5 Minutes Read
The ongoing 52nd World Series of Poker (WSOP) has undoubtedly dominated the attention of the poker-playing masses, but controversy still manages to peak its head every now and then. Who better to headline this edition of the ‘Gossip Column’ than the ‘King of Controversy’ himself, Dan Bilzerian. The GGPoker Ambassador, in his tell-all book ‘The Setup,’ talked about how he made his millions playing high-stakes home games. Israeli businessman Alec Gores was named one of the biggest losers in the nose-bleed games, and the latter was not impressed with Bilzerian’s revelations. Gores has reportedly challenged Bilzerian to a $100 Million heads-up match. Will the match actually take place? If it does, it would be the biggest heads-up match in poker history.
Speaking about the WSOP, Phil Hellmuth has had arguably the best start to the WSOP annual series, having won his career 16th bracelet, posted a runner-up finish alongside final tabling five events. However, the self-proclaimed ‘G.O.A.T’ is easy to rile up. While contending to win his 16th bracelet in Event#19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, Hellmuth suffered four bad beats leading to him falling out in fourth place. The bad beats adequately soured the Poker Brat’s mood, and he proceeded to rant after every bad beat that he suffered, eventually dropping more than 40 F-Bombs in the process. This drew a lot of criticism from many within the poker fraternity.
Our last story covers the lawsuit poker player Filipp Khavin and his wife, Charis, filed against the Derby poker room after Khavin was shot in the parking lot.
Dan Bilzerian Teases $100 Million Heads-up Match Against Alec Gores
Controversy’s favorite child, Dan Bilzerian, is back in the limelight. The GGPoker Ambassador has always claimed to have made his fortune playing high-stakes private home games. In his book, ‘The Setup,’ Bilzerian made some explosive claims that included Israeli-born billionaire Alec Gores. Bilzerian claimed he took as much as $40 million from Gores alone in the games made famous in the book ‘Molly’s Game.’
The 68-year-old Gores, the founder of the private equity firm The Gores Group, was not impressed with the revelations and apparently challenged Bilzerian to a heads-up match.
Gores amassed his fortune in the world of venture capital and is not well-known in the poker world. However, when the ‘Molly’s Game’ story had come to light, Gores’ name briefly popped up. A disreputable hedge fund manager named Bradley Ruderman defrauded his clients to the tune of $25 million and lost $5 Million of that in poker games with the likes of Gores, Bilzerian, and Spider-Man actor Tobey McGuire. Inevitably, the law came calling, and Gores couldn’t be bothered to defend himself in court, agreeing to hand back 45% of what he won.
Speaking to YouTuber Logan Paul on his podcast “Impaulsive,” Bilzerian said: “I (said to Alec) I’ll play you for $25 million at the Aria if you wanna wire money over. And then he was like, ‘I don’t wanna play you unless it’s for at least $50 Million.’ I was like, ‘I’ll wire in $50 Million to the Aria in 10 days if you wanna play, and we can televise it if you want. And so he’s challenged me twice, so I think we might play for $100 Million.”
Blizerian also said that if the heads-up match does happen, he wants it to be Pay-Per-View. “I want to Pay-Per-View the motherf**er. It would be the biggest poker game ever played. And the beauty of that is it like shuts the f*ck up everybody that was talking sh*t like you can’t win this much money in poker.”
According to PokerNews, the self-proclaimed ‘King of Instagram’ has already secured the funds for the match and is now waiting on his opponent to do the same.
There is no denying that if this heads-up match does take place, it will undoubtedly be the mother of all heads-up challenges, given the sheer amount of money that will be on the line.
Phil Hellmuth Drops 40 F-Bombs During a WSOP Final Table
Phil Hellmuth’s rants are as famous as his illustrious poker career. But it seems like this time, the Poker Brat may have crossed the line.
During the final table of Event #19: $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship, with Hellmuth staring down at the opportunity to win a record-extending 16th WSOP bracelet, things started to unravel when he channeled the brattiest brat that ever bratted in the history of poker brats.
In a recently released clip, Hellmuth unleashed 40+ f-bombs over the span of just four hands. Hellmuth had entered the final day’s play as the chip leader and looked in good shape to take down his 16th bracelet. But from Level 18 onwards, Hellmuth lost a majority of his chips in four hands. His first hand saw Stephen Chidwick win the pot with his trip fives. This was when the ranting started. The very next hand he lost to Anthony Zinno, and the rant intensified. A few more hands were played, after which Hellmuth lost a hand to Poker Hall of Famer Jack McClelland, bringing his stack down to 545,000. The fourth hand was again lost to Zinno, and by this time, Hellmuth was steaming with his stack down to 212,000.
While Hellmuth exited the final table in fourth place for $54,730, Anthony Zinno went on to win his career-third gold bracelet for $182,872. And even though Hellmuth went on to win his 16th bracelet in Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, his rant during the $10,000 Seven Card Stud event got poker Twitterati riled up.
Americas Cardroom CEO Phillip Nagy was among those who believed that Hellmuth’s vitriol crossed a line of civility well-defined in the WSOP rulebook.
Why do I want to make this an NFT so bad?… pic.twitter.com/Vp8gsxaB3p
— Phillip Nagy (@WPN_CEO) October 15, 2021
After Hellmuth won his 16th bracelet, Nagy even commented on how he would “CHOOSE to treat people with respect and not win.”
