Phil Hellmuth at the 2021 WSOP with another rant

Shells

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As Phil Hellmuth has been known for his 'rants' over the years, it seems he has taken them to far. While Phil was at the final table of the wsop 10k Stud Championship aiming to add a 16th WSOP bracelet to his collection, he unloaded a boatload of F-bombs (directed mainly at Anthony Rizzo, the eventual winner of the bracelet) and included threats of burning down the casino.

It's not a question IF Phil should be penalized but how?

Details are found in the article below.

Phil Hellmuth Unloads Profanity-Laden Tirade, Threats of Violence at WSOP Final Table
 
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zipocool

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It is unlikely that Phil will be seriously punished, he is too famous, so the organizers are unlikely to apply sanctions to him, besides, he always performs in this style and many are already used to it
 
millya5

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Yes, Phil really has his own style of play ... he is on his own waveScreenshot 18 .........
 
Shells

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I have yet to find any information on any penalties issued to Phil, regarding this latest incident. I know he has apologized for past rants and he has had some penalties but when someone is a repeat offender, doesn't the penalty increase and at least ring home why the penalty is issued? I really like Phil but this part of him is let to slide far too often from what I can tell.
 
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fundiver199

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Its certainly a case of dubble standards, since many less famous players have received harsh penalties for offenses smaller than those committed by Phil Helmuth over the years.
 
Debi

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Looks like he is vowing to try to do better going forward - time will tell.
 
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The Long Shot

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Threatening/abusive behavior has no place at a poker table - if you're trying to bully or intimidate another player in any way other than through your play, you should be dealt with the same way you would be in any other public forum: sanctions. The fact he's in a position of power from his status as a former champ, Vegas regular, TV star etc. just makes it stink all the worse.

F-bombs, though? Does anyone reel in shock when they hear bad language at a poker game, see soccer players cursing after a miss or listen to music with a 'parental advisory' sticker?

I don't think I've ever played in a poker game that was free from swearing. Swearing has a very useful function - it allows us 'violent' expression through something as simple, abstract and harmless as a noise.

Ever stubbed your toe? Feels better if you swear straight afterwards.

Ever lost to a 2-outer? Same deal. But rage at yourself, your lousy luck or the poker gods. Don't take it out on the human being who just did the exact thing you wanted them to do but got lucky this time.

You'd think he'd have been around long enough to be able to handle it. or maybe it's all just feeding the brand...

Just my 2c.
 
Shells

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F-bombs, though? Does anyone reel in shock when they hear bad language at a poker game, see soccer players cursing after a miss or listen to music with a 'parental advisory' sticker?

Just my 2c.


I'm not one to curse much at all but the 'F' bombs are heard all the time for various reasons in a poker game. In this case, the incident was the steady stream of 'F' bombs and including a comment to the effect of 'burning down the place'. To me that was a threat - likely an empty threat, given who it came from, but a threat nonetheless.

Just my 2.5 cents (Canadian) :)
 
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Alizona

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Anthony Zinno is seemingly one of the nicest gentlemen in all of poker and certainly does not deserve to be on the brunt end of foul-mouthed Phil.

But I've never really respected Phil for his personality. I respect his ability at poker, certainly, but he can be a real cad at the tables, a real jerk.

Ant Zinno, on the other hand, while he seems to have relaxed his dress code a bit over the years, he was usually the kind of person who would show up to play a Final Table in a suit-and-tie, he's a very classy person from all appearances. He's always stood out from all the other "riff raff" to me for this reason. I like Ant!! Very happy for him that he won another bracelet, and much respect for him doing it in a game he only recently became competent at.
 
Luvepoker

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I actually watched this run of f bombs on Pokergo. I was shocked by the fact he was never asked to calm down. He is one of the all time greats but that was disrespectful. I cant help but wonder what would have happened if it was Anthony Zinno doing this would he have been treated differently.
 
ObbleeXY

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I would have laughed out loud to hear him talk like that.
Can't believe nobody at the table said anything...and the Tournament Director? Not even a word? Basically they've lost hold of that. The next time someone gets sanctioned, they'll end up suing the casino using that footage as prejudical evidence.

