Hansen and Tollerene In High-Stakes Blowup

Hansen and Tollerene In High-Stakes Blowup

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Eve Goodman on a big money row.

Another day, another hundred thousand dollars – it’s been another action-packed week in the high-stakes poker world, with many six-figure sums changing hands. Players that had a profitable week include ‘rhje’ (+$472k) and ‘proudlikeagoat’ (+$374k), while among the biggest losers was Isaac ‘luvtheWNBA’ Haxton, who dropped a massive $964k, and ‘O Fortuna PLS’, who ended up in the hole to the tune of $617k.

However, it IS the nosebleeds, and this week there was certainly some blood. Things quickly heated up, and any railbirds that were tuned in probably saw fireworks fly between Ben ‘Bttech86’ Tollerene and Full Tilt Poker Pro Gus Hansen. Tollerene was the biggest online winner of the week, up approximately $544k, while Hansen also landed in the green with winnings of $271k.

It is known that online pro Tollerene launched something of a chatbox attack on the Great Dane, who evidently couldn’t resist retaliating. The argument was over Hansen’s short play time – the Danish pro had sat down at the table, playing just 6 hands before leaving in profit. Tollerene was clearly less than pleased with the ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ approach, and let Hansen know about it in no uncertain terms. The full chatbox exchange can be read below:

Gus Hansen: gg be back later
Dealer: Hand #33137684764
Dealer: Hand #33137684764 has been canceled
Bttech86: why even sit
Dealer: Bttech86 has 5 seconds left to act
Dealer: Gus Hansen has 5 seconds left to act
Dealer: Gus Hansen has timed out
Gus Hansen: sorry - I guess I didnt meet your requirements for sitting down
Gus Hansen: I will ask you permission next time
Gus Hansen: Lol
Bttech86: you act like an #$%%$## all the time and then play 6 hands
Gus Hansen: you guys are a joke
Bttech86: i dont get it
Bttech86: i give you a btn when you timeout. i am not rude to you
Gus Hansen: I think I can ask 100 players - and show them our correspondance for today and all 100 would vote for you being the idiot
Bttech86: i disagree
Gus Hansen: we played en even number of buttons
Bttech86: you sit my direct left on an empty, play 6 hands, hit and run
Gus Hansen: I tiomed out and you gave me the button just like everybody else would
Bttech86: you are acting like an idiot
Gus Hansen: you dont get a prize for that
Gus Hansen: I know now you think you deserve one
Gus Hansen: lol
Gus Hansen: wauw you have such a big vocabulary - I should hook you up with Mike'the mouth Matusow
Bttech86: alright, great
Bttech86: just dont sit if you want to play 6 hands
Bttech86: id rather not bother

The practice of “hit and running” in poker refers to when a player leaves immediately after winning a big pot. It is generally frowned upon as bad etiquette. Exactly why is up for debate – some people believe that it is most honourable to give the losing player a chance to win some money back, while others cite that cashing such a large sum out so suddenly may ruin the game for the other players at the table.

Tollerene plainly felt that he had been wronged by Hansen’s 6-hand stint, but opinion in the poker world is divided on whether he is justified in his complaint. Hansen could be said to be an ambassador of the game, and taking off so quickly after winning money from Tollerene is perhaps not very sportsman-like. However, there’s no escaping that poker is not a team game – arguably if Hansen is out only for personal profit, then that is his prerogative, and as long as he plays within the rules then he doesn’t owe anyone anything.

Neither player did anything technically or categorically wrong, in the sense that no steadfast rules were broken. Having said this, the grey area of etiquette this situation raises has incited a spirited discussion on 2+2 forums. Opinions on the topic are varied, with posters equally condoning and condemning the actions of Hansen and Tollerene. Some even propose views stating that although Gus’ actions were bad, the fact that Tollerene decided to openly criticize him was worse.

The question of whether etiquette has a place in poker is an age-old one, yet one that remains unresolved. Adhering to certain codes of honour at the tables may be seen as respectful to others and ‘good for the game’, but this is perhaps difficult to reconcile with the stark truth that professional poker players are motivated largely by a kind of greed that is inherently selfish. One thing we do know for sure is this is not the first argument had over poker ‘manners’ – and it certainly won’t be the last.

Tags: Gus Hansen, Ben Tollerene, TwoPlusTwo, online high stakes, hit and running