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 Top 10 Stories of 2011: #9, Second Place Goes to — Phil Hellmuth

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PostSubject: Top 10 Stories of 2011: #9, Second Place Goes to — Phil Hellmuth    Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:12 am

Top 10 Stories of 2011: #9, Second Place Goes to — Phil Hellmuth

If you were to tell any poker player in the world that they would amass $1.65 million in tournament prize money next year, they would ask to sign the dotted line — immediately. Well, in 2011, Phil Hellmuth did just that, making it the most profitable year of his career. Still, the self-proclaimed “Poker Brat” would probably trade every penny he’s made this past year for one simple thing.
A win.
Hellmuth painstakingly finished runner-up in three World Series of Poker events this summer, finished third and second in the Epic Poker League Event #2 Pro/Am and the Epic Poker League Event #2 Charity Event respectively, and bubbled the final table of the World Series of Poker Europe €2,500 Six Max tournament. To add insult to injury, Hellmuth finished runner-up in the WSOP Player of the Year race, scoring 145 fewer points than the eventual winner, Ben Lamb.
Close Calls (by date of occurrence)
Event Finish Prize
WSOP $10,000 No-Limit Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball World Championship 2nd $226,907
WSOP $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship 2nd $273,233
WSOP $50,000 Poker Player’s Championship 8-Game 2nd $1,063,034
EPL Event 2 $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Pro-Am 3rd $20,000
EPL Event 2 $200 No-Limit Hold’em Charity Event 2nd $1,500
WSOPE €2,500 Six Max No-Limit Hold’em 7th $32,305
*Stats provided by the Hendon Mob database
Hellmuth’s first close call was understandable — John Juanda is arguably the best deuce-to-seven player in the world. In fact, fellow pro Daniel Negreanu tweeted during the match that, “Watching Juanda/Hellmuth doesn’t seem like a fair fight. If PH [Phil Hellmuth] wins this I’ll be both uber impressed/shocked.”
Negreanu’s analysis was spot on. Despite entering heads-up play as a 3:1 favorite, Hellmuth crumbled against Juanda, and was denied his 12th WSOP bracelet for the first of three times at the 2011 WSOP.
In the final hand, Hellmuth moved all-in with the button and Juanda called. Juanda drew one card while Hellmuth stood pat with . Juanda tabled , and squeezed out the for a winning jack-eight low.

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