Kassouf vs Benger – Too much table talk?

NLOP Poker News: Kassouf vs Benger – Too much table talk?

If you follow poker news you’ve likely heard of the epic poker hand of  Kassouf vs  Benger. This hand is everywhere this week, and for good reason.

After our post last week on poker etiquette and best practices we thought this was a great follow up. We have the hand between Kassouf and Benger below, followed by a podcast by Daniel Negreanu on the topic.

Watch this video of Kassouf vs Benger and then let’s chat… Hold on to your seats, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Phew, was that intense or what? What do you think, was Kassouf out of line? Was Benger on point when he said, “You’re a bully, you’re being verbally abusive, you’re a bad person”? Or, was Kassouf in-line with his “speech play”?

How about we step away from poker for a moment and evaluate this scenario. You’re at an NBA game and one player reacts to another like this. There’s no way this would be allowed, right? Where’s the limit to table talk and speech play? Would you apply a penalty in this situation (think about how much money is on the line here)? How would you have responded if you were Benger in this situation?

Let’s  listen to what Daniel Negreanu (basically the OG in speech play) has to say about this particular situation.

You’ve watched the video, you’ve heard Daniel Negreanu’s thoughts, what do you think? Did Kassouf take it too far? If so, poker karma was certainly on Benger’s side that day. Can you imagine how sick you would be all-in for your tournament life AA vs Kings; with that table talk prior to revealing hands only to see a king in the window! Luckily, the poker gods were on Benger’s side this time.

We’re interested to hear what you think; leave us a comment below (play nice) and let us know how you would have:

  • A: Responded Initially
  • B: Would you request a penalty be activated
  • C: Followed Up after the hand
    • Do you give him:
      • A GG (but really mean, karma is a *****)
      • Give him a handshake or shoulder bump
      • Give him the bird and say nice try sucker
      • Say nothing and get back to the grind

While I’m personally still trying to digest this, one point made was that Kassouf didn’t use any profanity. I think if I were in Benger’s situation I would likely feel this was crossing the line in the moment. My after thoughts would probably be that he’s a (you-know-what) and I would have a laugh about it <- this could be good or bad. Let me know what you think!


Kristalina Steininger

NLOP Poker Room Manager