Phil Hellmouth

phil-hellmuth-300x269Phillip ‘Phil’ Hellmouth Jr., still known to many as ‘The Poker Brat’, despite turning 55 in 2019, was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He went to college locally, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before dropping out to focus on his poker activities. In the World Series of Poker (WSOP), Hellmouth earned his first cash as long ago as 1988, when he finished fifth in a Seven-Card Stud Split event at Binion’s, Las Vegas. However, the following year, at the age of 24, he won the WSOP $10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship at the same venue, making him, at the time, the youngest player to do so.

That record was beaten by Peter ‘Icegate’ Eastgate, aged 22, in 2008 and again, by Joe ‘The Kid’ Cada, aged 21, the following year, but Hellmouth still holds several WSOP records, including the most WSOP bracelets (15) and the most cashes (137). His victory in the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2012 also made him the only player ever to win the WSOP Main Event and the WSOPE Main Event. Hellmuth was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2007 and currently lies nineteenth in the all-time money list, with just shy of $23 million in live earnings.

For all his success in Texas hold’em and other poker variants, Hellmuth is still prone to foul-mouthed temper tantrums, particularly after a bad beat, and fully deserves his derogatory nickname. He was widely criticised for launching a verbal assault on James Campbell at the 2018 WSOP Main Event, simply because Campbell re-raised, all-in, after – at the time, unbeknown to Hellmuth – flopping a flush draw. As it turned out, Hellmuth folded, but Campbell failed to make his flush and lost the hand to the third player in the hand, Alex Kuzmin.

John Juanda

john-juandaJohnson Juanda, usually known as ‘John’ or by his nicknames, ‘J.J.’ or ‘Luckbox’, was born in Indonesia, but has resided in the United States since 1990 and is currently based in Marina del Rey, California. He currently lies fourteenth in the all-time money list, with $25.2 million in total live earnings.

Since turning professional in 1997, Juanda has won five World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelets in poker variants including Texas hold’em, Omaha hold’em, stud and draw lowball, a European Poker Tour (EPT) title and numerous other tournaments worldwide. Indeed, he won his last tournament, a Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event in Budva, Montenegro – for which he collected HK$4,720,000, or $601,358 – as recently as May, 2019. His biggest payout, though, came in another event in the same series in Macau in 2017, when he claimed the first prize of HK$22,410,400, or $2,870,092, by defeating Fedor Holz heads-up.

Juanda, who turned 48 in July, 2019, has a reputation as a conservative, low-profile player and a man of few words; in fact, he is known, in some quarters, as the ‘Silent Assassin’. Nevertheless, he is one of the most successful and consistent players, online and live, of the last twenty years or so and was, quite rightly, inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in Las Vegas in 2015. Fellow professional Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu, who introduced Juanda at the Hall of Fame ceremony at Binion’s, once called him ‘the most underrated and neglected superstar’ in poker.