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

3 min read

So much for Phil Hellmuth’s positivity. The World Series of Poker champion’s display of pure, unbridled vulgarity and bullying during the final table of the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship is making the poker world wonder how bad can he get before tournament officials step in.

Phil Hellmuth tirade
Phil Hellmuth let the unsportsmanlike behavior fly at the WSOP $10k Stud Championship. (Image:

His outburst was aired nearly live on PokerGo as former WSOP director Jack McClelland sat right next to him. Hellmuth has marketed himself as the “Poker Brat” for ages and is as well-known for his outbursts as he is for his record-holding 15 WSOP bracelets. 

But the vitriol unleashed at Monday night’s final table, which included pyromaniac threats and a couple of dozen bitterly-spit f-bombs, crossed a line of civility well-defined in the WSOP rulebook. 


Give eventual winner, and the main target of Hellmuth’s bullying, Anthony Zinno props for staying cool and collected on his way to his third bracelet and$182,872. He never even called the floor to ask for intervention.

Hellmuth finished fourth for $54,370.

The Hellmuth double standard

It’s not a question of if Hellmuth should have been penalized, but how. The WSOP rulebook states: 

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. These penalties will be levied based on Rules 40, 113, and 114.

And what is Rule 113?

113. Penalties: In its sole and absolute discretion, Rio may impose penalties ranging from a verbal warning, one missed hand away from the table up to disqualification and expulsion from the Casino.

Hellmuth is a repeat offender at violating the WSOP’s rules to combat boorish vulgarity in their tournaments. His outbursts are often directed toward fellow competitors, but Hellmuth rarely receives a penalty. It’s a double-standard that hasn’t gone unnoticed.


McClelland, who finished fifth last night for $40,284, was the WSOP’s tournament director in 1996 when he gave Hellmuth a 20-minute penalty. 


CardsChat reached out to WSOP officials and will update this story when they get back to us. A clip of Hellmuth’s moments from Monday can be found here. Warning, it’s rated R.

Related Posts

Did you know about our poker forum? Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum

Popular Stories