Phil Hellmuth is a 57-year-old poker pro from the United States. He’s known for holding multiple records related to the World Series of Poker.
He’s also known for his showmanship and inability to take defeat, which has earned him the moniker of ‘Poker Brat’, as well as a streak of wins that’s seen him take home over $15 million in career winnings. While considered the greatest poker player in the industry, he can also be a polarizing topic for many.
Phil Hellmuth Age, Date of Birth, Birthday, Family, Where is he from? Early Life
Phill Hellmuth was born on July 16, 1964, in Madison, Wisconsin. Like many other poker pros, Hellmuth showed an early affinity for bending the rules and pursuing a divergent life path.
After three years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he headed to Las Vegas to pursue a full-time career in professional poker.
Phil Hellmuth Early Career in Vegas
Along with residencies from pop stars and major fights, Vegas is the home of gaming in the US. After a relatively short period of learning the ropes in Vegas, Hellmuth made his grand entrance into the world of professional poker at a major 1988 competition. He notched a money finish for a seven-card stud, in 33rd place.
By the next year, Hellmuth had improved exponentially. In the same 1989 competition, he finished in first place in the World Series of Poker main event at age 24. Before the record was broken by Joe Cada in 2009 at age 21, Hellmuth was one of several record-holders to have held a WSOP bracelet.
‘The Poker Brat’
Early on in his career, Hellmuth made it clear that he’d be a flashy, daring player compared to other conservative pros. Though many have critiqued his showboating tendencies, his talent backs it up; today, Hellmuth holds the record for the most WSOP bracelets, with a total of sixteen.
However, Hellmuth also has an undeniable streak of acting out after a bad beat (a tough loss in poker language). Some of his more notable moments were arriving at a major tournament dressed like a superhero, with a bandwagon of adoring ladies. He also threatened to leave the show Poker After Dark after other players poked fun at him, which was regarded as highly dramatic by producers.
Once again, Hellmuth’s results at the poker table have meant his more cringe-worthy antics are treated (by some) as a facet of his genius. However, even his style of play (covered below) is viewed by some pros and pundits as bothersome.
He’s posted near-consecutive WSOP wins throughout his career, starting in 1989 and ending with this year’s $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw tournament. For comparison’s sake, no other poker player has managed to take home 10 WSOP bracelets, while Hellmuth notched his 15th earlier this year.
Phil Hellmuth Net worth, how much does he earn?
As mentioned above, Hellmuth has earned over $15 million throughout his career from major tournaments alone (which number over 50). Given his larger-than-life personality, he’s also a major player in poker productions, like Poker After Dark, and big-name sponsorships.
His net worth is estimated at $20 million.
Phil Hellmuth Wife, What about his relationship? Personal Life
Hellmuth proposed to his wife, Katherine Sanborn, shortly after taking home his first WSOP bracelet in 1989. The pair had originally met while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Though he built his career in Vegas, Hellmuth now lives with his wife in Palo Alto, California. His wife, Katherine Sanborn, is a psychiatrist at Stanford University.
Style of Play
As mentioned above, Hellmuth’s style of play differs from many other contemporaries that share his level of success. Typically, they wager conservatively, while incorporating plenty of mathematics into their decision-making process.
Hellmuth is regarded as a tight-aggressive player, which means some of his tactics are based on which cards other players are likely to have.
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He then seeks to exploit his competitors. Like his personality, this approach can be divisive for many, as it’s regarded as unsportsmanlike by certain groups.
For example, if he has a strong hand, he might play as though he has a weak hand in order to encourage other players to believe they have a winning chance. This is referred to as ‘trapping’, which has an obviously negative connotation.