Phil Hellmuth is still looking for Bracelet #15 at this year’s World Series of Poker.
WSOP 2016 hasn’t gone as well as expected for Hellmuth, and the record-holding 14-time bracelet winner has yet to put himself in contention for another one this summer.
There’s still plenty of time to score number 15, but as we approach the midway point of the series, the Poker Brat is far from happy with his play. He even expressed some displeasure on Saturday.
“Very frustrating busting last night in $10,000 @WSOP Limit Hold’em. But it’s worse when you’re playing great and you bust on Day 2!,” he posted on Twitter.
Hellmuth didn’t even cash in Event #28, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em championship, and has only cashed twice so far this summer. After busting in that tournament, he hopped into Event #29, the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em as a late entry. That didn’t go well either, so he entered Event #30, the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha.
Phil made it through Day One with 32,800 chips, but that’s less than half of the average stack. There are 119 players remaining and he sits in 93rd place when play restarts today at 2 pm PT. He’ll have some work to do just to score his third cash of the summer, let alone win his 15th bracelet, but as we all know in poker, anything can happen.
Daniel Negreanu will also be coming back for Day Two, but with a healthier stack. He has 59,100 chips, putting him in the 63rd spot at start of play. Kid Poker has been up and down so far this year at the 2016 WSOP. At least he’s had more success than Hellmuth, having finished 4th in Event #13, but remains stuck on six career bracelets as of now.
In fact, Negreanu hasn’t won a bracelet since 2013, and that was in a WSOP Europe event. His last bracelet in Las Vegas came way back in 2008. For Hellmuth and Negreanu, winning bracelets is more important than to most. To some, it’s all about the money. But to these legendary pros, bling solidifies their legacies.
Both players, of course, have already achieved some immortality by being inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame: Hellmuth in 2007 and Negreanu in 2014.
Negreanu and Hellmuth have combined for 20 career WSOP titles. Michael Gagliano, after Saturday’s action at the Rio in Las Vegas, has one. He earned that by outlasting a field of 1,045 players in Event #25, the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em.
Gagliano’s victory wasn’t a fluke like some bracelet winners. His poker career, albeit without previously winning a bracelet, was already impressive. The New Jersey resident won $448,463 on Saturday and has now surpassed the $1.3 million mark in career live tournament earnings.
Darryll Fish finished 8th but was probably disappointed in the final outcome, despite winning $42,405. Fish is one of those top poker players who has just never won a bracelet. He’s cashed 30 times in his WSOP career, but can’t quite get over the hump, somehow. He did, however, win a Circuit event at Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida last year.
Many consider limit hold’em a more skillful game than no-limit, despite the significant difference in popularity. Winning Event #28, the $10,000 Limit Hold’em, would be a dream come true for any serious poker player.
On Sunday, 10 players will come back to the Rio to compete for the bracelet in this difficult event. That includes David Chiu and Brian Rast, both of whom are fan favorites. And Ian Johns will be chasing his second bracelet of the summer. He’ll start the final day second in chips.
Sunday also marks the start of Event #31, $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold’em which is open to those 65+, and Event #32, $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low/8 or Better. Both tournaments should be entertaining to follow, and with the older players among us, à la Pierre Neuville and others, proving they still have game this year, we’re hoping to have some interesting moments to report tomorrow.