October 17, 2021
After four final tables and a lot of frustration at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), Phil Hellmuth finally won his record-extending bracelet No. 16 in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw. The win marks the sixteenth WSOP title for Hellmuth, whose incredible WSOP career includes 157 cashes and a breakout victory in the 1989 Main Event that made him the youngest champion in history at the time.
This is Hellmuth’s first WSOP gold bracelet in a deuce-to-seven poker game and his third in a non-Hold’em variation. The popular lowball variant drew a star-laden field of 272 runners and generated a prize pool of $363,120 that paid $84,851 to Hellmuth for the win.
The win represents a breakthrough in the frustration that has followed Hellmuth in his pursuit of a 16th bracelet. He has reached seven final tables since his last win in 2018, four of which have come at the 2021 WSOP in $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.(6th), $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better (5th), and the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event(4th.)
Hellmuth’s tournament run was not without problems, and he found himself on the brink of elimination at points throughout Day 1. The nature of no-limit 2-7 lowball draw lends itself to a lot of swings, and Hellmuth weathered them to finish Day 1 with a healthy chip stack.
The turning point came on Day 2 as Hellmuth continued to weather the breaks in the early going. The low point came early in Day 2 when Rok Gostiga turned over a nine-eight that left Hellmuth steaming with a handful of big blinds. The tide soon turned and Hellmuth dominated the later stages of Day 2, going on a red-hot run to bag over a million chips and the second biggest chip stack of the final ten players for the Day 3 finale.
Event #31 Final Table Results
Final Table Action
The final eight players combined to the main stage table quickly after Jason Papastavrou was eliminated in 10th place and Ryan Riess bowed out in ninth. Dario Sammartino had the chip lead going into final table action and Kevin Gerhart was the short stack.
Gerhart quickly fell to Rep Porter’s eight-six when he drew to a seven-six but came up with a ten. Jason Lipiner wasn’t far behind in seventh after calling down an eight-seven from Joshua Faris before being eliminated by and his seven-five just a few hands later.
Sammartino could not convert his final table chip lead into his first bracelet and he finished in sixth place after he shoved and ran into Porter’s perfect wheel.
Faris looked like he was gaining momentum in final-five play when he took a pot from Hellmuth that had the 15-time WSOP champion steamed. Hellmuth came right back and took it back before Faris was ousted when his ten-nine fell to the ten-eight of Chris Vitch.
Porter came into Day 3 as the chip leader but his run ended in fourth place when he made a pair of fives and was outdrawn by Jake Schwartz. Vitch went out in third a short time after, having won a few big pots at the final table but not enough to get through the nine-eight of Hellmuth.
Hellmuth faltered early in heads-up play when he called down a big bet from Schwartz, who turned over nine-eight to beat Hellmuth’s ten high. The now 16-time champion fought back and flipped the chip counts when Schwartz bet big and then folded to Hellmuth’s post-draw shove.
Hellmuth went to work and kept the pressure on Schwartz, pulling in pots of all sizes until he had the young pro on the ropes. The big moment came when Hellmuth shoved and Schwartz called. Hellmuth made a nine-eight to beat Schwartz’s pair of fours.
Phil Hellmuth’s WSOP Bracelet Wins
$10,000 WSOP Main Event
Event #8: $5,000 Limit Hold’em
Event #7: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #8: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #9: $5,000 Limit Hold’em
Event #15: $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em
Event #3: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #12: $2,500 Limit Hold’em
Event #32: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #34: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
Event #15: $1,500 No Limit Hold’em
Event #18: $2,500 Seven Card Razz
WSOPE €10,000 Main Event
Event #17: $10,000 Razz Championship
Event #71: $5,000 No Limit Hold’em
Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw
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