Biggest Jerks in Poker

Poker is starting to get a bad rap with all the jerks being showed on TV. Nobody wants to see the nice guys in poker so instead they show people like Phil Helmuth and Mike Matusou every time they sit down at the table. TV ratings are the root of the problem and it’s my belief that ratings will begin to fall if this continues.

There is nothing wrong with showing the natural rumblings between two opponents. It happens in poker and usually the players who were fighting go right back to being friends after the game is over. Poker and money can bring out the worst in people. It’s when TV gets involved and persuades bad behavior that the motives come into question.

Phil Helmuth “The Poker Brat”

Everyone knows Phil Helmuth by now and if you don’t that might be a good thing. I’m one to give props where props are due and Phil is indeed a great tournament player. Phil plays his “Jerk Profile” to perfection and TV cameras love him for it. Is he actually a jerk or is it all show? It’s more than likely a bit of both.

Phil is a businessman and has taken most of his life away from the playing side of poker. He’s been stated saying that he plans to be worth over $100 million all from business ventures and not necessarily from poker. He’s got books, cd’s, sunglasses and all sorts of junk that he sells. So how does he sell all this crap? Phil uses his bad attitude to get himself all the air time he wants.

Mike “The Mouth” Matusou

Another guy constantly in the spot light for his jerk persona is Mike “The Mouth” Matusou. Unlike Phil, Mike uses his jerk attitude for more of an advantage at the poker table than business. Don’t get me wrong his sponsor, Full Tilt Poker, eat up all the coverage they get from Mike but that’s not the number 1 reason he acts like an ass on TV. Mike provokes people to take action with his crappy attitude and his opponents seek revenge on the poker table. Usually this is to Mike’s advantage because it makes his opponents play all sorts of crap cards trying to bust him.

Mike definitely does use his bad attitude for promotional methods as well. Hear me out on this one. This one is bit of a stretch but I wouldn’t put it past any online poker room. Mike is a jerk and people see this on TV. They see that he plays at Full Tilt, an online poker room, synonymous with being able to chat with the pros. This persuades people to join Full Tilt to watch him play and talk trash to him when he loses. Mike ends up getting paid more by Full Tilt because their logo is always on TV and plus he brings in players to the site.

All in all you don’t want to be like these poker jerks. They have ulterior motives to act the way they act. I sure do hate it when you find a guy like this at a home game bragging over a couple hundred bucks. Home games are meant to be fun and relaxing not for a full out brawl with some ding dong acting like he’s playing for the WSOP bracelet.


Back to all poker strategy articles

Google Analytics Alternative