Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Helmuth - The WSOP Bracelet Battle
Some people say that the measure of a professional poker player is not the amount of money that they win but the number of World Series of Poker gold bracelets that they own.
The highly coveted gold bracelet is a given to the winner of each event in this world renowned annual poker series.
Winning one of these prized gold bracelets is an achievement in itself for many professional poker players. Amazingly there are three legendary poker players who have been having an ongoing battle over the years to see which one of them can win the WSOP gold bracelets throughout their career. These poker players are Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Helmuth.
Each of these three poker legends were tied with ten World Series of Poker gold bracelets apiece, until earlier this year when Phil Helmuth was awarded his eleventh bracelet during the 2007 World Series of Poker.
Up until 2006 the bracelets were extremely large and bulky, and because of that they were hard to wear. This year, the designers of the World Series of poker bracelets, decided that they wanted to create a more elegant styled bracelet. The bracelets are made from solid 18 karat gold, with the preliminary events bracelets being made from yellow gold, and the main event bracelet being made from white gold. The main event’s bracelet has 136 grams of gold, while the other bracelets have 84 grams of gold. The major difference between the main event and preliminary events bracelet is that the main event bracelet has 120 hand set diamonds which spell out the word poker and a line above and below the word.
The competition to have the most World Series of Poker gold bracelets, is a friendly one amongst the players. When Phil Helmuth broke the tie by winning his 11th gold bracelet in the $1500 No Limit Hold’em preliminary event, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson both presented him with his bracelet (seen in the picture above).
Phil Helmuth was awarded his first gold bracelet in 1989 when he won the $10,000 No Limit Hold”em World Championship. He was awarded another one in 1992. The following year Helmuth had won three more bracelets. Another bracelet became his in 1997 and then again in 2001. Two more World Series of Poker gold bracelets went home with him in 2003 and one more in 2006 and 2007.
Doyle Brunson won six of his World Series of poker gold bracelets in the 1970s. In 1976 and 1977, Doyle Brunson won the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship poker main event. These main even to wins were back to back. Just like Johnny Chan’s wins 11 years later. Brunson also won two more gold bracelets in 1977, and one each in 1978 and 1979. In 1991, 1998, 2003 and 2005 Doyle Brunson added four more gold bracelets to his collection.
Johnny Chan, took his first gold bracelet in 1985. He then won the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship Main Event, back to back in 1987 and 1988. Johnny Chan’s poker playing skills won him seven more bracelets in 1994, 1997, 2000, 2002, two in 2003 and one in 2005.
The friendly rivalry that exists between these legendary world-class poker players will continue as long as they each are still playing poker.