Most Controversial Players In Poker

While most poker games will go off without an issue, there are occasions when you're playing with a highly controversial character, someone who likes to cause a scene when the cards don't go their way.

When these players feature in televised tournaments, it provides great entertainment for those watching at home, but it can annoy other players at the table. If you're looking to develop your own poker skills to ensure you're always in with a chance of winning then check out

We've taken a look at some of the most controversial poker players who could do with returning to poker school.

Ivan Freitez
He is certainly the least well-known name on this list, but Ivan Freitez has been involved in some of the most controversial moments in poker. One of the worst came in the EPT Grand Final 2011, where Freitez is dealt 6-5 and the board results in him getting a full house. His opponent, Eugene Yanayt, had K-Q with a pair of kings and fives with his queen as the kicker and it's reasonable for him to believe he is in the strongest position.

Believing he is in a position of strength, Yanayt value-bets, and Freitez's next move is controversial, he announces he is raising, but tosses in a call. In an attempt to backtrack, he says that he meant to say call and that he "no speak English."

Tournament director Thomas Kremser comes over and informs Freitez that he needs to min-raise. But Kremser also informs Yanayt and the other players at the table that this is a move Freitez has previous for when he has a very strong hand. Everyone was rooting for Yanayt to fold to reduce his losses, but even though he was armed with new information regarding Freitez, he took a risk and called, but ultimately lost. Dirty behaviour that wasn't well received by those around the table.

Tony G
The Lithuanian Antanas Guoga, better known as Tony G, is one of the most controversial poker players on the circuit. He's known for being brash and not afraid to speak his mind at the table. He's had high profile clashes with David “Devilfish” Ulliott and Phil Hellmuth Jr..

He likes to use verbal barrages to unsettle his opponents, which has made him something of a marmite poker player – you either love him, or you hate him. For all of his success in poker, his style of poker makes him quite hard to like.

Phil Hellmuth Jr
With a nickname like "The Poker Brat" it shouldn't come as any surprise that Phil Hellmuth Jr. features on this list. He is the most successful player in the World Series of Poker with regards to bracelets won, with a staggering 15 WSOP bracelets to his name. Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey are joint second with 10 bracelets, demonstrating just how good Hellmuth is in the WSOP.

But his success doesn't mean he's graceful, in fact, he's another who is a marmite player. He's someone who people enjoy watching losing, purely because he blows up. There are countless videos of Hellmuth reacting badly to a loss and plenty of people commenting saying they enjoy watching him lose.

Vanessa Selbst
Often referred to as the female Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Selbst has developed something of a reputation for reacting badly to losing. Although she is very successful, winning three WSOP bracelets, that doesn't change the fact that she makes some basic overplays. With a reputation for playing so aggressively, it means her opponents can read her more easily and are more likely to risk a half-decent hand against her.

Her aggression works against players who are more conservative, but when she goes all-in with pocket fours, she shouldn't be surprised if someone calls her with ace nine. While great entertainment for everyone watching at home, it does mean people aren't overly keen on her as a player.

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