Rivals! Of course Tony G would be mentioned twice on the latest Top 5 list from PokerStars. Everyone knows that the G has been a prickly loudmouth since he first stepped into the poker scene more than a decade ago. We witness some classic Tony G hijinks and smack-talking. The G is among many other big names included in this latest compilation video by PokerStars TV. They sifted through endless hours of material to find the biggest rivalries in poker. You'd be surprised to see who was pitted against each other including Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Selbst, Dan Shak, Erik Seidel, and Daniel Negreanu. As the narrator suggested, rivalries develop after different conflicts over time, so the competition becomes personal.
Top 5 Rivals
5. Tony G vs. the Tank
Tony G loves to needle his opponents, but nothing tilts the G more than young players tanking for huge chunks of time. The first rivalry to make the list includes a highly-impatient Tony G calling the clocks on younger opponents such as Patrik Antonious and Andrew Robl, who is notoriously known to tank on every street during every hand he played.
The G got tired of Robl's tanking and walked off the TV set muttering, “If you guys are going to take forever, then I'm walking away.”
The G also could not understand how young players who were groomed on the internet became reviled tankers in real life. "You kids play online. It's quick. Bang-bang! You press some buttons. You come here and you tank. You freeze up."
4. Daniel Negreanu vs. Erik Seidel
Here's a story about two old-school Vegas pros that don't get along, but totally act professional about it. I'd consider this more of a “cold war” rivalry than a hot one, but it's evident that Seidel really doesn't like Negreanu and his endless spewage of verbal diarrhea. As Danny Boy explained it, “Erik and I are different people...I'm quite talkative and he's not.” The two go into a big pot during the EPT8 Grand Final in Monte Carlo. It was a cooler of hand with Negreanu holding pocket tens against Seidel's pocket Kings. He claimed he accidentally misclicked and bet 4x instead of something smaller. Seidel quickly 3-bet, but Negreanu shoved all-in. Seidel was covered, but called with pocket Cowboys. Danny Boy rivered a ten to win the pot and a disgusted Seidel quietly, but briskly walked away from the table. Danny Boy busted Seidel on a two-outer and he needled his Vegas cohort with… "I run good!"
3. Maurice Hawkins vs. Shyam Srinvasan
At the 2015 PCA Main Event, a spat ensued between Shyam Srinvasan and Maurice Hawkins, who didn't take kind to Srinvasan's running commentary after he won hands and sniped at his losing opponents.
"How about you make your money and keep your mouth shut!" barked Maurice Hawkins, who clearly had enough of Srinvasan's antics.
The two got involved in a pot in which Hawkins held Q-J vs. Srinivasan Kh-Jh. The flop was Qd-6c-4d, but Hawkins checked in dark, Srinvasan c-bet the flop, Hawkins shoved all-in and said, "Be a man, play a man's game. Ego in poker, you go broke. I promise if I win, I don't say nothing. I drag the pot like a man.”
2. Vanessa Selbst vs. Dan Shak
There's been a lot of drama between Selbst and Shak in various high roller events. The two are not shy about playing big pots and they've clashed more than once in some preposterous pots. There was the one time Selbst and Shak go into a monsterpotten with bottom set against top two pair. Shak made a huge shove on the flop with a set and Selbst called with top two and busted out. At the PCA SHR event, the two jousted in another classic hand in which Selbst held A-J vs. Shak's 10c-9c on a Jc-10x-6c board. "We should not have been playing that big of a pot on the bubble,” said Selbst. Yet, they got involved in one. Shak shoved the flop and Selbst called. Shak whiffed on his flush but he rivered a 10 to win the pot.
1. Tony G vs. Phil Hellmuth
Second appearance on the list for Tony G and of course he had to battle Phil Hellmuth! The G stacked Hellmuth because Hellmuth believed every word out of the G's mouth. After Hellmuth took a licking, the G needled him with… "I hope you got lots of rebuys!"
The Poker Brat shot back, "Tony, you're the worst player at the table!"
The two rumbled again. Hellmuth opened with A-J and Tony G claimed he didn't see his hand and reraised with Ah-Kh. The G boasted he raised blind and didn't look at his cards.
“If you haven't looked, then I'll shove,” said Hellmuth.
Tony insta-called and tabled the stronger hand.
“Tony you lied!” screamed an incredulous Hellmuth.
“Of course I lied, this is poker! What do you think this is? You think I'm blind?”
“Why would you lie? It's considered totally not cool. It's bad etiquette.”
“Phil, this is just a game.”
“You don't too that. It's horrible etiquette!”
The G unleashed one last needle with, “Phil if you are a professional player, you'd be paying closer attention and see me look at my hand.”
They ran it three times and Hellmuth whiffed on all three.
"I want to undersell my hand,” said Tony G. “That's me. I'm sorry I bullied you. I don't want to bully you."
“You showed your true colors,” bitched Hellmuth.
"I think you should retire. Get the hell out of here!"