Personally, I don't give a **** if people swear about a situtation....but swearing AT people requires immedate address. Calling someone oa mofo? On the line. Then schooling them n their play? If the TD won't shut him up, a fist or two should.

In terms of "bringing people to poker"...I prefer to avoid the whinging **** altogether. He's not good for poker. People who emulate that will cause the downfall of poker.

Cheers,
JT
 
franken222

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Surgically remove his voice box.

His brain in already been extricated.
 
franken222

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There are laws about physical violence (either threatened, or executed), and this type of behaviour should be reported to police for further action.

I actually believe that Helmuth is unstable enough to actually do harm, some day.
 
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I'm ambivalent about Helmuth because he obviously has a personality disorder(s). Vulgar at the table and yet said to be a kind and sweet guy off. Further, contrary to what people say he has never said the tantrums are an act.

My issue, as someone who thinks the industry promotes itself ineffectively (we were discussing women in the game yesterday) is that Phil Helmuth's behavior does nothing to enhance or attract people into the game - it does harm.

I speak as someone with no gambling background who fell into watching the EPT not so long ago. As a casual viewer when I first saw Helmuth's antics it gave me the impression poker was riddled with clowns who were allowed to act out.

Helmuth is one of the most recognized players both in and out of the game...so if the industry wants to grow, the idea that Helmuth has been allowed to present in this manner for years is absurd. People on the periphery of the game, let alone outside are not attracted to such personalities.

And, yeah, as I am now 'in' the game to some degree, I can even find him endearing at times. But can recall not so long ago when outside of the game finding him truly offensive.
 
johnnylawford

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He's just getting into character for his 2021 Halloween costume...

https://i.imgur.com/CB8kYAY.mp4
CB8kYAY.mp4

CB8kYAY
 
Phoenix Wright

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I actually watched this run of f bombs on Pokergo. I was shocked by the fact he was never asked to calm down. He is one of the all time greats but that was disrespectful. I cant help but wonder what would have happened if it was Anthony Zinno doing this would he have been treated differently.

The fact no one (e.g. WSOP staff/casino floor) intervened, or asked him to calm down (or a verbal warning at least etc.) highlights a justice problem for me. It seems like different rules apply to different people. If some no-name poker player in the event said half of those things, then I'm virtually certain they'd be kicked out, or at least severely punished.

I'm by no means excusing Hellmuth's poor sport behavior, but I don't believe it is entirely his fault either. You know why WSOP staff likely didn't intervene? It is "good for ratings" when Hellmuth gives his infamous "Poker Brat" behavior. Is this wrong? Yes! Of course it is! I don't think Hellmuth is 100% to blame though; WSOP staff (or more specifically producers/tv station management) can't egg on Hellmuth to act this way and then come down on him severely when he acts clearly out of line.

The cycle will probably continue until the root of the problem is addressed. The "justice" solution (in my opinion) would be that WSOP (and the casino hosting the event) define the rules AND punishments/penalties more distinctly (reading the current rules, there is too much room for bias and deciding what behavior is punishable and to what extent) AND enforce said rules. The "rulebook" is useless if not enforced.

I'm not suggesting a "swear jar" next to the pot where every offense requires the player in the wrong to contribute (although I'm curious to see what that would play out to...), but if ANYONE violates some rule of the game, or etiquette expected, then it should be clear what the penalty should be.

Hellmuth isn't the only one known to swear though. Even the "tranquilo" Daniel Negreanu uses a lot of f-bombs when he tilts. The variance and emotional rollercoaster of the game we can all relate to, but on top of that, these players at the top are competing for high stakes AND the pressure on all of these pros. It doesn't make this behavior right, but at least it is understandable to some extent ("some extent" being the key phrase needing to be defined better by rules enforced). An empty threat of burning down the casino is far past this line for sure.

From the few poker events I've seen (although perhaps these players aren't perfect either), Hellmuth should take notice of some class acts like Joe Hachem or Chris Ferguson. Say what one will, but I've seen these players handle similarly stressful situations with a lot more emotional control and restraint.

