The most decorated World Series of Poker player of all time and the most recent WSOP Main Event champion came close to adding to their legacies this week, but close will have to satisfy them, as both fell just short of titles. Phil Hellmuth finished second in the €25,500 Mixed Games Championship and Hossein Ensan came in third in the €25,500 Platinum High Roller event at the World Series of Poker Europe.
Event #10: €25,500 Mixed Games Championship
Phil Hellmuth has 15 World Series of Poker bracelets, fifty percent more than his closest competitors, Phil Ivey and Doyle Brunson. It is a record that is not likely to be broken unless Ivey can make a run. Hellmuth doesn’t need any more bracelets, but he certainly wants more.
And he repeatedly puts himself in position to do it each and every year. Going into the final table of the Mixed Games Championship at the WSOP Europe, Hellmuth was third in chips, but miles away from the leader Besim Hot. Hot had more than twice the chips of the second place player and almost three times as many as Hellmuth.
After knocking out fellow Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu in sixth place, though, Hellmuth had almost pulled even with Hot. Shortly thereafter, Hellmuth took the lead.
Naturally, the two of them ended up heads-up, Hot starting with the lead, 24.075 million chips to 20.925 million. Hot stayed…hot…and never let Hellmuth get close, gradually pulling away. On the final hand in Pot-Limit Omaha, the two men got it all-in after the flop of Tc-9h-9c. Hot had Qc-Js-9s-7h for trips and straight draws, while Hellmuth also had trips with Ah-9d-4h-3c. Hellmuth was in the lead with the Ace kicker.
The Jc on the turn give Hot a full house and with the 4c on the river, he locked up the hand and his first WSOP gold bracelet. It was Hellmuth’s 11th runner-up finish.
Event #8: €25,500 Platinum High Roller No-Limit Hold’em
And then there was Hossein Ensan, a guy who most people hadn’t heard of before July, going into the final table of the Platinum High Roller second in chips. It looked like it was his and Kahle Burns’ tournament to lose, as Burns had 33.650 million chips and Ensan had 22 million. The closest competitor had just 9.650 million.
It wasn’t Ensan who got to heads-up with Burns, but rather Sam Trickett, who entered one-on-one play with 33.600 million chips to Burns’ 49.400 million. Ensan would have to be content with €251,837 ($280,331) to go along with his $10 million for winning the WSOP Main Event this summer.
Trickett quickly took the lead, but it flipped back just as quickly to Burns and then back to Trickett. The deciding hand of the match came when the two players were nearly even. Before the flop, all the chips got into the pot, Burns with Queens and Trickett with A-Q. The Queens held and Trickett was down to just 2 million chips. He was out on the very next hand, giving Burns the victory.