Poker players have heated confrontation in the middle of a WSOP hand
English professional poker player William Kassouf uses his mouth to try an gain an advantage at the table, and has a history of tilting fellow pros. The tactic has made Kassouf a very polarizing player in the poker world, and fellow pros have been weighing in on Twitter after a clip of Kassouf sparring with Griffin Benger during the World Series of Poker main event aired and went viral.
Deep into the tournament with the final table in sight, Benger – holding pocket aces – raised Kassouf to $5.6 million. Kassouf responded by asking Benger what he should do in the situation.
“What do you want me to do, do you want me to go all-in or fold? Talk to me. You don't say anything, I'm going to have to ship you. Play for the win, right? You doing the same?”
Benger had remained silent, but he couldn't any longer.
“You're just an abusive person, man, it's not funny. It's not a game. You're being abusive. What you're doing to me, you're a bully. It's rude. It's mean.”
Kassouf defended his actions, telling Benger “it's called speechplay.” The two players then mutually agreed to go all-in, and Kassouf (with pocket kings) was eliminated).
Kassouf finished in 17th place and took home more than $300k in winnings, while Benger has advanced to the November Nine and is assured of winning at least $1 million. Kassouf said that the worst confrontation he ever had came in Spain, where a German player threatened to beat him up.
“There was this German guy at EPT Barcelona. He kicked off, he started shouting at me. Told me to shut the [expletive] up. Told me to hurry up. Called the clock on me. I wasn’t even in the hand.”
Eventually the German player told Kassouf to meet him outside the casino after play ended.
“He was being really threatening,” he said. “That’s the closest I’ve come to a physical altercation. I’ve never been in a fight in my life, on the poker table or off. I’m not that kind of guy. I like to think I’m a friendly guy.”