Phil Hellmuth Jr., "The Poker Brat" was born in 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin. His mother is a sculptor, his father is the Dean of the University of Wisconsin. He is the oldest of his five siblings. He was given his nickname because of his temperament, his competitiveness and also due to his colourful, yet full of contradictions personality. He began his poker career after dropping out of the University of Wisconsin after 3 years of studies. He already played in Las Vegas about ten times when he could win a tournament. Meanwhile, he had been working as a farm labourer to make ends meet. He scored his first major victory in 1988, when he secured the fifth place in the seven-card stud high-low tournament.
His family was initially not willing to accept his decision, but after he took them for too many free trips to places that they chose, their initial disapproval was soon replaced by pride. With his 11 WSOP bracelets, many people consider Phil Hellmuth to be the best Hold’em player in the world - in 1996, he was voted the world's best No Limit Hold'em tournament player. In 1993, he set an incredible record: in three days, he secured three world championship victories.
In 1989, at age 24, Hellmuth was the youngest player who won the world championship title, beating the former champion, Johnny Chan, and for 19 years he was the youngest champion. When he achieved this memorable victory, his father was also invited to the WSOP and he joyfully started rushing towards him in the poker room, but the security guards stopped him as a million dollars in cash were lying on the poker table. By Phil's request, however, security service let his father through, and they happily re-united. Each time he wins a WSOP bracelet, he dedicates it to a member of his family: father, mother, wife, sisters, brother, sons or best friends.
Phil Hellmuth is known as a real bad boy in poker circles. He admitted it himself that the truth is that when someone tries to cross him, he can be really unpleasant. Many think that he is one of the most colourful personalities among professional tournament poker players. One of his major strengths is that he constantly changes his playing style, so it is difficult to know him. He always knows when to switch gears. His personality is also inconsistent: sometimes he criticizes his opponents, and sometimes falls out of his chair when not winning. In addition, he has a huge ego.
In addition to poker revenues, he has another income of around $400 million a year from other sources. He wrote three poker books and also wrote his poker advice studded autobiography, launched a special sunglass series with Oakley, they also work together on a clothing product development, he developed his own mobile phone game, he has his own training video, and there is a chip set distributed on the market, bearing his name. The "Celebrity Poker Showdown" programme asked him to be a poker television commentator. In addition, his plans include making a film about himself, the "Madison Kid" and also a reality show, "Winner Takes All".
Phil Hellmuth is a professional player, usually plays high-stakes tournaments. He lives in Palo Alto, California, with his Stanford University psychiatrist wife, Kathy and two children. One of his famous sayings: "If there was no luck in poker, I would win every tournament." In 2007, Phil Hellmuth was added to the Poker Hall of Fame.
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