He may not be a tremendous fan of the World Series of Poker Player of the Year formula, but Phil Hellmuth certainly did his darndest to finish atop this year’s POY rankings. It doesn’t look like he will pull it off, but “The Poker Brat” has etched his name into the record books once again, making seven final tables, the most in WSOP history for a single Series.

The previous record was set by An Tran back in 1993, well before most of us probably knew anything about poker (I wasn’t even old enough to play in European casinos yet). Tran made six final tables that year.

It is probably a bittersweet record for Hellmuth. Of everyone in the poker world, he likely enjoys being the “best” more than anybody, so setting another record is more validation for him. And he did win one bracelet, extending his own world record to 16 total pieces of WSOP hardware (Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson are tied for a distant second with ten each). But at the same time, he only won a single bracelet in seven trips to the final table, which might gnaw at him.

And he came in second THREE times! That’s amazing! But kind of like the Buffalo Bills, who got to the Super Bowl four times in a row and never won, coming up short repeatedly might hurt more than had he not gotten that far at all. Of course, the difference between Hellmuth and the Bills is that again, he has won 16 WSOP titles, including one this year.

Here is the list of Phil Hellmuth’s final table appearances at the 2021 WSOP, in chronological order:

$25,000 H.O.R.S.E. – 2nd place
$10,000 Omaha Hi Lo Championship – 5th place
$10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship – 4th place
$1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw – 1st place
$10,000 Dealers Choice Championship – 2nd place
$10,000 Razz Championship – 8th place
$50,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller – 2nd place

But as we mentioned, he is probably not going to be the 2021 World Series of Poker Player of the Year. That title looks like it will go Josh Arieh, who won two bracelets this year and cashed 11 times overall.

According to the WSOP’s official Twitter account today, Arieh extended his points lead Sunday night and is now the only player with over 4,000 points, accumulating 4,194.59. Hellmuth has 3,664.09, while Daniel Negreanu has made a late charge and is up to 3,531.03. Hellmuth tweeted a little while ago that he could still overtake Arieh if he wins the $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold’em event, but it looks like that was based on Arieh’s total before the latest update, so he may or may not have a chance at this point.

Image credit: PokerGO.com

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