Poker players who heard that poker-pro Jeraint “JJ” Hazan was going to be on the enormously popular UK quiz show The Chase might have hoped that he would be an advert for the game. Unfortunately, he rubbed pretty much the entire viewership the wrong way.
Branded as arrogant, and not charming enough to pull it off, the ITV comments page was set alight by trolls. Meanwhile, Twitter became an assembly line for Jeraint-directed bile.
Even Bradley Walsh, the show’s host, seemed to struggle at times with Hazan’s over-the-top “confidence.” And in real life, Walsh is best known for his upbeat Cockney-dad persona. He barely has to act to play Graham O’Brien in Doctor Who.
Robin Chapman’s attitude was pretty representative. They tweeted: “This poker player bloke Jeraint is rather obnoxious. Surprised if he hasn’t been lumped[*] before now.”
*Probably a typo for “lamped”. British slang for clocking, braining, or popping someone with a knuckle sandwich.
Watching #TheChase on +1. This poker player bloke Jeraint is rather obnoxious. Surprised if he hasnt been lumped before now.
— Robin Chapman (@robin101962) November 2, 2020
Other people just reveled in his downfall.
As in @MissLionHeart’s tweet: “Jeraint has gone from professional gambler to professional loser.”
Then there was the blunt terseness of steph’s, “This Jeraint fella is a knobhead.”
This Jeraint fella is a knobhead #TheChase
— steph 🦝 (@stephelllen) November 2, 2020
Not someone you might follow to a fun home game then.
Hazan described himself as both a poker player and a family man.
Certainly, he’s not bad at the game. He has some $673,137 in live tournament cashes. Though about $450k worth of that came from a single win at the LIDO Dutch Open in 2006. Since then he has had a few low five-figure wins, but it has been lean times.
Last year he won the Irish Open Seniors event for €5,700 ($6,413). After chopping with Joe Beevors as it was “past bedtime.
So when he mentions that by “family man” he means he has 17 children, you begin to understand why he might need to take a run at the odd side gig to stay solvent. A side gig like a TV quiz show.
Unfortunately for him, he didn’t get his hands on any of the prize money. Chaser Anne Hegarty gave the audience what they wanted and wasted Hazan in a few rounds.
— Joe Beevers (@joebeevers) April 23, 2019
This isn’t the first time Hazan has taken a run at TV fame. Some sharper eyed viewers thought they “recognized him from something.”
Almost a decade ago he was on Dragon’s Den, pitching a 40% share of his tournament winnings for a year. The Dragons would only have to invest £65,000 for this tasty morsel. The full clip is at the bottom of the article.
In that particular case, he was unable to convince the Dragons of the parallels between investment and gambling. He walked out without a penny that time too.
GG. Better luck on whatever show we see you next, Jeraint.
Featured image source: Twitter