Poker news | Apr 22, 2022
Hellmuth Vs Persson Heads Up Showdown Controversy
By RTR Dennis
An Incredible Poker match Between Phil Hellmuth Vs Eric Persson took place last night at the Poker GO $25,000 Heads-Up Showdown.
The match started off calmly enough with both players alternating the lead as both players attempted to build a small cushion before aiming to make any larger bets.
Initially Hellmuth looked to be the stronger player building a stack of 285,000 by the 30 minute mark, compared to Persson's 115,000.
At an hour into the game Hellmuth held his lead, with his textbook play of losing the majority of hands but winning the larger pots. It was at this point of the game that momentum began to swing and and 15 minutes later the chip stacks between the two players were even.
Then the discussions began, both players throwing their verbal jabs back and forth but it was Persson's attacks that seemed to land with effect. Hellmuth began to show signs of weakness, folding strong hands and playing overly cautiously, Persson pot stacks began to slowly build to a slight lead.
For the next half hour the lead would continue to be traded back and forth between the two players but after a decisive win of a large pot the first controversial move appeared with Persson celebrating the win with a double middle finger towards Hellmuth.
This is when the cracks started to show in Hellmuth's play and he became increasingly agitated as each hand went past. Resorting to amateurish excuses blaming luck and the poors hands he was dealt.
The verbal onslaught from Persson didn't let up and the tension built between the two players with Hellmuth even going go so far as to beg for "a little protection" from Paul, the floor person for the match-up. Hellmuth insisted that Persson should receive a warning for his outlandish behaviour whilst at the same time saying
"I don't want to be even here playing this fucking event with a fucking guy like this"
The irony appearing to be entirely lost on Phil. This was either a masterclass in acting or the behaviours of a very tilted man.
Just 5 minutes later the match was over, with Hellmuth losing a hand for a large pot of 182,000. Hellmuth's pot continued to dwindle all the way down to 32,000 when Hellmuth decided to go All In with K3o, which was possibly the worst timing as Persson joins him with Pocket Aces. Hellmuth is drawn out on the Turn with Persson finishing the game with two pair Aces over Seven's.
Hellmuth is quick to leave the table and makes it clear that he would refuse to play in any tournament where Persson is on the roster.
The drama spilled over on to social media with Daniel Negreanu taking to Twitter to revel in what appears to be Hellmuth receiving the treatment he has doled out for decades.
DNeg then continues to mock Hellmuth's after he block's him on Twitter.
Embarrassing Phil even for you!— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) April 22, 2022
For decades you have ruthlessly berated people at the table, and now one guy (Persson) gives you a taste of your own medicine and you cry like a child
No one in poker history is more deserving of behavior penalties than you pic.twitter.com/vam94af2Pi
Phil Hellmuth has since posted on Twitter seemingly accepting his share of blame at his loss whilst also continuing to be upset with Persson's behaviour at the table.
Rough day for me! My opponent gave me the double bird, and was out of line w his verbal attacks, but then, I engaged (I’m sure @DougPolkVids can find a clip making me look bad). I should have been the better man, taken the abuse, and found a way to win our match… #POSITIVITY pic.twitter.com/Dbh6UZYmOO— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) April 22, 2022