Worst Pro Tilt Moments Countdown3 years ago
When Tilt Gets The Worst Of The Poker Professional
The game of poker involves a lot of emotions and many times, it can turn into a painful experience for anyone who makes a living out of it. In the end, poker is also a game of chance and the tables will turn eventually against the poker professionals even if they have outplayed the opposition until that point.
That’s why recreational and amateur players will bet large amounts of money in their battle against the pros, to have a story to tell at the end of the day of how they beat a certain notorious guy on the green felt. That of course and a certain human trait called ego. Our very own reality that we can beat, outsmart, or outduel anyone at any time even though we didn’t put in the hours or we’re simply unaware of what’s going on around us.
Ego is a very powerful concept that can blind us at times or can get the worst of us when facing crucial moments. And when real life-changing money is in the pot, things usually turn very nasty. That’s why we’ll always witness blowups at the poker tables and that’s why poker pros are usually the worst tilters, because of their gargantuan, know-it-all egos. And to prove our point, here’s the top of some of the worst - and best - pro blowups captured on camera out there.
6. Sore Loser?
And what better way to start the top than with this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event. During the epic seven-day stretch in July, Justin Schwartz was probably not such a likable figure at the poker table. He showed some really bad behavior including talking of ways to make Daniel Negreanu fold during a hand Kid Poker was actually involved (not Schwartz though). Here’s his behaviour in a nutshell :
But his biggest blowup came on Day 7 in his last hand of the tournament. With a flopped set, he put his tournament life at risk with two players left to act. Unfortunately for him, red-hot Joe McKeehen had on overset and snap-called - Alex Turyansky, the other player involved, had pocket queens and folded. What followed was not good advertising for the game. He called McKeehen ‘the most disgusting human being in the world’ and dropped some F-bombs in the process. We also learned he doesn’t ‘do handshakes.’
It must have been a consolation for him to see McKeehen win the November Nine; he did say to him ‘you better win this f#### tournament’ before hitting the rail. Negreanu’s face though was priceless and a proof of just how likable Schwartz has been at the Main Event #sickone.
5. The Gentleman Phil Ivey
As opposed to Schwartz, Phil Ivey knows how to behave on the live green felt. But yes, ladies and gentlemen, he DOES tilt from time to time, there’s no doubt about that. And while his perfect poker face may hide it, Ivey showed some emotions at the poker table in front of the camera. Probably his most notorious ‘emotional’ moments involved being coolered at the 2008 WSOP Main Event, nut flush vs. full house. His opponent played his hand very well and let Ivey do all the betting on the turn and river. After calling on the river, Duffy - Ivey’s opponent - stood up which made ‘No Home Jerome’ mad.
You got the nuts. Why are you standing up for? Why are you standing up like you are ready to leave?
Ivey asked Duffy. Duffy tried to evade the question while Ivey eventually backed down, acting like a true gentleman at the poker tables - not letting his emotion getting the worst of him. He also said:
Never mind. You just look at things differently.
You can check his ‘blowup’ plus some others - including Dwan’s ‘I have it’ - in the following clip:
Well, you may say there are no serious blowups there, and you’re correct. This is how a true gentleman gets mad. Learn from that, Mr. Schwartz.
4. Experiencing the Jungle: Daniel Cates
Dan ‘jungleman’ Cates is an online poker icon and the next big thing in Georgia we might add. But he never had his fair share of national TV exposure. When he did, however, he created some special moments for the poker and the photoshop/gif community alike. The most special? Definitely during the Party Poker Premier League Season 7 in the many battles versus another Daniel and online poker legend: Dan Colman. Here’s a teaser:
Before that hand, Colman outplayed the ‘jungleman’ by checking the river with a made straight, letting Cates bluff in position. Cates made quite a face when he saw Colman’s trap and said:
I bluffed with a hand I could bluff with (Cates had a small pair and a blocker for the straight) and then, he had a straight. So insane. Every time I bluff, I run into the nuts...It really seems that way whenever I play live.
Well maybe that’s why he wanted to stay away from all the cameras and play in some basements and private locations in Macau versus degenerate Asian big spenders. To avoid running into the nuts right?
3. Uncovering the Mouth: Mike Matusow
Nobody actually knows how bad Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow runs at poker. Only he knows, and he is such a believer that one time on television, he asked for an insurance even though he was a 3-to-1 favorite. Here is the poker hand versus Erik Seidel played in the Million Dollar Cash Game Season 1:
In fact, he believes he’s so unlucky that during one hand at the 2004 WSOP Main Event, Matusow begged the poker gods to get lucky even though he was a 3-to-1 favorite in an all-in. ‘One time,’ he said and guess what? The poker gods didn’t listen to his prayers.He asked himself after the 2004 elimination - he finished 87th by the way.
Why did I choose (poker career) for a living? I must be the sickest person in the whole entire universe.
You didn’t have to be so hard on yourself Mike! The following year, he managed to make the Main Event final table, finishing ninth and winning career-high $1 million. Did that prize help him see his luck differently? Maybe but it didn’t stop Mike from blowing up from time to time especially when slowrolled:
2. Tony G Gets Mad At Everybody
We can’t go on with this top without mentioning Antanas Guoga commonly known in the poker world as Tony G. All poker enthusiasts know what type of character Tony G. is at the poker table - especially when the cameras are rolling. He is definitely entertaining and funny, but can get quite mad when the odds aren’t in his favour. Or the situation, or the players, or the dealers, or the pit bosses...well you get the idea. And again we got the footage to prove it:
Definitely there are times when you wouldn’t want to sit near Tony. I mean he’s crazy enough to blow up at any time for all the wrong reasons yet him steaming can be quite an attraction for any poker shark out there who can handle the heat. But that shark has to be ready for some real, Eastern-European-style ranting. Like this:
Can you handle the heat or better yet, can you handle Tony G? How about the ultimate guy in this list?
1. Phil Hellmuth’s Rant Mix
Yeah, everyone knew our top had to be dominated by the ‘ Poker Brat’ Phil Hellmuth. He’s a Hall of Famer with a giant ego when it comes to poker. Because of this and of the fact the he still believes he’s the best poker player in the world, he blew up countless times on national TV calling everybody idiots. The ultimate rant for him you wonder? How about this hand versus Howard Lederer and what came afterwards - truly epic and funny at the same time. And the interview, just wow:
Yes, you heard right: forget about Lederer, he said he played above the rim against Phil Ivey and that if he saw more of his play, he would throw up. He also called himself ‘the best poker player in the world by far.’
The WSOP Main Event moments had also caught some epic Phil Hellmuth’s blowups. Like this one against Adam Levy:
And yes, sometimes his opponents DO react and show a piece of their rant versus the Poker Brat, like the ‘idiot from Eastern Europe’ - Romania to be exact. Check out how Cristian Dragomir responded and put Hellmuth in his place back in 2008:
That ought to show Phil to stop messing with ‘idiot guys’ from Eastern Europe. And how about those terrible UltimateBet football jerseys? Could it be bad kharma also? Not good, Phil, not good at all.
BONUS: RIP Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott
And since we didn’t show anybody putting Tony G. in his place, let’s rewind some of the most epic battles between late Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott and Tony G. Probably the best reply came out of Ulliott’s mouth saying to the Lithuanian:
You know the sooner they f##### drag you in the f##### water the better. You’re a f#### failure.
You can watch the whole rant here:
‘Devilfish’ passed away earlier this year at the age of 61. We’re sorry we won’t see him again at the poker tables. May he rest in peace.
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