In a thread discussing Phil Hellmuth’s appearance on a podcasthosted by Rounders writer Brian Koppelman, 2014 Big One for One Drop winner Dan Colman (pictured) had some unexpectedly harsh words for the so-called Poker Brat.
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“It’s embarrassing that we have to share our profession with whores like this guy,” he said. “After I win One Drop, he immediately comes on stage to shake my hand in front of a camera and congratulate me. As if he’s the gatekeeper to the poker world and welcoming me inside.”
The 23-year-old confused and infuriated the media following his $15.3 million score in this year’s One Drop by refusing to give interviews or pose for pictures. Instead, he opted to post inside a thread on 2+2, saying that he didn’t “owe poker a single thing,” and described it as a “dark game.”
In his post on Thursday, Colman tore into Hellmuth (pictured), criticizing his infamous table behavior as well as his previous association with Ultimate Bet. “It is truly pathetic that a 40 year old would behave the way he does at the table, not to mention how spineless he is, just willing to take any sponsorship regardless of the company’s integrity,” he continued. “Hey, anything for a payday! Really makes me sad to think there’s a chance some people may look up to this charlatan. People of his attitude and character are a cancer to this world.”
The contentious post sparked a lively debate in the poker community, with WSOP announcer Lon McEachern quickly coming to Hellmuth’s aid on Twitter.
If Dan Colman does as much for helping the game as Phil Hellmuth has done, poker will be in great shape for many years to come. #ButWillHe
PokerStars’ Head of Public Relations Michael Josem acknowledged that Hellmuth had likely spurred thousands of players to deposit on UB, but believes that the 13-time bracelet winner’s association with the now-disgraced company overshadows those efforts.
“I understand that the guy received payments from UB after Black Friday, and UB was unable to pay back the money to players,” he said. “I feel that he might be able to claim that he was negligently ignorant in the UB cheating… but to still receive money AFTER BLACK FRIDAY from the company really leaves no kind words to be said to him.”
On Twitter, Phil responded to Colman’s shot:
“Ouch, I was just attacked big time on a terrific poker forum: TwoPlusTwo. It was personal and it hurts, but I am proud of the man I am!”
2013 WSOP Main Event runner-up Jay Farber (pictured) chimed in, showing support for Hellmuth. “I’ll take @phil_hellmuth over Colman any day,” he responded. “One person is an ambassador for the game, the other rides a moral high horse.”
Others like ASPoker8 were unmoved: “It is not a surprise to see Phil immediately throw up a post about how his feelings are hurt, while never once in history addressing the legitimate questions about the payments he received from UB after the cheating scandal, after the straight up theft, and even after Black Friday.”
Colman later rolled back his comments, saying that Hellmuth wasn’t “exactly a cancer to society” but that “it definitely doesn’t do us any good when people like him shamelessly self promote and try to sell themselves.” But his resentment was clearly exacerbated by the Poker Brat’s congratulatory handshake after the One Drop.
“It brought back the bitter taste I had in my mouth when he came up on the stage after the One Drop win and actually said ‘congratulations, welcome to the poker world kid,’” he griped. “Never met him apart from that but I am sure he’s an overall nice guy, just really not a fan of how he conducts himself.”