In honour of Todd Brunson’s twitter campaign this past week, let’s take a look at some of the most thrilling poker confrontations ever caught on camera.
In case you missed it, Todd began tweeting on Friday about a fist fight between himself and Shawn Sheikhan. Referring to the much derided Iranian as ‘Sheepy’, Todd told the tale of how he goaded The Sheik into an outburst that got him banned from the Aria poker room, before punching him in the face when he returned.
The messages were all conveniently posted on April 1st, leading many to believe it might be a well executed April Fools joke. If it is all a work of fiction, it’s one of the more believable pranks I’ve seen. Brunson Jr. has a well known distaste for Shawn, a player renowned for this abrasive attitude and questionable legal status.
So sit back, relax, and watch other people get angry as we run down 8 of the most bombastic tete-a-tete’s. You’ll see a handful of players reappearing time and time again. No prizes for guessing who they are.
8. Who’s The Idiot?
Why start anywhere but with Phil Hellmuth? He is such a masterful blowup artist that in this clip, he’s managing to start a fight about who started a fight that just happened. It’s all very petulant and while Dani ‘Ansky’ Stern manages to maintain his cool for a few minutes, eventually the Poker Brat’s tirade is too much for him. Also keep an eye of for that cheeky scamp Daniel Negreanu egging both parties on and laughing himself silly at the results.
7. Get on Your Tricycle
Tony G has his own particular way at the table. Some would call it obnoxious needling, others would call it masterful mind trickery. Either way, his barrage of taunts is clearly having an effect on Andrew Robl in this episode of The Big Game. Not enough of an effect though. Despite Tony screaming in his ear and calling the clock, the internet wizard maintains his composure and makes a good lay-down.
6. Big Balls vs. Tiny Balls
On his way to becoming the first post-boom Main Event champion, Greg Raymer had to get past Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow. The three-time bracelet winner is at his most mouthy here as he attempts to pound The Fossilman into submission.
5. A Bad Winner
“I wish I weren’t a bad loser, but it’s ten times worse to be a bad winner.”
So speaks Sensei Hellmuth of his opponent, who just so happens to be Tony G. If you throw these two players in front of the camera you’re bound to get a dynamite face-off. Watch, and revel, in the majesty of two of the biggest loudmouths ever to hit the felt.
4. You Have Until 2013
This match from the 2008 National Heads-Up Poker Championship features a very early TV appearance from online sensation Tom Dwan. At this point, durrrr was known only to the pros and internet railbirds, but his verbal sparring with The Poker Brat would help make him a household name.
3. Too Much Chatter
Here’s the first appearance from Shawn Sheikhan in our list of rage, butting heads with Phil Hellmuth. The Poker Brat is annoyed by the amount of table-talk going on during his hand and while most of the players are happy to let Phil blow off some steam on the sidelines, Shawn isn’t the kind of man to let a good needle go to waste. Hellmuth almost pulls a Todd Brunson at the end of this video, dragging Sheiky down into his seat with a less than friendly arm around the shoulder.
2. You Are An Idiot
This is the last Phil Hellmuth video, I promise. The man is such a wonderfully uncouth argumentative asshole at the table, he can’t help but attract the ire of his opponents. This is Hellmuth at his worst. Laying into an opponent over and over, until a beleaguered Cristian Dragomir finally snaps and begins to bite back.
1. Mouth vs. Sheep
This video is a perfect example of why people don’t like Shawn Sheikhan. The Mouth can be a tough player to sit with, but there’s a mean streak to Sheepy that makes him stand out amongst a crowd of bullies. Although he doesn’t distinguish himself in the politeness stakes either, at least here we get to see Matusow putting The Sheik in his place.