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Gossip Column: Phil Hellmuth Wins $23K Tennis Prop Bet, Daniel Negreanu Dishes on Donald Trump on the Domenick Nati Show & More

Gossip Column
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  • Namita Ghosh December 7, 2018
  • 6 Minutes Read

It’s been hectic for all of us railbirds out there, with a couple of high-octane live tournament series taking up all our mind space. And while we were busy, so was Phil Hellmuth. The poker brat recently got himself involved in a prop bet, which we heard, he’s won, that too for a cool $23,000.

After Hellmuth, it was ‘Kid Poker’ Daniel Negreanu’s turn at the hot seat of the ‘Domenick Nati Show’ and he did not disappoint. Negreanu’s quick-fire answers and spirited personality clearly showed and he certainly did not hold back his opinion on U.S. President Donald Trump.

Our favorite Twitch streamer Arlie Shaban has in the meantime, been a good lad, completing the challenges given to him by the ‘Poker Gods’ without much objection. Shaban has in fact, been given his 10th challenge to overcome and this time, he has to ‘guide the cattle’ and tell them where he wants them to go. Cryptic enough?! Shaban is trying to figure it out as well!

Now when it comes to topping the show, no one better than Team PokerStars Online pro Benjamin Spragg to show how it’s done. And we hear Spragg totally stole the limelight at Jaime Staples’ meet-up game in Birmingham.

Another player who’s having a good day is Gordon Vayo, who was in a spot of trouble lately with PokerStars. The gaming giant seems to have eased up on him, and decided against taking Vayo to court over the $280K in legal fee that it paid trying to defend the VPN dispute case brought in by Vayo.

Phil Hellmuth Wins $23,000 in Tennis Prop Bet

It’s not been long that we heard of a poker player take up a really bizarre and difficult prop bet, of staying in a dark bathroom for 30 days, that another prop bet started doing the rounds. This one is a lot saner it seems, and involves poker brat Phil Hellmuth!

Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth

Hellmuth was recently asked on a prop bet where he had to play tennis with a professional player and had to return at least one out of 20 serves against him. Knowing Hellmuth, he wasn’t one to stay off a challenge and so it all began. But that wasn’t all. If Hellmuth returned one serve, he was to net $7,000 and in case he managed to score a point, he’d take home an additional $16,000.

All in all, the prop bet seemed too easy for Hellmuth but then came the caveat. The only saving grace for Hellmuth was that the serve couldn’t be faster than 80 mph, which meant the ball would be thrown in real slow motion. Hellmuth recorded videos of the bet in action, and shared them on Twitter. It became clear that he was sweating it out. It didn’t go so well at first.

Hellmuth missed the first two serves but then warmed up. His unidentified opponent clearly got nervous and Hellmuth was even offered $3,000 to back out of the bet! But Hellmuth wouldn’t. He nailed the serve on the eighth ball thrown to him, and picked up the full $23,000.

Well done, Hellmuth! We do remember last year when he scored a three-pointer on the basketball court and won $10,000 off Doug Polk in a similar prop bet.

Daniel Negreanu Dishes on Donald Trump on the Domenick Nati Show

One of the most prolific Canadian poker players of all time, Daniel Negreanu, was recently a guest on the ‘Domenick Nati Show’.

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

The show, which is a podcast hosted by celebrity publicist Domenick Nati, has guests answering some quick-fire questions that Nati aims at them. But ‘Kid Poker’ wasn’t one to be intimidated. In fact, he fired back and ended up sounding off on U.S. President Donald Trump.

The interview started with Nati asking Negreanu if there were any players who were intimidating, Negreanu wasted no time in responding in the negative, but pointing out that he finds German high-stakes poker pro Feder Holz a difficult player. He said Holz is extremely aggressive, which forces Negreanu to adjust his game in order to stay on top.

The conversation segued from there into how player antics could be affecting the game. Nati asked if Negreanu felt that the actions of players like Will Kassouf and others who are trying to make a name for themselves are causing bad vibes for poker, to which Negreanu responded, “Overall, y’know, characters are good for poker. Obviously, you can go to the extreme and you mentioned Will Kassouf, y’know, he can kind of be annoying in large doses.” He added that he can be funny at first, but that, after a while it gets out of control leading to an outburst such as, “OK, I’m sick of your schtick, man, shut up.”

But the pièce de résistance of the whole show was Negreanu’s opinion of Trump. Nati specifically asked Negreanu what he thought of President Trump by asking, “What are your views on Donald Trump?”

