Phil Hellmuth Jr. is the greatest player to ever play the game, winning an unprecedented 13 world championships at the World Series of Poker, including his latest wins in July, 2012, and October 2012, when he won the coveted WSOP Europe title in Cannes, France.
Hellmuth holds the world record for both most cash finishes at the WSOP (100) and most WSOP final tables (49). Of his 49 final tables, 20 are in non Hold-’em games such as 2-7 Lowball, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Razz, Pot Limit Omaha, and H.O.R.S.E. Of those 20 non Hold-’em events, Hellmuth has finished runner-up 5 times. His live tournament winnings exceed $17,400,000.
In 1989, 24 year-old Phil Hellmuth became the youngest person ever to win the World Series of Poker Main Event by defeating two time defending champion Johnny Chan. Phil’s record as the youngest champ stood for nearly 20 years.
In 1993, Hellmuth set another record by winning 3 bracelets as well as a 2nd place finish all in the same year. He recorded three heartbreaking second place finishes in the 2011 Series in No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, and the $50,000 buy-in mixed game H.O.R.S.E. In 2012, he made the final table of the “One Drop One Million Dollar Buy-In” at the WSOP.
His has won WSOP championships in 1989, 1992, 1993 (3), 1997, 2001, 2003 (2), 2006, 2007, and 2012 (2).
The Poker Brat
Known as the “Poker Brat” for his always colorful and competitive personality, Phil Hellmuth has won Player of the Year honors, the NBC Heads-Up Championships, the European Poker Championships, and over 50 other major tournaments. In 2007 he was elected to the Poker Hall of Fame.
Phil is an entrepreneur with a publishing company, clothing company (PokerBrat.com), real estate company and casino games company. He also makes public appearances and gives inspirational speeches. His book Play Poker Like The Pro’s was a New York Times bestseller and his mobile game Hellmuth’s Hold ‘Em was downloaded 1.35 million times around the world.
Phil appears regularly as a player and analyst on NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN and GSN and was the host of Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown.
For 15 years Hellmuth has written an internationally syndicated newspaper column titled Hand of the Week that chronicles great poker hands he has participated in and witnessed during his years as a pro.
Phil Hellmuth is regarded by fellow players as a veteran of the game with a heart of gold. He frequently supports aging players and players in need.
Phil has chaired and emceed poker charity events that have raised over $20.4 million for charity. He is a longstanding poker tournament host and emcee for fundraising galas sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Eva Longoria’s “Eva’s Heroes” event, which raises money to enrich the lives of people with special needs, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Ante Up For Africa, and Shimon Peres’ Peace Thru Sports Foundation. In 2010, Phil visited US troops in the Middle East on a USO Tour.
Phil and his wife actively give to Heifer International, an organization that benefits developing villages in the world’s poorest countries with livestock, poultry and grain: He would like you to visit them at: HeiferInternational.org.
Phil Hellmuth Jr. grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the oldest of 5 children in a Catholic family to Phil Hellmuth, Sr., a dean at the University of Wisconsin, and Lynn Hellmuth, a sculptor. At Blessed Sacrament elementary, he was best friends with his classmate, comedian Chris Farley.
Phil Jr. begin playing cards with his family and first learned Texas Hold ‘Em at the UW student union. His most spirited games were against his grandmother, Agnes Slattery, to whom he dedicated his Harper Collins book Play Poker Like the Pro’s.
Phil Hellmuth attended the University of Wisconsin for three years, dropping out after winning decent money in local poker games. He traveled to Las Vegas 10 times before winning at the tables, and he often returned to Madison to build a bankroll by working as a field laborer for Blaine Farms de-tassling corn and tilling soil.
Hellmuth chronicles his challenges breaking into the game in his book Deal Me In: The World’s Top 20 Poker Players Tell How They Turned Pro, available at PokerBrat.com.
Hellmuth’s 1989 story has been written as a screenplay and is being developed as a major motion picture by Beacon Pictures.
Phil lives in California with his wife of 22 years, Kathy, and their two sons, Phillip III and Nicholas.
Phil’s goal is simple: “I want to be the greatest poker player of all-time. But one who always puts family first.”