Main Event Gets Ugly as Kassouf, Feature Table Clash
Well, that got ugly quickly.
What was previously - at least to most poker fans - an amusing bit of sideshow banter became a flashpoint for controversy as the WSOP coverage on ESPN aired episodes 11 and 12 on Sunday night.
At the center of the firestorm? One William Kassouf, aka "Mr. 9 High Like a Boss," who's incessant banter and repeated tanking turned his tablemates into un unruly mob out for blood.
What they didn't get, however - at least not yet - were Kassouf's chips.
Kassouf Show Gets Poor Ratings
Episode 11 began quite innocently with lots of momentum from previous episodes leading into the start of playdown from the final 27. Australian pro James Obst, one of the chip leaders for much of the coverage, got things started with an impressive fold against Michael Ruane.
In the hand Obst had a set of sevens and improved to a full house on the river but Ruane has him crushed with a straight fluh. After a Ruane shove on the river, Onst wisely laid it down.
Adam Krach and Antoine Saout were not quite as fortunate in another huge hand when a river Ace allowed Ka Kwan Lau to bust them both, in glorious fashion, right of the Main Event.
Shortly after, it was back to the William Kassouf show. The solicitor from London, who rankled a few people with his "speech play" against Stacy Matuson earlier in the tournament coverage, was at it again, this time at the feature table.
"You're a Clown"
Having a hard time engaging players in any of his admittedly repetitive banter, the table instead got huffy about the time it took for him to play his hands.
Accusing him of tanking unnecessarily the 'professionals' at the table - including Nov. 9ers Cliff Josephy and Gordon Vayo, Jared Bleznick and Matthew Moss - got particularly rankled and began to gang up on him.
While what Kassouf was doing seemed well within his rights, Josephy repeatedly called him "a clown" and Vayo fabricated the idea Kassouf had "berated a women to tears" earlier in the event.
WSOP TD Jack Effel eventually got involved and managed to make a bad situation even worse with a bit of confusing dialogue and camera grandstanding.
Regardless of the outcome - which actually saw the Kassouf take down a couple of big pots near the end of the episode and finish third in the chip counts with 21 players left - it was an ugly night of poker where no one in particular came off looking good.
Except, depending on your point of view, Kassouf, who found a ton of support for his game and his banter on social media. Watch the episodes below: