With such high rewards on offer, playing poker at the top level can be both very stressful and tense for the competitors.
There are so many infuriating aspects to the game too, particularly when there’s a lot of money on the line; you can get a bad beat, you could make a bad read, or even be bluffed or trapped.
As a result, it’s inevitable that emotions can sometimes spill over and affect their behaviour – this ranges from arguing among each other, or even just going off in a lone rage.
Phil Hellmuth is notably famous for talking to himself angrily when things aren’t going his way, while other players like Mike Matusow get visibly upset.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the angriest moments we’ve seen at the poker table for you to watch below.
5. Patrik Antonius vs Daniel “Jungleman” Cates
In fairness to Patrik Antonius, you can see why this mistake from the dealer would make him so livid.
Having been dealt an Ace and a King, he immediately raises to $40,000 which causes the other players to fold, with the exception of Daniel “Jungleman” Cates.
He holds Pocket 9s, and clearly makes the call to go all-in as he pushes his chips forward, which is then replicated by Antonius.
At this point the dealer steps in and moves some of Jungleman’s chips away, allowing him to keep a hold of some of the ones he was originally planning to bet.
Antonius demands a ruling on the situation, the fairest of which would’ve been for both players to go all-in blind before any more cards were dealt.
However, the official allows Jungleman to bet just $315,000, keeping him in the game whether he loses this hand or not.
When an Ace comes up on the Flop to give Antonius a pair, he goes all-in, and naturally Jungleman folds.
This leaves the former stewing that he wasn’t able to take his opponent out of the game, and he then has a very heated discussion with the official about the ruling.
4. Phil Hellmuth vs Mike Kinney
The “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth in his element in this clip, being unable to accept his defeat to someone who ranks far below him in terms of reputation.
At the start of this hand he is the leader with almost $30,000 in chips, and given how much he loses here it’s probably slightly more understandable that he reacts angrily.
Hellmuth begins with the Ace and Queen of Hearts, while his adversary Mike Kinney holds the King and Queen of Spades.
Unbelievably, the Ace and Jack of Spades are flopped to give Kinney a draw for a Royal Flush, and the 5 of Hearts is there to leave Hellmuth two off a Flush, though he does have a Pair.
Kinney bets $1,200 following Hellmuth’s check, but is then raised to $5,000.
The 4 of Spades is produced on the Turn to land Kinney a Flush, leaving his opponent in all kinds of trouble.
Instead of going for the kill, he matches Hellmuth’s check to make him think that he hasn’t got a very strong hand, and as the River adds an 8, he can take advantage of the situation.
That tactic works a treat as Hellmuth bets another $4,500, allowing Kinney to go all-in.
This really ought to be a red flag to fold, but Hellmuth matches it, and is absolutely furious when the cards are revealed.
He stands up, calls Kinney “cold-blooded”, starts swearing and aggressively talking to himself, demonstrating why his nickname is entirely accurate.
3. Mike Matusow vs Ed Foster
After getting a seriously bad beat to knock him out of the game, Mike Matusow somewhat fails to keep his emotions in check against Ed Foster.
Matusow goes all-in with around $110,000 after being dealt an Ace and a King, and after debating it briefly Foster follows suit with an Ace and Queen.
You can see how tetchy Matusow is after the call, shouting at himself about how he needs the best hand for just “one time”.
An 8, 7 and a 5 come up on the Flop, and neither player has been helped even by the Turn, as that only brings a second 7.
The only card that could see Matusow lose at this point is a Queen – and he gets it on the River.
He screams in disbelief at his bad luck, and storms away from the table as he is eliminated from the tournament.
The camera follows him, and you then see him with his head in his hands in tears, as he continues to rant and swear at himself.
Matusow even needs a friend to help console him, while Foster and the other players discuss his poor temperament and reaction.
That really isn’t the way to handle a defeat on camera.
2. Phil Hellmuth vs Daniel Negreanu
After losing a six-figure hand to Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth once again fails to keep his rage under control in front of the television cameras.
With an Ace and a 4, he raises to $3,500 against Negreanu’s Ace and 10, so he is already in a fairly weak position.
The Canadian doubles the raise to $7,000, and Hellmuth states that he thinks his opponent could have Jacks, so he only calls the bet.
However, Negreanu bets another $10,000 just before the Flop is down, which turns out to be a remarkable decision as he pulls Two Pair.
Hellmuth calls that raise and then checks, again giving the impression that he isn’t in a particularly strong position.
Next, a 2 comes up on the Turn, and that card seals Neagreanu’s fate as the winner of the hand, so he bets another $25,000 against an increasingly frustrated Hellmuth, which is called.
Things go from bad to worse when Hellmuth effectively gives away his weak position, allowing Negreanu to bet a further $40,000 after a 7 on the River, despite Hellmuth’s pleas to stop at $10,000.
In the hope that Negreanu might be bluffing, Hellmuth decides to call and subsequently loses a pot worth $165,700, setting him off in a fit of rage.
As is his hallmark, he starts talking to himself and swearing repeatedly, as the commentators predicted at the end of the hand.
1. Tony G vs Ralph Perry
One of the most bizarre hands of poker you are ever likely to see, as Tony G seems to lose it against Ralph Perry.
Unlike the other videos we’ve talked about, Tony G actually wins the hand and still appears to be furious at his opponent Ralph Perry.
With an Ace and a 2, he gets into Perry’s head by revealing he has a weak set of cards and encourages him to make money from him by calling his all-in bet.
After much persuasion, Perry eventually caves in and calls with his King and Jack, making the pot worth an astonishing $1,530,000.
At this point, Tony G tells Perry that he has “played very well”, which is definitely not the impression he gives when he gets a Pair of 2s on the Flop.
He continues to talk aloud and taunt Perry, and wants the River to “teach him a good lesson” following a 7 on the Turn not doing the Russian any favours.
The River doesn’t rescue him either as it produces a 6, to which Tony G lets out a huge cheer and starts on another tirade of insults.
Tony G calls him “terrible” and that his decision to call the all-in bet was “disgraceful”, before asking for more Russians to play him so he can “get them all”.
It’s almost excruciating to watch and totally uncalled for, and somehow Perry manages to keep his cool in the midst of everything Tony G is firing at him.
When Perry eventually leaves the table and congratulates Tony G on winning the hand, the latter orders the audience to stop applauding because he “doesn’t deserve” any of it.
The other players on the table are clearly shocked by Tony G’s behaviour, and it’s easy to see why.