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Gossip Column: Daniel Negreanu on ‘Good’ & ‘Bad’ Players; Phil Hellmuth Talks Down GTO Strategy, Says Negreanu Delusional

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  • Namita Ghosh January 25, 2019
  • 4 Minutes Read

Poker players are known for their flashy lifestyles, colorful pasts and honest, sometimes rude opinions that they make no bones about expressing publicly. But when Daniel Negreanu took to social media and tried to summarize who in his opinion was good for poker and what kind of a player he considered actually bad for the game, many from the Twitter active poker fraternity riled up against him. Now Negreanu was under fire not only for his recent tweet, it seems that poker super star Phil Hellmuth also had something to say. Talking about Game Theory Optimal aka GTO in a recent interview, Hellmuth called Negreanu downright delusional about his play! Hellmuth does love to add a touch of drama wherever he goes or whenever he gives an opinion, but talking about GTO certainly brought out the rude guy in him.

Another poker legend who has been making brash remarks these days, and is facing a lot of heat for them is Doyle Brunson. While Brunson may have made a rare appearance at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) last summer, he is certainly quite active on Twitter. And recently when Brunson heard about the death of former poker player Gavin Smith, and questioned why the poker community was collecting funds for his children, it didn’t find flavor with many. While Negreanu and Brunson were busy dodging potshots on virtual media, TV star Betty White was celebrating her 97th birthday with a strong flavor of poker! White who has admittedly been hooked to the game for many years now, got together with her friends over a poker session, we hear.

Daniel Negreanu’s Shares Opinion on ‘Good’ & ‘Bad’ Players

Multiple WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu is one of the richest poker players on the planet, so when he starts talking about the type of people who are bad for the game and those who’re good, it does rake up interest. Not everyone agreed with his views though, with some even calling Negreanu“arrogant”.

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

And so it happened that on January 20, Negreanu took to Twitter to share his opinion on what he felt were the type of players that were bad for the game, giving five instances. “Worst kind of poker player”, he said, “has the following traits: is a winner, is slow, quiet, nit (cheap/ selfish), hater (complainer/ negative). If you match all of these categories then you are probably a real treat to have at parties. 2 of 5 is still bad.”

Negreanu’s tweet evoked quite a bit of reactions. Twitter user James Briddo felt Negreanu was being a hypocrite and condescending. More comments kept flowing in. Soon enough, Negreanu deleted the post.

The very next day, Negreanu tweeted again, this time outlining the five things that according to him made a player good for poker. He included instances like players who lost money, acted quickly, were friendly and engaging, were generous and gave action and of course, had a positive attitude.

Now again, the reactions were varied.

Alex Scott grabbed the opportunity to corner Negreanu.

While a lot of people just commented saying that all they wanted was to play and win, a user called “(@I_Fridmanis) called Negreanu a “sellout”, a comment that was later removed by Twitter. Well, stumped by the reactions, Negreanu does seem to have moved on to discussing other stuff on Twitter!

Phil Hellmuth Talks Down GTO, Says Negreanu Delusional About His Play

Yes, Phil Hellmuth can be one hell of a monster on the poker tables, but he also has a colorful side to his persona and drama is often an important ingredient. We do remember his famous entries at the World Series of Poker over the year;but the poker brat can also be scathingly critical when he wants to. In the past Hellmuth has hit the headlines for his abusive demeanor on the tables.

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth

Now, we hear, Hellmuth has nothing good to say about the Game Theory Optimal or GTO. Not only is he not impressed with it, he even feels he has an edge over opponents who apply it in their play. What’s more, talking about Daniel Negreanu who once advocated GTO to him, Hellmuth went to the extent of calling Negreanu “delusional.”

But no, before your mind wanders otherwise, let’s clear the air about what Hellmuth really said.“He’s a bit delusional about my play,” said Hellmuth, on Negreanu in an interview to Cardschat.

“Back in 2008 he told me I’d never win again playing the way I do. And he said last year I have to learn GTO. But here I am, still winning. So, yeah, he’s delusional when it comes to my game and sometimes even his own.”

But why did Hellmuth sound so miffed at the idea of learning GTO? It seems the multiple bracelet winner isn’t very impressed with the strategy form that is very much in vogue nowadays. In fact, GTO has been around for a while now, not that Hellmuth is interested.

“I don’t play GTO,” Hellmuth said. “I play a game that beats GTO,” he said, claiming that he is able to exploit his opponents who base their play too much on the GTO model.

“These guys are always floating the flop with nothing and I love that. So, what I do is I hammer the flop and turn like I have the nuts and they usually fold.”

To be fair to Hellmuth, he has won 15 WSOP bracelets in his career and has never used GTO, which does speak volumes on his poker talents.

Doyle Brunson Questions the Ongoing Fund Raising For Late Gavin Smith`s Children

Poker player Gavin Smith passed away in his sleep late night on Monday, leaving behind two children. Many from the poker fraternity mourned Smith’s demise. Josh Arieh called out to players to donate for a trust fund for his children. Though poker icon Doyle Brunson did pitch in with donation, he didn’t think it was a good idea.

Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson

The 85-year old Brunson wondered aloud on Twitter why Arieh had started the ‘GoFundMe’ to raise money for Smith’s children. “Is it true that Gavin had a brother that was worth many millions. The kids are supposedly going to live with him. Any truth to this? If so, why are we (the poker community) raising money for them?”

Now Brunson has been known for his in-your-face remarks but this remark did sound quite insensitive.

Joy Kendra Brown didn’t agree with Brunson as well.

Robert Mizrachi seemed to be one of the few people supporting Brunson.

Brunson firmly put his critics down, saying he truthfully didn’t care about any “backlash.”

Smith had over $6 Million in lifetime winnings and Arieh, who had finished third in the 2004 WSOP Main Event was close to the deceased poker player.

All he said, to Brunson’s remarks was, “I’m certain the boys need help. I’ll leave it at that.”

Betty White Celebrates 97th Birthday With a Game of Poker

Popular TV star Betty White has been a familiar face for many. White, in fact can boast of the longest television career for any female entertainer in history. So when White turned 97 last week, her fans and the Hollywood community cheered on.

Betty White
Betty White

We do remember that in 2017, White had appeared in ‘The Late Show with James Corden’ where she had talked about her affinity towards poker.

“We don’t play for a lot of money,” White had told Corden. “In fact, we don’t play for any money. But we play for blood. Absolutely. It’s serious business.”

Los Angeles is known for hosting big private poker games with several Hollywood celebs joining in. White has clearly been a poker fan for long and is known to have a close circle of friends whom she plays poker with on regular basis.

So it was also kind of heartening to see White celebrating her 97th birthday with a game of poker by getting together with her friends.

Watch White’s interview with Corden here.

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