Will Kassouf Controversy Grabs WSOP Headlines

On his twitter account, British solicitor Will Kassouf describes himself as a “chilled-out, fun-loving kind of guy, always up for a challenge and a good laugh!” Be that as it may, many of  the pros seated at his WSOP Main Event table don’t seem to agree and reacted badly to the UK player’s incessant “speech play”, as well as the extended amount of time it took him to make seemingly straightforward plays.
According to Kassouf, however, much of what he did was in order to gain valuable information on his opponents that he could then use to gain an advantage during the game. Nevertheless, even ESPN commentator Norman Chad and Tournament Director Jack Effel seemed to agree that Kassouf’s antics went too far, with Effel issuing him a warning during play, and reminding him that poker was intended to be fun for all players at the table.
The situation then reached a crescendo after Will Kassouf was dealt pocket kings at the same time as Griffin Benger got pocket aces. Once again, Kassouf started tanking and quizzing his opponent, leading to Benger accusing him of being “abusive”, “rude”, and a “bully” . Furthermore, in a scenario where the chips usually fly into the centre of the table, Kassouf still took several minutes before finally going all-in, and soon after he was eliminated.
Despite his controversial behavior, however, Will Kassouf has been enjoying a certain amount of notoriety following the incident’s airing on TV, with his popularity surging on Twitter, and his being invited to give his side of the story on PokerNews, Full Contact Poker, and the Joey Ingram podcasts. In the meantime, other pros such as Gordon Vayo and Daniel Negreanu have been getting involved to clarify their opinions on the matter, and interestingly, Negreanu seems to take issue with those people who have berated Kassouf’s behavior, stating that instead their main focus should have been simply about how long it took him to make his decisions.
Tournament Director Jack Effel has his own take on the situation, though, and as he explained on pokernews recently: “The words he used might not have necessarily been crossing the line, but the way they were being used and the aggressive nature of his actions were enough to make me feel there was a tension between the players that wasn’t creating a positive, fun, interactive environment where people could freely play poker.”

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