Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu Feuding on Twitter (Again) after Heads-Up Flare-Up

Phil Hellmuth and Daniel Negreanu Feuding on Twitter (Again) after Heads-Up Flare-Up

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In a week full of drama in the pokerverse, two Hall of Famers threw a new log into the fire when Phil Hellmuth blocked Daniel Negreanu on Twitter, the next step in a progressively growing feud between the two.

Amateur poker player Eric Persson showed Phil Hellmuth no respect during their heads-up battle on Poker Go. (Image: Reddit)

This seemed to be in reaction to Negreanu calling Hellmuth out for complaining about the behavior of his opponent in the $25K Heads-Up Poker Showdown, Eric Persson, with many pointing out that Hellmuth has acted similarly for years.

Embarrassing Phil even for you!

For decades you have ruthlessly berated people at the table, and now one guy (Persson) gives you a taste of your own medicine and you cry like a child

No one in poker history is more deserving of behavior penalties than you

— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) April 22, 2022

The inciting incident

The drama began in the event’s first round where the Poker Brat took on Persson, an outspoken amateur player and the CEO of Maverick Gaming, which owns 19 card rooms across Washington State, along with other properties in Nevada and Colorado.

From the start of the match, Persson was hurling personal insults at Hellmuth, calling him a bitch multiple times, and flipping the bird at him in a clear attempt to get under Hellmuth’s skin. As you can see below, the antics seem to have worked. 

😱😱😱😱 is this the angriest we’ve seen @phil_hellmuth???

— PokerGO (@PokerGO) April 22, 2022

Hellmuth would go on to lose the match, and went to Twitter to continue to vent his frustrations. There, several people, including Negreanu, were quick to point out that while Hellmuth may have never flipped off anyone at the table, much of the language and angry outbursts were along the same lines as some of Hellmuth’s classic rants.

There were several references to one of Hellmuth’s most recent outbursts at the WSOP, where he threatened to “burn this place to the ground” in one of his rants.** 

Hellmuth appeared to take offense to these comparisons, leading to a lengthy defense, in addition to the blocking of Negreanu’s account.

Rough day for me! My opponent gave me the double bird, and was out of line w his verbal attacks, but then, I engaged (I’m sure @DougPolkVids can find a clip making me look bad). I should have been the better man, taken the abuse, and found a way to win our match… #POSITIVITY

— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) April 22, 2022

Poker’s best-known frenemies

This isn’t the first time that the two poker legends have had problems on Twitter. Back in 2017, the two engaged in a lengthy debate (to put it nicely) after Negreanu, in a Poker Central article, said he didn’t think Hellmuth’s game was as sharp as some of the new, younger players competing in that year’s Poker Masters.

“These guys have worked real hard on their game the past couple years where I haven’t, and Phil thinks he’s the one seed – it’s delusional. It’s not real life,” Negreanu said in the interview after Hellmuth complained about his seeding in the event.

Never one to let a perceived slight pass with a response, Hellmuth took to the interwebs to make his displeasure known.

I am always the #1 seed in no limit Hold’em tourneys DNegs, best ROI in history kid. And yes, I agree: one of us is delusional…

— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) September 20, 2017

More recently, the two traded virtual jabs in 2021 over which of the two is the better heads-up player after Hellmuth criticized Negreanu for losing $1.2 million online against heads-up specialist Doug Polk.

Yo @phil_hellmuth you said you watched “zero” of the match but seem to have strong opinions on the play.

I’ll play you a heads up match live, online, at any stakes you feel comfortable with for as many hands as you would like.

Wanna play big guy?

— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) February 10, 2021

That challenge instigated a meeting between the two on “High Stakes Duel” where Hellmuth ended up dominating the matchup, sweeping Negreanu 3-0. 

All’s well that ends well?

In the time it’s taken us to craft this tale, Hellmuth appears to have settled one of his feuds already, according to a recent post on Twitter.

I sincerely apologized (now) to Eric Persson for my part in our extreme “Verbal Jousting” during yesterdays heads up match. Eric sincerely apologized to me as well, and we shook hands. Eric played well to beat me #POSITIVITY

— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) April 22, 2022

Whether or not he’ll be so quick to bury the hatchet with Negreanu remains to be seen.

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