I'll be curiously keeping tabs on this thread to see what other cardschat members have to contribute (in response to the article as well as my perspective on it) :)
 
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The disappointment as the days pass by is the WSOP appears to have completely avoided the manner. The conclusion being somehow this represents some 'outlaw' image they think is good for the game? Or what?

The WSOP/Rio rules are clear -

Rio prohibits the use of obscene or foul language in any public area of the casino at any time. Any Participant who uses such language or makes a foul, profane, obscene or vulgar statement, or speaks abusively or in an intimidating manner to another Participant, a dealer or a WSOP Tournament staff member, will be penalized

The first penalty level is a verbal warning so I have no idea why the WSOP could not have penalized him in a nominal manner - though in truth I think most have had enough of it. And, as pointed out above Negreanu has been swearing heavily numerous times at the tables also. As I said, Helmuth has a personality disorder(s). When frustrated he over reacts. When relaxed he compulsively flatters himself and talks about money. But tens of millions have similar disorders and learn to self-discipline and function.

Helmuth acts this way because he can. If the WSOP had walked up to him after that episode (which looked manic) and had the fortitude to say 'Sorry Phil, that was too much, you're out of the WSOP 2021' I guarantee you Helmuth would be back meeker and milder in 2022.
 
magister1

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I usually find Phil's rants mildly amusing but this time it wasn't even remotely funny. He needs to get penalized for this kind of behavior at the very least.

That said, he just took down his 16th bracelet so grats to him. I don't know how he can keep a cool head with that temper and grind out the tourneys but he got another win and it sounds like he kept his composure for once.
 
hunterws

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I have yet to find any information on any penalties issued to Phil, regarding this latest incident. I know he has apologized for past rants and he has had some penalties but when someone is a repeat offender, doesn't the penalty increase and at least ring home why the penalty is issued? I really like Phil but this part of him is let to slide far too often from what I can tell.
Agreed. Grow up. He reminds me of that kid from middle school ... spoiled and never got his butt kicked, and needed it. heh

I wonder if at this point it's almost show / signature. *shrug*

If he does not receive penalty of some sort, it shows that the powers that impose on the players are either biased, paid off, or both.
 
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amazing

he is the greatest example of genius and crazy we all have a little bit
 
antonis32123

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He has to restrain himself from such runts and outbursts , or else his ''possitivity'' goes to hell .... He is an example for many , he ha to control himself more , he seeks for greatness and records , but he should respect more others , even donks , for his own shake , they do not punish him , but if he's not carefull , someday this ''luck'' might end and face consequences !!!
 
Maikychan

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Crazy and funny player.
 

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Recreationalplayer

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Typical Phil Hellmuth behavior. Its sad that he spoils the moment for eventual winner with his rant.
 
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Agreed. Grow up. He reminds me of that kid from middle school ... spoiled and never got his butt kicked, and needed it. heh

I wonder if at this point it's almost show / signature. *shrug*

If he does not receive penalty of some sort, it shows that the powers that impose on the players are either biased, paid off, or both.

Well, you might have a point.

Joe Stapleton on the pokerstars podcast argued it was not a 'net negative' though co-host James Hartigan argued otherwise.

Worse still was Remko Rinkema on PokerGo's podcast who made truly idiotic comments. Rinkema claimed (as a poker 'journalist') that poker was boring to watch, all people could remember was such blowups as they enjoyed them the most. and that poker should be more WWE. None of it said in a joking manner which made it cretinous.

Rinkema tried to walk some of it back (after a backlash) but then still said he is for more swearing and more shenanigins at the table. (by the by, I tried to link to this episode but it now appears missing from the PokerGo podcast archives -funny that)

I recently pointed out European Tour events receive millions of views over their You Tube streams with the final table of the main event hitting around a million views on its own. All without Phil Helmuth or a tantrum in sight. Apparently, the poker public is actually engaged in the game without it looking like Summer Slam.

And, just to underline the idiocy of this thinking, lets imagine the NFL or PGA allowing a twenty minute expletive filled rant on air with a star player repeatedly calling an opposing player m***** f***** and see how well that sat with the public.
 
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