Phillip Jerome Hellmuth, Junior, was born in Madison, Wisconsin on July 16th 1964. He was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but dropped out after three years to play full-time poker. Phil, as he is commonly referred to, is known for his temperamental personality; he is easily ticked off, especially during intense poker games. As a result, he picked up the nickname “Poker Brat”. In spite of Hellmuth’s personality traits, he is a family man, living with his wife and two sons in Palo Alto, California.
Hellmuth discovered poker when he was still a university student, and decided to drop out and focus on the sport. He shocked many by winning his first title in 1989, at the young age of 24 years; little did they know that he was only just beginning his winning streak.
As he became more popular in the poker scene, his personality began to stand out more and more. He became well-known for his outbursts during matches, to the point of belittling his opponents and engaging in physical fights after a bad beat. However, he has managed to keep his temper in check, somewhat, and has subsequently won numerous titles in the sport.
In 1989, Hellmuth won his first bracelet in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, earning him a total of 755,000 US dollars, after beating the two-time champion at the time, Johnny Chan. This was the first win of the thirteen bracelets that he currently has to his name.
Among these bracelets, eleven of them are from the Texas Hold’Em tournament. Hellmuth is one of the major names that have been making money at poker; he has earned millions of dollars from the different tournaments that he has participated in, most of which he has won. From his success, he has been voted as the world’s best poker player severally.
Aside from playing professional poker, Hellmuth has appeared in a cash game show called High Stakes Poker, and was a part of it for three seasons; he also commentated on a poker game show called Bravo’s Celebrity Poker Showdown and was a host on The Best Damn Poker Show. Hellmuth has also created an autobiography and some poker tutorials in video form, on top of writing four books based on the sport.
Most of Hellmuth’s fame is a result of his enviable poker skills and the titles that he has subsequently won. He is also a popular name across the globe for his appearances on different television shows and the books that he has authored. However, not all of his fame is from a positive light; some people know him for his outbursts of anger and the fights that he has been involved in on television. In one instance, Hellmuth went physical with Sam Grizzle, but none of them got injured. He has also had a number of verbal altercations with his opponents, but has managed to stay relevant and on top of his game in the poker arena. Despite all this, Hellmuth is still celebrated for his contribution to world poker.