The Poker Brat binked his first event of the year. While many players headed down under to play in the Aussie Millions, Hellmuth flew to the New Jersey coast to play cards. Wait, what was Hellmuth doing playing at a $1,500 event at the Borgata in freezing January? Was he really slumming in Atlantic City?
First of all, the Borgata is the swankiest casino in Atlantic City and has been since its inception. The poker room is no joke and the staff ranks among the best in the business. The Borgata hosts seasonal series that take place in their massive convention and conference area. They kick off the new calendar year with the Borgata Winter Poker Open, which includes a stop on the World Poker Tour.
This year's incarnation of the Winter Poker Open began on January 15 and runs until February 1 with 23 events. The $3,500 buy-in Main Event is already underway. The WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open has a $3 million guarantee. It's also a re-entry event.
WPO Event #16 attracted 64 players. The total collected prize pool was $96K, but the prize pool was closer to $93K. Only the top eight places paid out with most of the cash going to the champion.
Olivier Busquet made it to the final four, but he failed to reach the finals. Busquet lost to Joey Cappello heads-up in the semifinals. Cappello went on to face Hellmuth, but settled on second place.
Cappello banked $18,624 for second place. Hellmuth complimented Cappello and said he played "amazing." Capella also beat the two Alex to make it the finals. He sent Alex Rocha and Alex Queen packing in previous rounds.
Hellmuth defeated Stevie Sarmiento in the semifinals to face Cappelo. In the quarterfinals, Travis Greenawaltt had Hellmuth on the ropes, but Greenwaltt could not put away the Poker Brat. Hellmuth rallied after being down 26K to 4K.
Last summer, Helllmuth won his fifteenth WSOP bracelet. He shipped bracelet #15 with a win in $5K NL for a $458K score. With a shade under $23 million, Helmuth is currently #17 overall on the all-time money list (according to Hendon Mob). He's #14 on the USA money list.
Fedor Holz, John Juanda, and Daniel Negreanu are the only non-Americans ahead of Hellmuth. Although Brits Stevie Chidwick and Sam Trickett are right behind Hellmuth with $21M. Badzman is currently #21 overall with $20.8 million.
Justin Bonomo is the all-time leader with slightly under $44 million. Kid Poker is second with $39.8M and Erik Seidel is third with $34.7M.