Phil Hellmuth Criticised for Taking Chips Off the Table at Live at the Bike

Phil Hellmuth recently appeared on the Live at the Bike stream and has come under criticism for taking chips off the table - also known as going south. Hellmuth, playing against names such as Dan Jungleman Cates and Mike Matusow, actually had staked Matusow to the tune of 50% for the night. Following the end of the stream Hellmuth was clearly eager to protect his investment and sought to remove half of what Matusow had in front of him.

By: Mark Patrickson

Doug Polk tweeted and produced a video seeking to check whether others in the poker community felt that this was ethical behaviour. It’s true that the rules generally do not allow for players to remove chips from play while they remain in the game, but in this case the game while high-stakes is still seen as a casual one. Polk is known for his frequent criticisms online and has also been known to needle Hellmuth every now and then.

As it was, none of the other players at the table seemed to care one jot. They were probably more bothered about the disturbance with a hand still in play and Hellmuth trying to get his share of Matusow’s chips. It’s also easy to understand Hellmuth’s rush to collect given ‘The Mouth’s’ propensity to blow up and destroy his bankroll.

Even the poker twittersphere was calm about the whole situation. Okay, a few made their point that if you stake somebody then it’s for the event. They thought doing it mid-stream wasn’t proper, but weren’t making much noise about it. Hellmuth later explained that the stream overran and he wouldn’t have done it a minute before.

In the end a bit of a storm in a teacup, and if poker twitter can’t get wound up over it, then really Hellmuth can’t have done an awful lot wrong. Poker twitter really is the barometer for anything controversial in the game.


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