Join us on a journey through some of Hellmuth’s most infamous tantrums, from throwing chairs to verbally assaulting opponents, and discover how he’s viewed beyond the poker table.
Phil Hellmuth, the infamous “Poker Brat,” has certainly earned his reputation for explosive outbursts and tantrums at the poker table. While some argue that this behavior is all part of his brand, others feel that it detracts from his reputation as a world-class poker player and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the poker community.
So, let’s take a walk down memory lane and revisit some of Hellmuth’s most epic meltdowns. From throwing tantrums over lost hands to verbally assaulting opponents, grab your popcorn, and let’s get started!
At the 2008 World Series of Poker, Hellmuth was eliminated from a tournament after losing a hand with pocket Aces to pocket Kings. He then threw his cards at the dealer and storm off the table in a rage.
2011, Hellmuth was playing at the NBC National Heads-Up Championship when he lost a big pot with pocket Aces to pocket Kings again. This time, however, he threw his chair across the room before angrily storming off.
At the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, Hellmuth was eliminated after losing a hand with Ace-King to Ace-Queen. He then criticized his opponent and called him an idiot before huffing off.
At the 2016 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event, Hellmuth was eliminated after going all-in preflop with pocket queens only to be called by another player’s pocket kings. After losing the hand, he unleashed an expletive-laden tirade on his opponent before leaving the table in disgust.
In 2017, Hellmuth was dealt pocket tens and went all-in preflop, only to be called by Tom Dwan with pocket aces. After losing the hand, he unleashed an expletive-laden tirade on Dwan.
In 2018, Hellmuth was involved in a heated argument with another player. He threw chips across the table and had to be restrained by security.
In 2019, Hellmuth set up a brilliant psychological tactic to have it backfire spectacularly. Frustratedly, he threw his cards down and yelled at his opponents before storming off the table.
During the same year, Hellmuth argued with another player over how much money they had left in their stacks and threw chips across the table again.
Phil threatened to burn down the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino during the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP). This happened during a WSOP final table when Hellmuth became frustrated with his opponent, Adam Friedman. In his tirade, Hellmuth dropped dozens of f-bombs and threatened to burn down the casino.
In February 2022, Hellmuth lost a six-figure pot on Live at the Bike, leaving the game between grunts and tantrums.
Support and Criticism Surrounding Phil Hellmuth’s “Poker Brat” Persona
Some argue that his behavior makes him such a great player, as it can be used to intimidate opponents and give him an edge in the game. Others feel that it detracts from his reputation as a world-class poker player and gives him a bad name in the poker community.
Phil Hellmuth: Beyond the Poker Table
Phil Hellmuth is also a best-selling author who has written several books about his life and career as a professional poker player. His book “Play Poker Like The Pros” was a New York Times bestseller featured on Oprah Winfrey.
In addition to all this, Phil Hellmuth is an accomplished public speaker who often gives motivational talks about success, hard work, and determination. He has spoken at numerous conferences worldwide and continues to inspire people with his wisdom.
While many criticize and mock him for his behavior, Hellmuth often jokes about it and acknowledges that he can be “overly emotional.” In 2018, during the World Series of Poker final table, Hellmuth was scolded by Norman Chad for his “reprehensible” behavior. Hellmuth later apologized and admitted he had “gone too far.” Despite these outbursts, Phil Hellmuth maintains focus and composure when it matters most.