so he went back to school and built up a bankroll bigger than last time.
Phil returned to Vegas with boosted confidence and was determined to break through. This time he managed to undo his previous mistakes and built up a much higher bankroll. The success pushed him into becoming a professional poker player. Phil sent in the necessary papers to quit school for good and commence with his newborn dreams. Unfortunately, things turned for the worse. Phil’s confidence plummeted after his parents’ disapproval of becoming a fulltime gambler. He went on struggling, however, and entered the World Series of Poker where he finished at fifth place in the 7 Card Stud tournament. In 1988, Phil approached the main WSOP event (No Limit Texas Hold’em) with a more serious approach and climbed to 33rd position.
The success at WSOP was all that young Phil Hellmuth needed. He was ready to head for the final table and prove that he is a real champion. In 1989, Phil wrote history at the main WSOP event after defeating defending poker world champion Johnny Chan in an astonishing heads-up final. The victory also put him in the World Series of Poker hall of fame as the youngest poker player ever winning a WSOP event to that date. On top of that, Phil was observed by his father who watched him play from table to table, until the end. The two reunited before the final table and Phil’s father finally accepted his son’s accomplishments.
Since 1989, Phil has added a total of nine WSOP bracelets and stayed in the money over 50 times (and counting). Today, Phil lives a happy and successful life with his wife and two kids in California. Besides playing poker, Phil endorses Ultimate Bet and participates in various online activities to let everyone get a chance to play the professional.
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