Table Rage: The Worst Times the Pros Got Mad

2 years ago
The Worst Times the Poker Pros Got Mad
14 Jun

Some of the most watched poker videos are when professionals take a bad beat at the table or act in a very emotional way. Often a combination of the players natural urge to show their emotions and their personality coupled with their awareness of the cameras being present is the perfect recipe to creating a memorable and entertaining poker video. Here are five of my favorite videos where the pros went a bit crazy.

Tony G Destroys Ralph Perry

Antanas Guoga, better known as Tony G, became irate at Ralph Perry during the 2006 Intercontinental Poker Championships and engaged in what can only be described as verbal warfare against Perry, telling him that he was not a good player. After beating him, Tony G asked the crowd not to applaud Perry as he did not deserve it. He acted throughout the hand in a way that would test the mettle of the toughest of poker players.

Tony’s behaviour was a little over-the-top. Perry was not the only player to suffer from the now legendary Tony G trash talk, although in future tournaments, Tony G toned down his barrage slightly, adding humour to the mix.

If you ever encounter someone using the anti-bullying mantra “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, show them this video and ask them to repeat their previous statement. They won’t.

It is worth noting that Tony G is not the nasty guy that he might appear as in this video and has previously won a poker tournament and donated his entire winnings to charity.

Daniel Negreanu Suffers a Beat and Throws His Chips

Even the best players suffer bad beats and it particularly hurts when you make the right play and then suffer bad luck. In the Premier League of Poker, with the blinds $3000 - $6000 Daniel Negreanu, holding As Qd called a Daniel “Jungleman” Cates min-raise with KJ offsuit. Antonio Esfandiari also called with 99 and Scott Seiver did likewise the small blind with K8. This left WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel to act and holding 7c 4c Duhamel decided to make a move and re-raised all-in for the squeeze for an extra $250,000 chips. Jungleman folded and Daniel decided to gamble, working out that the bet could be a squeeze with a range of hands. He was right. The other players folded leaving Daniel as a 61% favorite. Unfortunately the community cards dealt Negreanu a bad beat as they landed Ah, 6h, 4s, Kd 4h, giving Duhamel trips on the river. In frustration Negreanu threw his chips across the table, but left with a smile on his face as he always does.

Hevad “RainKhan” Khan lights up the 2007 WSOP Main Event

Ok, so this is not STRICTLY a player getting mad, but it is certainly a player acting crazy during play and since Khan’s actions are famous, I thought I would include it anyway.

During the 2007 World Series of Poker, Hevad “RainKhan” Khan, then 22, made headlines with a fantastic run in the event, but whilst he progressed, he maddened his opponents with his over-the-top dancing, his singing, and his hugely exuberant celebrations before taking home $956,243 for his 6th place finish.

Khan’s behaviour was so crazy that in future WSOP events, the rules were changed to make it against the rules to excessively celebrate winning a hand and if you did anything like the actions of RainKhan in 2007, you would receive a penalty. This means Khan’s actions are now restricted to history, but thanks to this poker video, we can enjoy the footage to this day. We certainly miss his screams of “BULLDOZER!” and it is a shame that Khan has not been seen on the poker tables since 2009.

Phil Hellmuth Goes Off On Christian Dragomir

Phil Hellmuth has won a record 14 WSOP bracelets but earned his nickname “The Poker Brat” because of behavior like this. In the 2008 WSOP Main Event with the blinds $12,000 - $24,000, Christian Dragomir raised to $80,000 holding 10d 4d and Hellmuth re-raised to $255,000 holding the much stronger hand As Kh. Dragomir called the additional $175,000. With a flop of 9c 10c 7s Dragomir took the lead and bet $300,000 after Hellmuth checked. Knowing he had to fold to this large bet, Hellmuth immediately called him an “idiot guy” and then folded. Dragomir threw down his cards, showing the dubious preflop call and the table erupted with joy. Hellmuth verbally attacked Dragomir repeatedly calling him an idiot, and to his credit, Dragomir said he did not want to speak to him until “he learned some manners.” Hellmuth continued to berate him for some time. Hellmuth did eventually apologise and even Mike “The Mouth” Matusow told him quietly towards the end of the exchange that he was “way out of line”.

Matusow and Sheikhan Square Off, Literally!

In the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event, the cameras were always on standby when Shahram “Sheiky” Sheikhan and Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, who would go on to reach the final table that year, clashed in a number of hands. They got embroiled in some poker handbags when Sheiky reacted badly to a flop that would have hit the hand he had folded (against the rules) and banged the table. This gave both players some information they should not have had and Matusow was very unhappy, telling Sheiky that “we are in the hand you should shut the f--- up!” Sheiky was, shall we say, unhappy, and just before the confrontation could escalate, tournament director, Jack Effel, stepped in. After allowing the hand to play out to its conclusion, he sent both players to the rail for a 10 minute penalty. Matusow eventually busted Sheikhan later in the tournament and finished in 9th place, winning $1 million.

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Malcolm comes from Consett in the North East of England and is an avid poker player and writer.Read more


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