Phil Hellmuth is one of the world's most famous poker pros, both for his skill in tournament poker and his colorful – what some would call rude – conduct at the poker table. Nicknamed "The Poker Brat", Hellmuth is certainly must see TV when he's seated at a poker table.
Phil Hellmuth Jr. was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and was the eldest of five children. His father, Phil Hellmuth Sr. was a dean at the University of Wisconsin and his mother, Lynn Hellmuth was an artist.
Phil began playing cards with family and friends as a young boy, but his love for the game began to develop while he was a student at the University of Wisconsin. He began to win large sums of money from local poker games and dropped out of university after three years. Phil continued to play locally and travel to Las Vegas, where he was not an immediate success. After going broke on nearly a dozen trips to Vegas and rebuilding his bankroll doing farm work, he finally started to have success.
As far as tournament poker is concerned there are few players who have a better track record than Phil Hellmuth. He holds the world record for most World Series of Poker tournament cashes with 95 and has almost made it to the most final tables. He holds a world record with 13 WSOP bracelets, including a WSOP Main Event win in 1989. At the time, Phil was the youngest player to win a WSOP Main Event, a record that would stand for 20 years until Peter Eastgate broke it in 2008. He holds a record number of WSOP bracelets with 13. His most recent win was a main event win in the World Series of Poker Europe, making him the first player to win both the WSOP and WSOPE Main Events. In addition to his WSOP cashes and wins, Phil has won a variety of different tournaments and has over $17.4 million in career tournament winnings.
Phil's skill as a cash game player is often questioned by other poker professionals, as well as his table manners. He often berates opponents for poor play and gets quite animated when he loses on a bad beat. He most famously said after being knocked out of the 2004 WSOP, "If there was no luck involved, I would win every time".
Phil was once the brand ambassador for the now defunct UltimateBet online poker room. He also has published several books, invested in real estate and owns a casino gaming company. His mannerisms and nickname also helped spawn his clothing line, Poker Brat. Phil is also a philanthropist that is involved with many different charities. To date, his poker charity events have raised over $20 million for a number of different charities.
He currently resides in Palo Alto, California with his wife Katherine and his two children Phillip III and Nicholas.