Phil Hellmuth got his first win in a non-WSOP event since 2019 this week by taking down Event #5 at the US Poker Open.
The $10,000 PokerGo event took place between March 28 and 29 at the Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas. 88 players anted up, including Hellmuth.
The self-styled Poker Brat had already taken 12th in Event #3 at the US Poker Open for $18,600, so expectations were high heading into Event #5 on Tuesday.
Phil Hellmuth gets 71st win at US Poker Open
Those expectations were more than met as Hellmuth put on an impressive display against a tough final table. Starting the session fourth in chips, he used his “reading abilities” to take the lead within a few rounds of play.
He never looked back from that point. Even in the face of pressure from 2023 PSPC Warm-Up champion Jesse Lonis and winner of multiple PokerGo events, Jeremy Ausmus, Hellmuth dodged enough bullets to get it done.
US Poker Open Event #5 result
- Phil Hellmuth – $211,200
- Jeremy Ausmus – $149,600
- Jesse Lonis – $105,600
- George Wolff – $88,000
- Aram Oganyan – $70,400
- Allan Le – $52,800
- Darren Elias – $44,000
- David Stamm – $35,200
- Cherish Andrews – $35,200
The final hand saw Hellmuth get a cheap flop from the big blind with 6♣ 2♣ after Ausmus limped from the button with Q♣ 10♦. Hellmuth checked in the dark, and the board ran out 10♣5♣ 4♣.
Ausmus bet the flop and Hellmuth raised. Ausmus responded with re-raise and Hellmuth moved all-in. Ausmus called but, despite having clubs as outs, his hand was dead on the turn after the 3♣ gave Hellmuth a straight flush.
The 2♥ brought the hand to a conclusion and, with that, Hellmuth had all the chips. Not only did he have all the chips, he had his first US Poker Open title.
That’s an achievement in itself, as is the $211,200 prize that went along with the US Poker Open title. But what’s most notable about Hellmuth’s 71st tournament win is that it didn’t take place at the WSOP.
Phil Hellmuth wins again (and it wasn’t a WSOP event)
One of the main criticisms people tend to make about Hellmuth is that he’s no longer capable of winning live events against the best players. His style of play is perfectly suited to large-field events filled with recreational players, such as those at the WSOP.
However, when it comes to battling with the elite in $10,000+ events hosted by PokerGo, the WPT, and other organizations, he doesn’t perform as well. In fact, as the record books show, his last win in an open event was in 2019.
On that occasion, Hellmuth topped a field of 64 entrants in the $1,590 WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open heads-up event. He has tasted victory since then, but only in specific situations.
In addition to winning invite-only matches on High Stakes Duel, he picked up a record-setting 16th WSOP bracelet in 2021. Beating a tough field at the US Poker Open is an altogether different feat, so for that Hellmuth has proved his doubters wrong.
Hellmuth was as gracious and self-confident as ever in his exit interview with PokerGo’s reporters.
“I have this thing called reading ability. And a lot of the younger generation doesn’t understand that. They see me make these plays and they’re like, that’s a bad play. But if you know they can’t call, then I feel like it’s a great play. Sometimes they don’t give me enough credit, so it’s kind of nice [to win],” said Phil Hellmuth.