The 2019 World Series of Poker (WSOP) awarded a total of 90 gold bracelets and handed out more than $200 million in prizes to winners. The 50th edition of the festival set new records and gave plenty of opportunities for players to win huge sums of cash and get their hands on a coveted WSOP gold bracelet.
One of the poker pros who took advantage of the 2019 WSOP and its line-up of exciting events was Phil Hui, who triumphed in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship which is considered among the most difficult events to win in the series. Hui claimed a career-best payout of $1,099,311 and now has his name permanently engraved on the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy.
The San Antonio native also cashed in nine other WSOP events and made it to three other final tables. Hui now has two WSOP bracelets, four gold Circuit rings and almost $3 million in total live earnings. He recently shared how his poker journey after he made the decision of switching over from professional golf to professional poker.
How It Started
Phil Hui was a professional golfer before transitioning into a full-time poker player. He started by playing cash games with his peers while on tour. While the two sports are very different, Hui said he had a pretty easy transition as he and his golfer friends would play poker on the side during tours. The game initially was just a hobby for him but eventually led to him pursuing a professional poker career.
Hui’s first recorded tournament result took place a decade ago in 2009 when he played on the WSOP Circuit. In 2010, he managed to capture his first ever Circuit ring after taking down a no-limit hold’em event in Lake Tahoe, plus $25,494 as top prize. From there, he hasn’t stopped chasing his dream of winning top poker events.
Hui’s Poker Accomplishments
He won two Circuit rings in 2013, in Cherokee and Atlantic City. The following year, he emerged victorious in a no-limit hold’em event in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure where he won $14,660; during the same year, he was able to claim his third Circuit ring at the WSOP Circuit in Philadelphia. It was then followed by a major victory at the 45th WSOP in Las Vegas where he took down a $3,000 Omaha Hi/Lo event for $286,976. In November 2014, he also placed 7th in an event in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Montreal for $66,003.
This year has been a good one for Hui who has had several deep runs in different tournaments, including the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, WSOP Circuit – Coconut Creek, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and the WSOP. Hui is a well-rounded player, owing to his passion for learning to play different formats, such as pot-limit Omaha 8 or better and H.O.R.S.E.
Learning Should Never Stop
Hui is a great player at mixed games and believes he got good by constantly grinding and practicing. He played as many hands as possible and moved up when he felt comfortable to do so. Hui revealed he was able to improve his skills through self-study, constant practice and observation. The American poker pro would watch poker videos on PokerGO, and studied the playing styles of some of the world’s finest poker players, including Shaun Deeb and Phil Ivey.
Hui considers his $50K PPC victory as a dream-come-true, saying that he’d rather choose to win it over the Main Event. During an interview, Hui said that while the Main Event offered the largest prize, the PPC allowed him to compete against some of poker’s best who are also well-versed in every format.
Hui entered the final table of the $50K PPC third in chips, but he maneuvered his way to the top and engaged in a long heads-up battle against Josh Arieh which ended in him being crowned the winner. Among his opponents were Deeb, Ivey, and three-time PPC winner Michael Mizrachi.
Chasing POY Title
Hui’s impressive results has placed him in the top five of the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year race. The poker pro said winning the POY title has always been his goal. Robert Campbell currently holds the top spot in the race, followed by 2018 Player of the Year Shaun Deeb in second place, and Daniel Negreanu in third place. Hui is behind Dan Zack who is ranked fourth.
Hui can still climb his way to the top of the leaderboard if he scores big at the WSOP Europe which is scheduled to take place during October 15 – November 4, 2019.

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