High-stakes poker events, the World Series of Poker especially, are like baseball but without the bats and balls — a lot of sitting around and waiting for brief, intense moments of drama. That ratchets up the tension of all those moments, because the participants have little to do but stew in their own anxiety. That’s how you get moments like above, when William Kassouf tried to ratchet up the tension himself by going after Griffin Benger pre-flop.
“What do you want me to do, do you want me to go all-in or fold? Talk to me. You don’t say anything, I’m going to have to ship you. Play for the win, right? You doing the same?”
“Ship” is apparently just an obnoxious poker term for beating someone, so Kassouf was baiting Benger really hard to get him to show emotion — something he’s somewhat infamous for. After raising $5.6 million, Benger was a little high strung, so he was in no mood, and he came right back at Kassouf.
“You’re just an abusive person, man, it’s not funny. It’s not a game. You’re being abusive. What you’re doing to me, you’re a bully. It’s rude. It’s mean.”
It sounded like it was from the heart, but it got Kassouf to go all-in with the inferior pocket cards, and Benger wound up ecstatically taking the pot and knocking Kassouf out. Maybe now they can both go get some blood pressure meds.