Olivier Busquet Blasts Phil Galfond Over His 'Phil Hellmuth is the GOAT' Post

Phil Galfond has incurred the wrath of Olivier Busquet after the RIO boss praised Hellmuth’s white magic approach to poker, Busquet calling Galfonds praise for Hellmuth easily one of the silliest things I have ever read.

By: Andrew Burnett

Busquet then described Hellmuth as “the most obnoxious disrespectful, self-promoting ego maniac in the industry.”

Galfond shared a new-found love for Hellmuth’s game after watching his ongoing HighStakesDuel heads-up matches with Antonio Esfandiari.

Phil stated: “I just recognise that I witnessed greatness, and that Phil Hellmuth knows something I don’t.”

Those unexpected words of praise came on the back of a double-victory for Hellmuth, taking $50k from Esfandiari in the first round and then doubling that sum when the Magician came back for round two and lost again.

Galfond explained: “Phil’s abilities at the table haven’t had the respect of many in poker’s younger generations,” admitting that he too had privately criticised Hellmuth’s play.

That changed, however, when he watched the recent heads-up battles: “What I saw wasn’t HUNL technical mastery. It was an uncanny ability to assess and adapt to every spot he found himself in.”

Phil, the 15-time WSOP champ Phil that is, was thrilled to receive such plaudits from his namesake…

…but Busquet’s brusque take soon put a dampener on the mutual appreciation society, claiming Galfond was “flat out wrong on almost every substantive issue.”

That in turn prompted Galfond’s wife, Farah, to launch herself into the debate, pulling Busquet up for taking such a harsh line with what is, after all, just one man’s opinion.

When asked to elaborate by chess master and poker aficionado Lawrence Trent, 39-year old New Yorker Busquet offered up an analogy from the world of sixty-four black and white squares.

“It’s hard over twitter,” he started, “but imagine a 2400-2500 level genuinely talented chess player calling all the super gms idiots and fundamentally disrespecting the very notion of studying at chess as a way to improve. Analogy falls apart because of variance but that’s how I see it.”

Basically, it seems Busquet is saying that Galfond’s praise of Hellmuth apparently adds to the idea that ‘white magic’ or intuition can substitute for the hard work a modern-day poker player needs to do compete at a high level.

In other words, perhaps, if it wasn’t for (good) luck, Hellmuth would never win.

Naturally, the Twitter fans and foes put in a rapid appearance and weren’t shy about defending their own particular hero, a selection of tweets below…

  • ‘Can't really argue your point, but you gotta see where Galfond's coming from. Hellmuth's ego aside, he's underrated by the poker community for his tourney skills & in general.’
  • ‘This response is incredibly unhinged and would likely explain why PG has risen to where he is and why your career has taking the trajectory it has.’
  • ‘Whats worse is the lack of respect an entire generation have for the players who have gone before them. Guys like @phil_hellmuth helped make poker mainstream and brought new players to the game. The new generation would bore the public to death regardless of their skill level.’

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