BRACELET RACE: Phil Hellmuth Sets the Bar a Little Higher With #14

Phil Hellmuth was the first of the five players BLUFF is tracking in the bracelet to race to cash and win a bracelet in one fell swoop. (Lance Bradley photo)

Phil Hellmuth was the first of the five players BLUFF is tracking in the bracelet to race to cash and win a bracelet in one fell swoop. (Lance Bradley photo)

It had been more than two-and-a-half years since Phil Hellmuth had lifted a World Series of Poker bracelet in the air triumphantly, and in that time Phil Ivey made the race as interesting as it’s been in nearly a decade with a pair of WSOP victories of his own.

While Ivey was tied with two legends in Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan, they’ve both been a rare sight at the Rio while bracelet bets and a strong sense of competition made Ivey a far more dangerous pursuer. When Ivey decided to take a good chunk of the summer off from the Vegas grind, he left the door open for Hellmuth to gain ground – and that’s exactly what happened.

With his victory in the $10,000 Razz Championship, Hellmuth got a little bit of breathing room from the recently charging Ivey, putting four bracelets between himself and the pack of Ivey, Chan and Brunson. He also earned his first WSOP cash of the summer, as well as the first cash any of the five players BLUFF has been tracking in Bracelet Race – although Erik Seidel technically earned that honor in that same tournament when he finished 11th.

Both Hellmuth and Seidel earned a second cash within a couple of days of their first; Seidel finished 18th in the $10,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Championship, while Hellmuth took 31st place in the $1,500 HORSE.

They weren’t the only ones to post results, either. On the same day that both Hellmuth and Seidel earned their first WSOP cashes of the summer, Daniel Negreanu made the money in the $3,000 Six Max Limit Hold’em, where he eventually finished 25th. It’s been something of a rough summer so far for Negreanu, as that’s been his only cash so far; he’s bagged chips at the end of the night six times, but only one of those saw him put more than 100,000 in that bag.

He’s been far more active in the last couple of weeks than he was at the start, which is more than can be said for Ivey or Vanessa Selbst. After making a cameo appearance in the Colossus event, Selbst finally returned to play a pair of events in the last few days.

She struck out in the $5,000 Eight Max, but Selbst kicked off the Monster Stack strong by bagging 81,000 on Day 1. It only got better in the early stages of Day 2.

As for the elusive Mr. Ivey, there’s been no official word from him or his camp, but the prevailing wisdom is that he’ll be out in Las Vegas by the time the $50,000 Poker Players Championship kicks off on June 21st. Whenever he does get back to playing for bracelets, he’ll have one more to make up than he did when the summer began.

Unofficial Stats Through 17 Events

Player Events Entered Day 2’s Day 3’s Final Tables Winnings Buy-ins
Phil Hellmuth 11 5 2 1 $276,443 $42,565
Erik Seidel 6 3 2 0 $53,538 $26,500
Daniel Negreanu 15 6 0 0 0 $79,500
Vanessa Selbst 3 1 0 0 0 $7,065
Phil Ivey 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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