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Phil Hellmuth Wins Borgata Winter Poker Open Heads-Up Event

The 'Poker Brat' Captured His First Title Since Winning His Record 15th WSOP Bracelet


In recent years, Phil Hellmuth has cut back on his schedule of live poker tournaments played outside of the World Series of Poker. The all-time leader in WSOP bracelets had cashed in only one live tournament since winning his record-furthering 15th win at the series in the $5,000 turbo no-limit hold’em event on July 11, 2018.

Hellmuth broke the dry spell and got his 2019 off to a strong start by taking down the Borgata Winter Poker Open $1,590 no-limit hold’em heads-up event. The ‘Poker Brat’ defeated a field of 64 entries in the event to earn $37,248 and 144 Card Player Player of the Year points.

Hellmuth nearly didn’t make it to the finals. As reported on the Borgata Winter Poker Open blog, Hellmuth was tied 1-1, and down to just 3,700 to Ryan Hall, who had 26,300 at his high-point in the deciding match. Hellmuth was able to battle back from that huge deficit, however, to set up a final-round showdown with Joseph Cappello, whom had defeated World Poker Tour champion and online heads-up sit-n-go legend Olivier Busquet.

Hellmuth took the first match in the best-of-three showdown, getting all-in on a 10Heart Suit7Heart Suit5Spade Suit9Club Suit board with the 10Club Suit9Diamond Suit for two pair. Cappello had 10Diamond Suit6Heart Suit and was in need of help heading into the river. The 5Heart Suit secured the first match for Hellmuth.

The second match saw Cappello build a 2:1 lead before Hellmuth was able to mount a comeback. By the time the final hand arose Cappello was down to just a handful of big blinds. He moved all-in with the QHeart Suit7Heart Suit and Hellmuth called with the KHeart Suit9Club Suit. The board came down JDiamond SuitJClub Suit4Spade SuitASpade Suit3Club Suit and Hellmuth’s high card earned him the pot and the title. Cappello was awarded $18,624 as the second-place finisher.

Hellmuth took to Twitter to celebrate the win and the fact that he was able to take a break in between matches to enter day 1A of the World Poker Tour main event at the series and run up an 88,500 stack.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
Champion Phil Hellmuth $37,248 144
Finalist Joseph Cappello $18,624 120
Semi-Finalist Ryan Hall $9,312 84
Semi-Finalist Olivier Busquet $9,312 84
Quarter-Finalist Christopher O’Hara $4,656 0
Quarter-Finalist Steven Sarmiento $4,656 0
Quarter-Finalist Dylan Gang $4,656 0
Quarter-Finalist Michael Vela $4,656 0

Winner photo credit: Borgata Winter Poker Open Blog.