Poker Hall of Fame member Phil Hellmuth has often deployed table talk to unnerve his opponents. Sometimes, such as the profanity-laced tirade he unleashed at a 2021 World Series of Poker, his conduct at the table has drawn criticism from the poker community.
In the first round of the inaugural PokerGO Heads-Up Showdown at the Aria in Las Vegas, however, the 16-time WSOP bracelet winner found himself on the receiving end of the verbal abuse. In the most talked about match of the day, Hellmuth’s opponent, Maverick Gaming owner Eric Persson, came prepared to give Hellmuth a taste of his own medicine.
“You’re full of s**t, you’re so full of s**t. You wouldn’t last one day in my game,” Persson told his opponent.
“Like I said, b***h, I had the best hand. You’re a little b***h. I’m happy to play you for $1 million. You’re a fish, Phil. You’re so far over your f*****g head in this game,” Persson said.
“I didn’t want to play you because you’re so obnoxious. I’d rather play someone that is better than you that isn’t obnoxious,” Hellmuth fired back.
“You didn’t know I was obnoxious,” Persson responded with a laugh.
“What are you, some kind of sicko?” the Poker Hall of Famer asked.
The round of 16 and beyond will be exclusively found on PokerGO. Action will begin at noon Pacific for the players, with the broadcast on a one-hour delay. There are plenty of big names left in contention for the $400,000 top prize in this $25,000 buy-in heads-up no-limit hold’em invitational event, including six-time bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu, three-time bracelet winner Jeremy Ausmus, high-stakes tournament regulars Alex Foxen and Sean Winter, and many more.