You can count Olivier Busquet among the many high rollers who don’t think too highly of Phil Hellmuth’s poker game. He also isn’t impressed with the “Poker Brat’s” character.
Busquet, one of the most respected heads-up online pros ever, bashed Hellmuth on Twitter in response to Phil Galfond’s praise of the 15-time WSOP bracelet winner.
As we reported Thursday, Galfond came away impressed with Hellmuth’s play in his two heads-up matches against Antonio Esfandiari on the new PokerGO show, High Stakes Duel. But the positive comments about one of poker’s most famous stars were met with criticism from numerous high rollers, including Fedor Holz and Dan Smith.
But the biggest critic of them all was Busquet, who wrote a lengthy diatribe on Twitter explaining what he despises about the Poker Hall of Famer.
Olivier Busquet doesn’t like Phil Hellmuth
You don’t have to be a top poker pro to decipher that Busquet isn’t a big fan of Hellmuth after reading his recent Twitter comments. It all started with the poker pro taking shots at Galfond for praising Hellmuth. He referred to the positive comments as one of the “silliest things I’ve ever read from someone I respect.”
I anticipated there being many responses to this tweet critical of my personal play so let me put my money (and yours) where my mouth is. Since we’re doing things formally now, I formally challenge @phil_hellmuth to a HU match.
— Olivier Busquet (@olivierbusquet) October 7, 2020
Farrah Galfond, Phil’s wife, stuck up for her husband. The soap opera star (Farrah Fath, who played Mimi Lockhart on Days of Our Lives, pre-marriage) ripped on Busquet for criticizing Phil Galfond’s pro-Hellmuth comments.
“My husband is one of the most talented poker minds to ever live and if he was impressed with PH’s headsup play, then there must be something there,” Farrah Galfond wrote on Twitter.
Busquet fired back and continued his verbal assault of the “Poker Brat,” but Twitter’s 280-character limitations weren’t enough. He needed to use his iPhone notepad to write down around 1,000 words explaining his disdain for the poker legend, and then shared those notes in a screenshot on Twitter.
“The real question is how is (Hellmuth) viewed by the professional community and should this two HU challenge shift our view of how good Phil is? In my opinion, no not at all,” Busquet wrote.
“I find it rather bizarre that PG didn’t mention PH’s demeanor and behavior at the table,” he continued. “It’s not simply that PH does unconventional stuff at the table, it’s the combination of making unconventional decisions and simultaneously claiming he’s the best in the world that draws sharp criticism.”
Hellmuth is an old-school player who refuses to learn and adapt to the game theory optimal (GTO) approach that younger poker pros now play. GTO focuses on the analytical side of poker as opposed to Hellmuth’s “white magic” strategy, which is more of a mental approach to the game. For that reason, along with his antics at the table when he loses a pot, many of the younger pros are highly critical of his game.
Busquet claims that the “professional community” disrespects Hellmuth’s game because of his table antics. Hellmuth is known to berate players who suck out on him, and to complain when he loses a big pot, even if he never had the best hand.
“The way he conducts himself on TV represents the poker community more broadly (of which I am a member) and is a toxic member to follow,” Busquet continued in his diatribe. “I am constantly embarrassed by the way he represents the poker community, aren’t you?”
Featured image source: Poker.org