17th WSOP Bracelet Won by Phil Hellmuth at One-Day Event.
Event #72 was the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty. The one-day event drew a field of 642 players and created a prize pool of $4 million. This event awarded $3,000 to every opponent a player eliminated in addition to the standard prize pool.
Turbo and Super Turbo events have gained popularity in recent years due to the ability to complete a bracelet event in one to two days. This was a one-day event with 15-minute levels but still drew a star-studded field due to the $10k price tag.
The event’s final table had all of the poker world watching as it included both Phil Hellmuth and Phil Ivey. Hellmuth is the all-time leader in bracelets, with 16 at the event’s start. Ivey is tied for second with 10.
Ivey’s run at the final table was short-lived. Running low on chips, he shoved with Kd-10d and ran into the pocket aces of Hellmuth. The aces held, and Hellmuth was in good shape to make a run for his 17th bracelet.
Eventually, it was Hellmuth facing Justin Zaki for the title. Hellmuth held a slight lead at the start of heads-up play, and it didn’t take long to crown a champion. On the first hand, Zaki shoved on a flop of Kc-8s-4s holding 6s-7s for a gutshot straight flush draw. Hellmuth snap-called with 8c-4h and two pair.
The turn was the 4d to give Hellmuth a full house, and Zaki was left drawing to a single out. The river fell the Ks, and Hellmuth had his record-extending 17th gold bracelet.
Bracelet Win Comes After a String of Near-Misses at 2023 WSOP
Hellmuth’s victory couldn’t have come at a better time for the Poker Hall of Famer. Coming into the event, Hellmuth had ten cashes at the 2023 WSOP but no final tables. Hellmuth finished 11th in the $10k Secret Bounty and $10k H.O.R.S.E. but had struggled compared to prior years.
However, this did not deter Hellmuth in his quest for #17. Speaking with PokerNews shortly after winning his bracelet, he said that “everything happens for a reason” and that perhaps his busting in a PLO event earlier that day meant he was destined to win the Super Turbo.
This was Hellmuth’s first bracelet win since 2021, when he won the $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw event. Of his 17 bracelets, 14 have been in Hold’em events. Until 2012, Hellmuth had been considered a Hold’em specialist only, but since then, he has won two Razz events in addition to his 2-7 Draw title.
After winning the event, Hellmuth celebrated at the ARIA in Las Vegas. However, we will likely see Hellmuth back at the WSOP in short order. If he holds true to past form, the next few events could be very lucrative for the now 17-time WSOP champion.
In 2021, after winning his 16th bracelet, he immediately finished runner-up in a $10k Dealer’s Choice Championship Event and made two other final tables to close out the series. Does that mean Hellmuth will go on a heater for the remainder of the 2023 WSOP? Will he make a deep run in the 2023 WSOP Main Event? Time will tell.
Jason Mercier Wins 6th Bracelet
Last Friday, Jason Mercier became the latest pro to expand his bracelet collection. He won the $1,500 NL 2-7 Lowball Draw Event to claim his sixth career bracelet. The victory comes seven years after his previous victory.
One of the reasons it took so long for Mercier to win his seventh bracelet is that he largely walked away from poker in 2017 to focus on his family. His first son was born at the time, and his priorities changed. Mercier now has three kids and does not appear to have lost a step in his game.
During his time “away” from poker, Mercier still played, but in a limited capacity in Florida. He still had several big scores, including a win in a $50k Super High Roller at the Seminole Hard Rock Open in 2019.
Mercier largely returned to poker last summer, making a final table in the $50k PLO High Roller at the 2022 WSOP. Earlier this year, Mercier took down the $25k 10-Game Championship at the 2023 PGT Mixed Games series in Las Vegas.
Jason Mercier has been one of the most feared players in the poker world, and this recent bracelet victory shows he can still compete at a high level. It will be interesting to see what he can accomplish now that he is refocused on poker.