For the first time since he won his 14th bracelet at the 2015 WSOP, Phil Hellmuth won a poker tournament. Hellmuth shipped the Remington! At the L.A. Poker Classic at Commerce Casino outside of Los Angeles, champions are awarded an expensive and heavy trophy cast by renown cowboy artist Frederic Remington. Hellmuth won $25K and the Remington for shipping a side event at the 2017 LAPC.
The field for LAPC Event #49 $1,100 Omaha Hi-Lo/Stud Hi-Lo was only 72 players deep. The final table included strong Omaha8 players such as Miami John Cernuto and Mike Matusow. Miami John busted in ninth and Matusow got himself into a heads-up battle with Hellmuth to determine the winner. Alas, the Mouth could not beat the Bully. When the dust settled, Matusow busted in second, and Hellmuth won the tournament and the Remington. Hellmuth also earned $25,200 for first place, but the guy who is #6 on the All-Time Money List wasn't really there for the money. Yeah, he was there to test out his new skills.
Phil Hellmuth normally does not travel to play in pre-WSOP events. He resides in Northern California and devotes his summers in Vegas to padding his WSOP stats, but he usually doesn't make cameos in preliminary side events at the L.A. Poker Classic. However, Hellmuth mentioned in an interview that he has been working on some new strategy with Brandon Cantu, and wanted to test it out in the real world. In baseball terms, this is Spring Training for Hellmuth.
Is this small win just a blip on the radar for Hellmuth? Or is he gonna make a legit run for a Omaha8 bracelet this summer in Vegas? Time will tell. Hellmuth is seeking bracelet #15 and this is his first tournament win since he shipped a bracelet in the summer of 2015. Three other pros have ten… Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson, and Phil Ivey… and Ivey appears to have the best shot at catching Hellmuth because he's way younger than both Chan and Texas Dolly. But if Hellmuth can win another one before another of the guys with 10, then he would have 5 more than the top three and nearly twice as many as the next crop of challengers.
2017 L.A. Poker Classic - O8/Stud8
1. Phil Hellmuth $25,200
2. Mike Matusow $14,400
3. George Rechnitzer $8,820
4. Douglas James $6,300
5. Muhammed Fathipour $4,860
6. John Ruggieri $3,780
7. Mihails Morozovs $3,240
8. Eugene Hong $2,880
9. Miami John Cernuto $2,520