Phil Galfond has publicly apologised for his poor opinion of Phil Hellmuth’s standard of play over the years. The Run It Once founder observed Hellmuth in his Round 2 match of High Stakes Duel with Antonio Esfandiari and was impressed.
We so often criticize the plays we see on TV from the comfort of our couches. I think it’s only fair to also give credit where credit is due.
— Phil Galfond (@PhilGalfond) October 7, 2020
Galfond might be an all-time great, still highly regarded by his peers, but not everyone agreed with him, including German hotshot Fedor Holz.
Phil Galfond Backtracks
Phil Hellmuth is a figure of fun for the poker community. He is constantly berated for both his behaviour and the level of his play.
He is in possession of no less than 15 World Series of Poker bracelets, a record that may never be broken. But his often disgraceful behaviour at the table has turned away many potential fans.
Today though, it is his poker ability that is under scrutiny. Modern day great Fedor Holz clearly disagrees with Phil Galfond and wasn’t shy with giving his opinion in full public view.
“He punted every 300k I’ve seen him play in so I don’t share your view.
I think he’s a clear losing player in tougher lineups and mostly plays a style that exploits vs. tighter weaker opponents and WSOP & oldschool player tendencies. I find it entertaining to play against him,”
Not beating about the bush!
It isn’t just Fedor Holz that thinks Phil Hellmuth doesn’t deserve such praise as given out by Phil Galfond. Olivier Busquet is another top pro who thinks it is laughable.
He also wasn’t shy about giving a scathing opinion in public.
“Easily 1 of the silliest things I’ve ever read from someone I respect. Misses the point or is flat out wrong on almost every substantive issue and an actual formal apology to the most obnoxious disrespectful, self promoting ego maniac in the industry. It’s like Stockholm syndrome,”
— Farah Galfond (@Farah_Galfond) October 7, 2020
Amusingly, Galfond’s wife Farah took offence to Busquet’s strong opinion and took him to task.
Phil took a more gentler tone as it was obvious that bringing up this subject was bound to cause some friction.
Nice guy, loyal wife, legend, salty asshole. I accept. I don't see how continuing this is productive or valuable.
— Olivier Busquet (@olivierbusquet) October 8, 2020
Busquet took it in good humour too and replied with a suggestion that he is a bit salty.
What Did Phil Galfond Start?
Phil Hellmuth does deserve respect and recognition for his achievements. As the youngest ever WSOP Main Event champion at the time he has gone on to win many millions of dollars in poker tournaments.
Many say, including Doyle Brunson, there is no better player at dodging bullets when facing a large field of amateurs. Hellmuth is great at exploiting weak players.
But that doesn’t make him a world class player. He is clearly no longer an elite professional – the days have passed him by.
As the thread developed, Busquet saw the funny side of it all and challenged Hellmuth to a match under the same terms as The Duel.
I anticipated there being many responses to this tweet critical of my personal play so let me put my money (and yours) where my mouth is. Since we’re doing things formally now, I formally challenge @phil_hellmuth to a HU match.
— Olivier Busquet (@olivierbusquet) October 7, 2020
He even offered to pay Phil’s expenses for turning up to play him.
“Same format as the duel – but first to 50 wins. Each match is for 10k and sidebet of 100k where I will lay 2-1 odds for the first to 50 wins. I also offer to pay out of my own pocket for travel and boarding expenses for Phil and for it to be live streamed and commentated on,”
We look forward to seeing if this actually happens.
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