Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Am Irony Man

Hellmuth doing what he loves bestYesterday a poster on Two Plus Two started a thread with the title “Who the hell is Matt Hawrilenko???!?”

The question was received with the usual dignity and aplomb such queries generally receive on 2+2, with the discussion quickly veering into a debate over what a “level” is, then someone asking the poster “Who the hell are you???!?”

The question does get answered, though. For those who do not know, Hawrilenko is perhaps best known as “Hoss_TBF,” the name under which he plays on several sites. He’s a highly successful online pro, having numerous big scores in tourneys as well as a formidable reputation as a limit player. He’s a “red pro” on Full Tilt, where he even has his own special $2,000/$4,000 heads up LHE table. As far as live play goes, he has a handful of World Series of Poker cashes, including a couple of final tables (one in a LHE event, the other in stud).

I heard Hawrilenko interviewed on the Two Plus Two Pokercast back in October -- around the time he was made a “red pro,” I believe. I remember him as a smart commentator who was able to articulate some genuine insights about high-stakes limit games.

Anyhow, the reason why the poster was asking about Hawrilenko is undoubtedly because of the fact that a little over a week ago “Hoss” played a lengthy session of LHE with Phil Hellmuth over on UltimateBet, after which Hawrilenko posted the chat from the session on his personal blog.

The day did not go well for Hellmuth, who (as we all know) finds it useful to call his opponents “morons” and the like whenever such a situation arises. Hawrilenko fires back some hilarious responses to some of Hellmuth’s Tourette’sish outbursts. For example:

HOSS_TBF: there is a program called mavis beacon teaches typing which
HOSS_TBF: i found very useful and you may as well

A little later, after Hellmuth whines “this isn’t aupposed to happen” (sic), Hawrilenko politely suggests: “phil, this is sincere: maybe you should do your breathing... exercises… i honestly do not want you to have another panic attack.”

It gets better. “I should have 50k right now,” complains Hellmuth. “Maybe if you started with 200k,” Hawrilenko opines.

Later Hellmuth, directing his comments not just to “Hoss” but to the rest of the table, cries “y’all are so awful I feel like ****,” to which Hawrilenko sensibly responds “you’re a silly goose.” Most of the Poker Brat’s attacks are reserved for Hawrilenko, though, whom Hellmuth says “plqys every single pot... and pays off like a slot machine.”

*exactly* like a slot machine,” Hawrilenko cheekily points out.

Anyhow, you’ve probably already heard about the most outrageous bit of chat to come from the UB-sponsored pro during this hilarious-though-disgraceful display. At the very end of the session, Hellmuth tells the table “congrats this is my biggest loss in two years playing online.” Just before that comes the following:

PHILHELLMUTH: wow amazing
PHILHELLMUTH: hoss Im having scurity review this session first time ever
PHILHELLMUTH: thats the truth

I’ve written before here about the amazing lack of self-awareness Hellmuth consistently demonstrates. But we’re through the looking glass here, for sure.

Try to imagine someone who has never heard of irony. Say he comes from another species whose capacity for abstract thought is limited in such a way that the concept is wholly alien. Explain to that person the sordid history of UltimateBet -- how players on the site were cheated out of millions of dollars over four-plus years, how the site subsequently mishandled the situation, how Hellmuth has been a paid representative since the site began, and so forth. Even that person might at least recognize something a little askew in all of this.

Wait a minute. We don’t have to imagine such a person utterly incapable of understanding irony. We know one already.

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Blogger cmitch said...

"PHILHELLMUTH: hoss Im having scurity review this session first time ever
PHILHELLMUTH: thats the truth"

LOL - Awesome!!!

3/19/2009 9:16 AM  
Anonymous BJ said...

I've played poker about 20 yrs, long before the tv crap, the online crap, etc, turned poker into the circus it is now.

I don't like what has happened to poker. It's lost all it's integrity.

I don't like every low life bum in the game with no class and no sense of how to behave.

I am one of the original players on UB and though I still belong and play rarely, I think all online sites have massive cheating and underage gambling. I also think every one knows that and doesn't seem to give a crap.

I could name numerous ways to make a game totally illicit when playing online. You only need to use a bit of imagination.

I would bet, and I do mean BET that a good 70% + high stakes games online involve cheating.. and that's on every damn site.

I like Phil, I understand Phil, and I don't believe he should be held accountable for what went on at UB. I think it's only a matter of time before every damn site is hit up with some massive scam, technically, that will rob the players.

In the meantime, there are so many ways for players to sit at home and simply cheat on a table it's ridiculous.

I also highly am against the obvious numerous under aged gambling online. Don't insult me or any of us by insinuating there aren't outright kids playing.

It makes me very very sad to see what has happened to the dignity of poker as it was in the old days. You have kids with no respect for cash and have no clue how hard it is to EARN an almighty US buck that they can't begin to comprehend what they've gotten into, and will end up compulsive and most likely broke, clueless and worthless with no education or talents or life experiences to fall back on.

I think it's ugly and dangerous what has happened to poker. TV has played a big part in it but the worst is the online poker sites.

If you don't get that, then you are either too young or you share in online profits in exchange for advertising (as a player).

I was at one time or another asked to where the badges of 2 dif sites in exchange for a buy in. I can't do it. My conscience won't let me.

Yeh the bing money in tournaments is great. I've made my share of unfamous final tables here in Vegas and won a few - but I just can't condone what has happened to poker the last several years.

4/25/2009 1:11 AM  

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