There nothing more annoying at the poker table than a loudmouth player. From the moment they sit down, they are constantly running their mouth to you and the other players in the game. Sometimes it is general table talk and other times they are simply talking smack to try and throw you off your game.
The pro ranks are no different as some pros have made a living at being loudmouths at the table. Today we look at a few of the more famous loudmouths, including a couple you may not associate with the term.
Mike “The Mouth” Matusow
You know that your reputation precedes you when your nickname is “The Mouth.” Matusow rose to the forefront of the public consciousness during the 2004 WSOP for his constant needling of Greg Raymer. At that time, many viewed him as an uber-douche and rooted for him to fail.
However, as the poker world got to know about Matusow, his struggles and his triumphs despite adversity, their opinion changed. Now Matusow is considered more of a lovable loudmouth and his rants are more comical than offensive. He’s also world-class needler and spares no expense at giving players the business at the tables.
There are times where Matusow will show sheer brilliance followed by flights of complete lunacy. I personally remember an incident during the final table of the $10k Omaha Hi-Lo Split at the 2008 WSOP.
During a break, Matusow was off by himself and he glanced my way and made eye contact. He proceeded to come over to where I was and ranted for a solid five minutes about the players at the table, how he was running and how incredibly lucky they were running. Everyone hanging out nearby was intently watching to see what was going to happen next.
Finally, Matusow shrugged and said “But whatcha gonna do” and walked away by himself. He stayed quiet for the rest of the final table.
Ego has a name and that name is Phil Hellmuth. There are few players in the history of the game who are more self-confident in their ability at the poker table than Hellmuth, and he will be happy to tell you about it.
Whether things are going well or they’re going sideways, he’s going to give you play-by-play of what’s happening whether you want it or not. Of course, it is when things are going sideways that makes for the best television.
Hellmuth’s blowups at the poker table are stuff of legend and helped to build an audience in the early years of the poker boom. Even now, most TV producers will jump at the chance to have Hellmuth at the table.
The part that’s the most frustrating is that many believe that Hellmuth is a “has been” or a “never will be” in poker but he continues to win WSOP bracelets. He finds a way to win in every era of poker and some people cannot stand it.
Of course, his winning would be more tolerable if he didn’t tell us about how good he at every opportunity. Oh, and the constant name dropping of celebrities drives many fans batty.
Phil Hellmuth is the man people love to hate, and the man that the poker world really cannot live without.
Tom Schneider isn’t your typical “loudmouth” at the poker table. The four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner isn’t the most talkative person at the table but his apparel has spoken volumes in the past.
Schneider is the CFO of Loudmouth Golf, a company that sells some of the most outlandish golfing apparel in the industry. He often wears some of that apparel, typically pants but sometimes jackets, when he plays in WSOP events. To say that they are conversation starters is an understatement.
Considering his success at the tables, maybe the pants are his secret weapon. They may be so distracting that players can’t think straight and Schneider takes advantage. Or maybe they hypnotize players into folding. One thing’s for certain – the dealer’s will never miss when he’s in his seat.
Daniel Negreanu fits in this category for the simple fact that there are some games where he is talking almost non-stop. He isn’t necessarily trying to be annoying, but for some players his constant talking can be nerve-wracking.
Negreanu enjoys the banter that occurs between players at the table and has often stressed the social aspect of poker as one of the reasons he loves the game. He uses the conversations that he has with players as a way to get a bit of an insight on how they play.
If you pay attention, a person’s style of play with closely match their personality and Negreanu is a master of taking information gathered from table banter and using it to decipher tells from his opponents.
Gavin Smith is a phenomenal poker player but he does have a tendency to be a bit of a loudmouth at the table. What degree of Gavin that you get depends heavily upon how many drinks he has had during the session.
A relatively sober Gavin is your standard needler that is chatty with the players and likes to have fun. Then there is drunk Gavin who likes to bet the nut heart flush when he is holing a diamond. Don’t believe us? Check out the video below of a heads-up match against Phil Ivey during Poker After Dark from a few years ago.