This shows me that there is no accountability for your actions against humans in this life at least in poker, just math congrats Phil. I will CHOOSE to treat people with respect and not win. No response is expected. #posivity #Humanityfirst #Good4poker pic.twitter.com/VFF1kgdIKt
— Phillip Nagy (@WPN_CEO) October 18, 2021
He even pointed out that Hellmuth, who preaches the message of positivity, only displays a positive attitude when the situation suits him.
Yea, that’s the truth frustrates me repping positivity when it’s convenient. I can’t even watch Poker Go with my son, and I want to teach him. It makes me angrier than it should, I guess. Just trying to be better would be good enough.
— Phillip Nagy (@WPN_CEO) October 18, 2021
WSOP’s Norman Chad, who was in the broadcast booth with Jeff Platt, sympathized with the Poker Brat’s bad beat but was quick to admonish him for his behavior.
Was @phil_hellmuth out of line last night at the final table of the WSOP $10,000 stud final table?
Unrelentingly, unacceptably, unspeakably.
All the bracelets in the world do not excuse that behavior at the table. Ever.
It’s GOTTA stop, buddy.
— Norman Chad (@NormanChad) October 12, 2021
Some even pointed fingers at the WSOP for showing a double standard when it came to Hellmuth.
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.”
Moreover, Rule 113 states:
“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.”
Despite being a repeat offender at violating the WSOP’s rules, Hellmuth rarely receives a penalty.
Hey poker peeps…. are we sick and tired of the @phil_hellmuth bullshit temper tantrums. Anybody else would be penalized for that. He has gone too far…something should happen!!!!! This is not good TV.
— pokerhag (@pokerhag) October 12, 2021
I know Anthony and he’s definitely one of the classiest/nicest guys in all of poker who will definitely take the high road, but that doesn’t excuse Hellmuth’s disgusting and disrespectful behavior that the rest of us would be penalized for.
— LoriAnn Persinger (@LoAnPer66) October 12, 2021
I agree Norman. I also think that the WSOP, it’s supervisors and TDs, bear a huge responsibility here as well. If the TD’s would start issuing penalties, his behavior would be curbed. I’m sure Jack McClelland on his right would have issued him another penalty for that outburst.
— Ralph Brandt (@uniden32) October 12, 2021
Hellmuth is like an abusive husband. Constantly crossing the line and then apologizing with some rationalization, only to do it again the next chance he gets.
— Brent Harrington (@BrentHarrington) October 12, 2021
It seems like the heavy criticism that Hellmuth received for all ends has dawned on him that his attitude needs to change.
My Mother and Father were embarrassed/mad at me…My friends told me I was out of line. After 44 hrs of ridicule on social media, and realizing my rants set a bad example for poker players everywhere, I think I can reign it in A LOT. I might not be perfect, but I can be better… https://t.co/13JHafpKsJ
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) October 13, 2021
Many believe Poker Brat’s rants to be rather entertaining despite Hellmuth’s apology and do not wish for him to reign it in.
Love the desire you still have for poker, to me and your many supporters over here in the UK we love to see that passion, never change, good luck champ.
— Andrew Booth (@Andy_cardroom) October 14, 2021
Idk, as a player, broadcaster, and fan of the game I think this final table (and when you’re at the table generally) make for great entertaining content. My strong suspicion is your antics at the Stud #finaltable brought many new eyeballs and much new interest to the @WSOP
— Kane Kalas (@KaneKalas) October 14, 2021
C’mon Phil. Be straight with us. Either @WSOP or @PokerGO or the sponsors asked you to put on a show, and u did. Now that it’s getting all this attention, they are asking you to keep the narrative going. It’s working!!! People are engaging, and that’s the name of the game.
— Jason Rogers (@JasonAdamRogers) October 14, 2021
Poker Player Filipp Khavin Sues Derby Poker Room Over Parking Lot Shooting
After a tragic parking lot shootout, poker player Filipp Khavin and his wife, Charis, are suing the Derby poker room.
The incident occurred on November 20, 2019, when Khavin and fellow poker player Chad Pease were attacked and shot by a man just as they were about to get in their cars at around 2 AM. They were leaving “Chad’s Game,” a well-known high-stakes game organized by Pease at the Derby Lane Poker Room in St. Petersburg.
Pease was shot in the hand but managed to get his car open with his remote key and fled to an Applebee’s about four miles away, where he collected himself and called the police. With bullet holes in his abdomen, Khavin couldn’t go anywhere.
Police who arrived on the scene about 10 minutes after the incident described the injuries as non-life-threatening, even though both players were taken to the hospital.
The paperwork for the lawsuit was filed on October 18 in Pinellas County. Both Khavin and Pease valeted their cars when they showed up to play in Chad’s Game that afternoon. But, according to the lawsuit, Derby Lane stops valet service at midnight, despite knowing about the history of robberies that have taken place in its parking lot and the significant amounts of money its players often carry. The property still does not provide valet service after midnight.
The 30-year-old Khavin and his wife filed the lawsuit for at least $30,000 against the Derby Lane owners, St. Petersburg Kennel Club Inc. The suit claims company managers knew about the dangers lurking in their parking lots at night and did nothing about it.
The summons was served to the St. Petersburg Kennel Club on September 27, requesting a jury trial. The lawsuit did not disclose whether the attacker got away with any money or made any arrests.