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Hellmuth, who owns a World Series of Poker best 11 career individual event championship gold bracelets, was runner-up to tournament veteran John Juanda in the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship at the Rio.
Juanda, who earned his fifth career victory gold bracelet, collected $367,170 after beating a field of 126 players.
A native of Medan, North Sumatra in Indonesia, Juanda moved to the United States in 1990 to attend Oklahoma State University where he earned his degree. He later earned an MBA at Seattle University and was a salesman before pursuing poker full-time.
In his first five years at the World Series of Poker, Juanda reached 16 final tables and won three gold bracelets. Prior to Sunday morning, Juanda’s last victory in Las Vegas came in 2003 in a Pot Limit Omaha event.
Juanda’s victory landed him with seven other players who have won five gold bracelets; the late Stu Ungar, Berry Johnston, 2000 World Series of Poker champion Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Ted Forrest, Jeffrey Lisandro, Allen Cunningham, “Bones” Berland, and 1998 Main Event winner Scotty Nguyen.
For Hellmuth, who won the World Series of Poker’s Main Event in 1989 at the age of 24, second place marked his World Series of Poker all-time best 80th career cash. The $226,907 he won for second place pushed Hellmuth’s career World Series of Poker earnings to more than $6.4 million.
Hellmuth was hoping for the 12th bracelet — his 11th came in 2007 – to give him a littler more distance between Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, who each own 10 gold bracelets.
Hellmuth congratulated Juanda after the final hand, shaking his hand and saying, "Well played buddy. Well played.”
But the disappointment was evident. This morning on Twitter around 4 a.m., Hellmuth posted, “Couldn't sleep, took pajamas off, walked downstairs to ‘High Roller’ bar at Aria Hotel, drinking 4th glass of 25 yr old Macallan Scotch...”
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