The poker world has had more than its fair share of villains over the years. Every kind of nefarious behaviour and scam has been seen at one time or another. But who are the biggest villains in recent memory at the World Series of Poker?
It’s not just that the following players misbehaved during the event; the reason people were rooting against them was often for transgressions beforehand. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest villains from the WSOP.
Jake SchindlerJake Schindler was once a respected member of the high stakes poker community but it all came crashing down around him during 2022. The American was accused of using real-time assistance during online play and was banned from at least one major platform.
Later in the year, after an outcry following more cheating scandals, Schindler found himself banned from taking part in all PokerGO events.
But not one to be deterred, Schindler still made his way to the World Series of Poker and played his normal schedule without a care in the world, despite many around him clearly being angered by his presence. Matters got worse when he won the $50,000 High Roller event and, funnily enough, he declined to be interviewed following his victory.
Chris FergusonChris Ferguson was one of the owners of the now defunct Full Tilt Poker platform. After enriching himself from the proceeds, along with Howard Lederer and others, the 2000 WSOP Main Event champion left the poker scene when the site was taken down by the FBI and unable to pay out to all of its players.
Ferguson became persona non grata in the poker world but decided to make a return to the WSOP in 2017 where he set a record for 23 cashes, and after winning his sixth bracelet he claimed the Player of the year title much to many player’s disgust.
Russ HamiltonRuss Hamilton was the 1994 WSOP Main Event champion and remained active in the live tournament scene until 2006 -2007. In 2008 he was found to be behind the infamous “superuser” scandal and disappeared into the ether with millions of dollars profit.
The American was said to be responsible for code programmed into the Ultimate Bet platform where he could see his opponents’ cards.
Jamie GoldJamie Gold is often said to be the weakest WSOP Main Event champion of all time. Not that he will be bothered about that after pocketing a nice $12 million.
The problems arose when he decided he didn’t want to pay half of it to his backer Crispin Leyser who claimed he was owed half. Leyser ended up taking Gold to court which after freezing the prize money wasn’t needed to arbitrate after all when the pair settled privately.
Will KassoufBritish solicitor Will Kassouf found himself getting under everyone’s skin as soon as the WSOP 2016 kicked off. His constant chatting at the table, usually not in a two-way conversation, annoyed every bunch of tablemates he found himself sat with.
By the time the Main Event was getting down to the sharp end, Kassouf often found himself on the TV table and was annoying even more viewers than players, seemingly unable to ever shut up.
He called it “speech play” but anyone watching was thinking more like verbal diarrhea.