Hellmuth with the most controversial hand of the WSOP

The Main Event is down to less than 400 players and Phil Hellmuth is long gone, but he left his mark on the tournament this weekend.

He was on the PokerGO feature table in a three-way pot when James Campbell went all-in leaving Alex Kuzmin to act, however while Kuzmin was making his decision Phil went on a angry expletive filled outburst which clearly indicated he was going to fold, making a much easier decision for Kuzmin, who would otherwise probably have had to fold knowing Phil was left to act. Kuzmin did call and eliminated Campbell.

I'm going to be writing about it in more depth this week but until then Doug Polk's recap of the hand shows you everything you need to know, including footage of the hand itself:

This led to a massive outpouring of anger on Twitter from the poker community, which included Justin Bonomo suggesting Hellmuth should be retroactively penalised, Isaac Haxton accusing him of doing it all the time and Erik Seidel telling Phil he was out of line: 

In true Phil Hellmuth style he seemed to miss the point of all the anger, focussing on the swearing rather than the fact that him giving information away about his hand while two other players still in it influences the action unfairly, as well as generally attempting to reframe the incident with him being the victim of unfair criticism:

Eventually, however, Phil appeared to see sense and as an olive branch has offered to pay for James Campbell to play in the Main Event next year, a gesture which Campbell was very happy with:

The seriousness of this infringement really depends on your read on what Phil was actually doing in the hand. If you think that this was just poor emotional control on his part (despite knowing the rules) then it is somewhat forgivable (but still deserving of a penalty), but if you think it was a calculated effort to get Campbell eliminated then it is much more serious and in the remit of what Bonomo has suggested it is. Ultimately only Phil knows for sure on this one.

Was this blatant cheating or poor emotional control? Let us know in the comments:

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