Hellmuth ousted from World Series of Poker

11-time bracelet winner was last ex-champ remaining, finishes 45th

Las Vegas – Phil Hellmuth was eliminated from the World Series of Poker main event on Sunday, ensuring that the no-limit Texas Hold ’em tournament will see a new person crowned champion in November.

Hellmuth, who won the main event in 1989 and has won a record 11 events at the world series, pushed in his last 405,000 chips on Sunday with an ace and a queen and found himself against the jacks of New York poker player Andrew Rosskamm.

Hellmuth, who was a slight underdog in the hand, had an ace-high flush draw after the turn, the fourth community card. But a two of spades fell on the river, and Hellmuth was eliminated in 45th place. He won USD 154,400.

“I never win a coin flip at the world series,” said Hellmuth, the last remaining main event winner in the tournament field. “And I don’t play coin flips because I’m the best.”

“That’s the first time I’ve been (all-in) in like two days,” Hellmuth said.

Play started Sunday with 79 players remaining from a starting field of 6,844 players. Four hours into play, 35 rounders had been eliminated. Tournament spokesman Seth Palansky said the field would be whittled down to 27 by the end of the day.

On Monday, the 27 remaining entrants would play down to the final nine. A champion won’t be crowned until November, as the tournament planned to take a four month break before playing the final table.

The title was worth USD 9.12 million, and the top eight players will win at least USD 1.28 million. Players paid USD 10,000 to enter the tournament.

Hellmuth spent much of his day short-stacked at his table, but was able to get up to 1.6 million in chips within the first hour of play.

Hellmuth complained that each time he picked up a hand, an opponent who should have folded earlier hit a larger hand once the community cards came out.

“Really scary stuff, but I’m not giving up,” he said.

Hellmuth, nicknamed “Poker Brat,” met with tournament director Jack Effel and commissioner Jeffrey Pollack before play began Sunday after he blew up at another player for calling Hellmuth’s raise with a bad starting hand.

Hellmuth was assessed a one-orbit penalty, meaning he would have had to sit out play Sunday for the first round of action around the table. But tournament officials decided the penalty was too excessive and gave Hellmuth a warning instead.

“In this instance, the punishment did not fit the crime,” Pollack said. “Phil has now been warned and put on notice in a way that he has never been.”