Adam Friedman Tilts Phil Hellmuth, Incites Blow-Up During WSOP $50K Players Championship

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The ticking time bomb named Phil Hellmuth finally exploded at the 2022 WSOP and this time, it was poker pro Adam Friedman who lit the fuse.

Phil Hellmuth Adam Freidman
Phil Hellmuth and Adam Friedman at the 2021 WSOP $10K Dealer’s Choice event where Friedman stopped Hellmuth from winning his 17th bracelet. (Image: PokerGO)

In Day 2 of the $50K Players Championship on Monday, Hellmuth got into an argument with Friedman, a five-time bracelet winner and one of the best mixed-game tournament players in the world. Friedman beat Hellmuth heads-up in the last’s years WSOP $10K Dealer’s Choice event.

Apparently, Hellmuth didn’t like Friedman criticizing how he charged his fans a 1.3% markup for a piece of him in the event on StakeKings before skipping the entirety of Day 1.

Friedman’s needling quickly got under Hellmuth’s onion-thin skin, setting off the “Poker Brat’s” latest tirade.


The official WSOP updates further expanded upon the “animated discussion” between the two pros, who weren’t even seated at the same table at the time of the incident.

Minutes later, still stewing over the perceived insult, Hellmuth exploded again.

“Don’t ever come up to me in a tournament again. Even the guys at my table are saying you’re out of line,” he said to Friedman. “Just know you’ll never win as much as me, so there’s probably some jealousy going on.”

Hellmuth does have $28 million in lifetime cashes compared to Friedman’s $3.8 million, according to the Hendon Mob, but there’s no evidence that jealousy played any part in the disagreement.

It’s unclear if the drama played any part in Hellmuth’s early elimination from the event — he was gone in just 90 minutes — while Friedman was in ninth place at the time of publication.

After busting, Hellmuth offered an explanation for his poor performance that included a somewhat strange reference to the 1968 film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Hellmuth’s Achilles?

Helmuth’s poker career is undeniably incredible, and if measured by his WSOP bracelet count alone, he is one of the game’s living Grand Masters. But Hellmuth might be more famous for his weirdly overinflated ego and his outbursts, especially to casual poker fans, than he is for his poker skills.

There’s an entire cottage industry of Hellmuth blow-ups on YouTube. And the blow-ups have most definitely hurt his reputation along with his results.

In April, Hellmuth was baited and eventually humiliated by Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson at the $25K PokerGO Heads-Up Showdown, who took a sort of sick glee in making “The Poker Brat” meltdown.

. Hellmuth lost the match and was visibly shaken by Persson’s vulgar and aggressive antics, complaining that the floor gave him no protection. Yet, he continually engaged the outspoken amateur, oblivious to the fact that he was playing right into his opponent’s hands.  

Soon after, Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu got into a Twitter spat over the incident because that’s how two grown men are supposed to behave. 

Burn after playing

Fire was actually involved in last year’s display of dicktitude by Hellmuth at the WSOP. 

On the feature table at the $10K Stud event, Hellmuth entered a sort of a profanity-centered fugue state before letting loose on the table, particularly Anthony Zinno. 

In his tirade, Hellmuth threatened to burn down the Rio, among other things.

There were many F-bombs involved, and the whole experience was highlighted by someone who made a super-cut of this particular meltdown, which came across as not only pathetic and weak, but also as another example of privileged behavior from the superstar. 

The floor was never called, so Hellmuth was never penalized for his behavior. 

To his credit, Zinno took the insults in stride by laughing them off before going on to win the event while denying Hellmuth his 17 bracelet. Hellmuth finished fourth.

Zinno later joked that only Hellmuth could make the final table of a limit event fun and exciting. And there’s the rub: people like watching Hellmuth lose his cool. 

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