Phil Hellmuth broke his own World Series of Poker bracelet record and became the first player to win both World Series of Poker Main Events by claiming the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event title on Friday.
Hellmuth played brilliant poker throughout the tournament and was uncharacteristically loose on the final table.
The Poker Brat was involved in a constant running battle with Sergii Baranov and the pair traded the chip lead several times during the final day of the tournament.
However, Hellmuth managed to gain control and took the chip lead into the final table, where he needed less than half an hour to finish Baranov off and claim his record breaking World Series of Poker bracelet.
Hellmuth claimed the tournament was the best he had ever played in his storied career and put his amazing 2012 down to a renewed focus.
“I’m really trying to keep my head down the last couple of years. You start reading the press, and you start listening to people. They want your autograph every day, pictures and stuff like that, and then you start to think, ‘alright I’m kinda cool.’ But you have to ignore all of that. You have to keep your head in the game. [Daniel] Negreanu was criticizing me for a couple of years, and he was right. My head wasn’t where it was supposed to be,” Hellmuth said in a post-tournament interview.
Hellmuth was delighted to hear he had claimed the lead in the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year standings and said he would love to hang onto his lead and win the award that has eluded him.
“He [Greg Merson] has to win! You know what, if he does it, just more power to him. I heard he’s a fantastic player with a lot of talent. I think it’s going to be a fun sweat,” Hellmuth said.
“I finished second in player of the year in 2007 and second in player of the year in 2011. At least this year I have the lead going in; last year I was about two points behind Ben Lamb and so he didn’t have to do anything. I finished seventh when I need to finish sixth to put a little heat on him. I am kind of sick of finishing second in player of the year so it would be really nice to have that.”
You can follow all the action in the World Series of Poker Final Table at Poker.Com and see whether Hellmuth can hold on to the 2012 Player of the year lead.