Trash Talking WSOP Player Gets Dose of Ultimate Karmic Justice

Will Kassouf is a professional poker player from England who has (rightly) earned a reputation for being a bit of a annoying loudmouth at the table. Kassouf’s behavior has been under the microscope even more this year, as he made a deep run in the $10,000 Main Event at the 2016 World Series of Poker, earning a spot on the final two tables.

In a recent episode of the World Series of Poker on ESPN, a hand between Kassouf and Canadian Griffin Benger developed that caused tensions to rise to record levels. Benger raised preflop with pocket aces, only to be reraised by Kassouf who had picked up pocket kings. As Benger contemplated his next move, Kassouf’s mouth began a stream of table talk and psychological head games, trying to goad his opponent into making a mistake (little did he know there are no mistakes with pocket aces).

Benger was sick of the constant commentary, and lashed out.

“You’re just an abusive person, man, it’s not funny,” Benger said. “It’s not a game. You’re being abusive. It’s called verbal abuse. What you’re doing to me is verbal abuse. You’re a bully. It’s rude. It’s mean.”

Kassouf defended his behavior as “speech play,” but Benger was wasn’t buying the explanation.

“It’s not called speech play, it’s called being a bad person,” Benger replied. “You should really check yourself. Check your privilege. You’re a rude person.”

The situation eventually reached the inevitable conclusion of Kassouf going all-in and Benger calling (naturally). The aces held up and Kassouf was eliminated in 17th place, taking home $338,288. Benger is still alive and part of the “November Nine” who will play a live final table next month to determine the eventual winner of poker’s most famous tournament.


The poker community is seemingly divided over Kassouf’s actions. No less an authority than Phil Hellmuth has weighed in, saying that players should be allowed to talk in an effort to gain information.

However, Kassouf has been called out by numerous other pros for his incredibly slow play, something that goes along with his talking.

Devon Taylor (@DevonTaylor113)

Devon Taylor (@DevonTaylor113)

Devon has been writing about random things online since 2013. His favorite video game is Rocket League, his favorite TV show is The Sopranos, and he hated the last season of Game of Thrones. Follow him @DevonTaylor113.