Negreanu promptly replied, “Well, he’s a con artist…He lies repeatedly. He’ll say one thing and ten minutes later say the exact opposite of what he said and then he’ll say he never said that.” Negreanu didn’t hold back, calling Trump “repulsive,” “vile” and “full of shit.”

Well, it’s pretty clear that Negreanu is not one to shy away from stating his views no matter whom it’s about.

You can catch the podcast here.

Arlie Shaban Gets Challenge 10

Popular poker streamer Arlie Shaban has been working up a sweat in his endeavor to please the ‘Poker Gods.’ Did you all hear about how quickly Shaban finished up his latest challenge?

Arlie Shaban
Arlie Shaban

The anonymous group, who have been messaging Shaban and tasked him to complete the ’12 Labours of Arlie’ much alike the ’12 Labours of Hercules’ asked Shaban to “Retrieve the GRND Force from the German.” Whatever did that mean, really? Well, Anyone familiar with xflixx’s Twitch stream would would know that the GRND Force lies within his lightsaber. Shaban got to it right away, and asked PokerStars Team Online pro Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders for help.

Initiailly ‘xflixx’ refused but later he really did oblige and decided to part with his precious GRND Force.

The Poker Gods have been observant it seems and they saw how fast Shaban finished up his challenge. So wasting no time, they announced another. Challenge 10 for Shaban is all about ‘Cattle of Arlie’.

“In the original challenge, Hercules had to obtain the Cattle of Geryon. Typical of all the stories so far, there was a fight, bloodshed, unnecessary violence, poisoned arrows, and all the things you’re used to hearing by now. But ultimately Hercules successfully managed to guide the cattle to where he wanted them to go,” the Poker Gods wrote.

“Take away the bloodshed, and it’s this that is at the heart of your next challenge. It’s called: Cattle of Arlie,” they continued.

Well, for what it seems, Shaban has to round-up 400 ‘cattle by 5 PM UK time this Friday, from legends, ‘Fintanius Hand’ and ‘Bennus Spraggus.’ Sound a bell? Let’s wait and see what Shaban does!

Benjamin Spragg Wins Jamie Staples’ Meet-Up Game

Popular poker pro Jamie Staples decided to throw a meet-up party at Birmingham’s Grosvenor Casino on Tuesday night, and a game of poker just had to be part of the evening. Guess who topped the game at Staples’ hosted game? Benjamin Spragg of course!

Jamies Staples with Benjamin Spragg
Jamies Staples with Benjamin Spragg

The tournament pulled quite a crowd, 94 runners in all and there were 59 rebuys, building a prize pool of £3,060. PokerStars shared updates on the event in their blog page and Twitter as well.

Now, Staples was at the game with his fiancé Rebecca Carr and soon got to know that the Team PokerStars Online was coming on to participate. At Grosvenors, Spragg made an early prediction that he’d win the event, and he did.

Staples later took to Twitter to talk about the hugely successful show. “Thanks to everyone that came out to our meetup in Birmingham. It was so great to meet you all,” Staples tweeted. He also shared a video shot of the game.

PokerStars Drops $280K Counter-Suit Against Gordon Vayo

Gordon Vayo is one lucky man, maybe not entirely after taking a $700K hit, but looks like his immediate legal troubles are over. The former World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up had sued Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited (PokerStars’ parent company) after the site withheld his winnings to the tune of $692,000 from a $1,050 Spring SCOOP event. PokerStars had alleged that Vayo used VPN to play the event from California in breach of PokerStars’ terms.

Gordon Vayo
Gordon Vayo

An ugly court battle ensued and during the proceedings sometime in October this year, it was revealed that Vayo had hired a forger to create fake ATM receipts showing Vayo was in Canada at the time of the win. Once PokerStars brought the new evidence to the court, Vayo dropped all charges. But it wasn’t over for Vayo as PokerStars said they wanted to pursue the poker player for at least $280,000 in court fees.

But in the end, it seems that PokerStars is going to take a more benevolent stance towards Vayo.

According to recent court filing discovered by USBets’ scribe, Brian Pempus, PokerStars seems to have withdrawn its motion for legal costs. The filing stated,

“1. This action is hereby dismissed with prejudice by Plaintiff Gordon Vayo.

2. The pending Motion for Attorney’s Fees and Costs by Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited d/b/a PokerStars {Dkt No. 37} is hereby withdrawn without prejudice.

Ultimately, Vayo had to give up almost $700K in winnings along with bearing legal costs for suing PokerStars. That seems like punishment enough for using VPN to play an online poker tournament, doesn’t it?

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