Will Kassouf’s Table Talk Puts WSOP Staff On Tilt

Will Kassouf’s Table Talk Puts WSOP Staff On Tilt

To provide context as to the absurdity of tournament director Jack Effel’s treatment of Will Kassouf, here are 9 moments when Phil Hellmuth got away with being way more out of line at the WSOP.

British lawyer and poker player Will Kassouf has been the subject of intense debate in recent weeks after his talkative antics began to air on ESPN’s coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event.  In the most recent episode, the chaos reaches a whole new level as Kassouf is verbally attacked by every player at the table as well as WSOP tournament director Jack Effel. At one point, Kassouf faces a tough river decision about whether or not to value bet his pair of aces.  The other players at the table become furious with him, declaring that he is not facing a decision and therefore shouldn’t be tanking.  While it is true that Kassouf is not facing a bet in this spot, he is definitely facing a tough decision and these players are smart enough to know that.  If he bets his pair of aces and gets raised, it’s a very tough spot, so taking his time to decide if and for how much to value bet, is extremely reasonable.  I find it incredibly unfair that Kassouf was forced to deal with all this nonsense while tanking on a huge decision so deep in the WSOP Main Event.

If we are to take the televised coverage at face value, Kassouf’s table mates appear to be way out of line.  Especially online poker legend Cliff Josephy, who calls Kassouf a ‘clown’ countless times.  I am certainly willing to give Josephy and the other players the benefit of the doubt here, as it’s possible that the editing process left out some key details which would explain their anger.  But if their reactions are only the result of what we saw on screen, I find them hard to defend.

At one point, tournament director Jack Effel is brough to the table and gives Kassouf a very stern talking-to.  Earlier in the tournament Effel gave Kassouf a penalty which caused Daniel Negreanu to declare on twitter that he was ‘absolutely horrified’ by the decision. I find it shocking as well, especially considering what Effel has let a certain other ‘talkative’ poker player get away with over the years.  Poker celebrity Phil hellmuth is famous and even kind of celebrated for his abusive and expletive-filled WSOP antics.  There are rumors that he and Effel are close friends, but I have no way to confirm this.  Either way, to provide context as to the absurdity of Effel’s treatment of Kassouf, here are 9 moments when Phil Hellmuth got away with being way more out of line:

Here he is cursing and calling his opponent an idiot 5 times:

Using more profanity and making an angry remark about his opponent’s ethnicity:

Cursing, abusing his opponent and even the dealer!

Cursing and ridiculing his opponents for playing weak holdings even though he didn’t re-raise pre-flop with AA:

More cursing and ridiculing of his opponent followed by commentator Lon McEachern gleefully declaring that it’s ‘yet another classic Phil hellmuth exit’.

More profanity and verbal abuse over a very standard pre-flop call:

‘These are some of the worst players in the entire world right here’

And on and on it goes:

More of the same:

Honestly, this list could be longer than 9 but I got tired of sifting through youtube videos and hearing his voice.

(Psssst! We’re on YouTube – see, what we do there).