LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Poker star Phil Hellmuth has again extended his World Series of Poker winning record among the card game's all-time greats and dedicated his latest victory to his friend, the late Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dave Goldberg.
Hellmuth won his 14th tournament bracelet early Tuesday morning, placing him four ahead of poker's other iconic winners Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. The gold bracelets, poker's version of a Super Bowl ring or Olympics medals, have been handed out to winners of the individual World Series of Poker events since the tournament's early beginnings in 1976.
Hellmuth, known as the "Poker Brat," has won more than anyone.
His win Tuesday in the $10,000 buy-in razz championship event added $271,105 to his lifetime World Series of Poker winnings, bringing the total to nearly $12.8 million. The razz event was a variation of seven-card stud poker where the lowest five-card hand wins. He outlasted 102 other entrants.
"I have a knack for that game," he said Tuesday by phone.
After nine days spent playing without cashing-out in any of the tournament's other events, he said he hit his stride after the unlucky streak, saying it was the best he had ever played.
"It just felt like I was very calm and I was seeing everything," he said.
The razz championship was just one of 68 events, all offering a chance at a golden bracelet prize, happening in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino throughout the 51-day World Series of Poker that started on May 27 and culminates with the closely watched Main Event.
Hellmuth won that event in 1989 as the youngest player to ever do so at the time at the age of 24 and has played every year since 1988. The now 50-year-old poker professional lives with his family in Palo Alto in California's Silicon Valley.
After winning the razz event Tuesday morning, the World Series of Poker reported that Hellmuth told the crowd gathered to see his win that he planned to give the bracelet to Goldberg's family. Goldberg died last month in a treadmill accident while he was on vacation in Mexico with his wife, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.
Hellmuth said he first met "Goldie" at the World Series of Poker several years ago and after, played poker together in Silicon Valley.
"You don't see Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that beloved," Hellmuth said. "He was just the nicest guy."