Poker is a gentlemen’s game. Whether you are a gracious loser or a humble winner, Poker etiquette is important in all corners of the world. Unfortunately, not everyone receives this memo and, what’s worse is that some of those people are professionals. Becoming a professional poker player takes a long time, with a lot of practice, so you would think that everyone at the top of the game would have some respect for it. Some players are notorious for having these moments, especially Phil ‘The Poker Brat’ Hellmuth, who we will no doubt see appear on this list.
The issue with Poker etiquette is that few rules surround it. If you want to be rude you can, there’s nothing about the rules of the game that stop you. Let’s be honest though being known as ‘The Poker Brat’ isn’t the best image for a professional.
When a Poker player is exceptionally rude in a tournament, there are two opinions – it’s either funny or rude. Ultimately they’re all rude, but sometimes it’s easier to laugh than cry at the attitudes of some of the players. Here’s a list of some of the rudest moments in modern-day professional Poker.
In 2015, at the World Series of Poker Main Event, there was a rather large heated incident. The WSOP Main Event is the biggest global stage of Poker, the entire gambling industry is watching. The Main Event is where players can win millions of dollars, so it’s understandable why many players become passionate.
A rather memorable moment, especially for Joe McKeehan, was when Justin Schwartz came at him with a mouthful of verbal abuse. On the 7th seventh day of the Main Event, Schwartz and McKeehan alongside Alexander Turyansky were in a game together. With the hole cards a 2, 3 and 6, McKeehan had a favorable hand of two 6s (Schwartz with two 3s and Turyansky with two Queens). Schwartz held out for the call, where McKeehan turned over his two sixes cards and claimed victory.
Schwartz reacted very badly, first announcing that McKeehan was the “most disgusting human being ever” before delivering multiple ‘F-bombs’. Daniel Negreanu, who Schwartz had a spat with earlier that day was grinning in the background before Schwartz went on to announce that ‘he doesn’t do handshakes’ – possibly one of the rudest remarks to make in Poker!
Antanas Guoga, also known as ‘Tony G’ in the Poker world, is without a doubt a must-mention on this list. His character is dominant at any table, he’s loud and abrasive, but you can always rely on him to put on a great show – win or lose.
This particular account of Tony G is when he played against the Russian, Ralph Perry. As soon as the hand is was dealt, Tony G is claiming claims that Perry has a weak hand, predicting his every move, call or raise but in the same breath calling the clock. The rude and abrasive actions are dominating the hand, but it is only after all the river cards are revealed, that Tony G shows his true colours.
The first thing he does after he wins is stand up and yell “Come on, Russian, get out! It’s time to go.” Bouncing around the table, looking at Perry’s hand telling him “You are a professional player, and I can do this to you. You are a terrible player, this is disgraceful.” You can watch the video here, but it’s a tad cringe to watch!
The ‘Poker Brat’ has had far too many accounts of ‘blowing up’ at Poker tournaments to count. Whether he’s angry at the cards he’s been dealt, the tournament itself or his competitors, Phil Hellmuth always finds something or someone to blame for his defeats.
Our personal favorite is his blow out on Season One of Poker After Dark. Shawn Sheikhan, Gus Hansen, Huck Seed, Annie Duke, Steve Zolotow and Hellmuth all sit around the table. It’s time for Hellmuth to make a decision, and he’s thinking. The others around the table are talking, which is where the issues start for Hellmuth.
After demanding that Sheikhan ‘shut up’, Hellmuth is taunted by Seed, saying the words “Please shut up so I can talk.” The table erupts with laughter and Hellmuth’s toys fly out of their pram. There are multiple ‘F-bombs’ as well as threats to walk off the show, demanding there should be consequences for talking during important moments of someone’s turn. The whole fiasco is intense, with everyone laughing and having fun whilst Hellmuth is not in the mood for jokes. We couldn’t help but laugh along too!
Of course, there are many times the Hellmuth has lost his rag, too many to count. Let us know your biggest favourite bust-up in Poker history in the comments below. although we think we’ll be sticking to some calmer games such as Roulette. Find the best roulette odds from PP and spin the wheel in a calm and more relaxing atmosphere environment.