Dan Colman Attack On Phil Hellmuth Over The Line

First of all let me tell you that I don’t have any skin in the game. I am not the “poker media” who is upset with Dan Colman and I have never met either of these players. I have written in defense of Dan Colman before. See my article on Dan Colman Controversy Following One Drop. Frankly, I am disappointed with the recent comments Dan Colman made. The Dan Colman Attack on Phil Hellmuth was over the line IMO. It is embarrassing to have the best players in the game running around in the media trashing each other and calling the other a “cancer on the game”. Here is the statement made by Dan Colman,

“Its embarrassing that we have to share our profession with whores like this guy. After I win one drop, he immediately comes on stage to shake my hand in front of a camera and congratulate me. As if he’s the gatekeeper to the poker world and welcoming me inside.

“It is truly pathetic that a 40 year old would behave the way he does at the table, not to mention how spineless he is, just willing to take any sponsorship regardless of the company’s integrity. Hey, anything for a payday! Really makes me sad to think there’s a chance some people may look up to this charlatan. People of his attitude and character are a cancer to this world.”

First of all you can’t just say this and then come back with another post and take it all back. Here is his next statement.

I understand I come off poorly attacking Phil in the way I did, let’s agree that I was harsh and over the top and didn’t do myself any favors. Im happy to have a dive taken in my almighty twoplustwo street cred as long as we can focus some parts of the discussion on PH’s overall behavior and his representing of UB.

The almost apology is not great. This is like the, oh I was wrong but I am not really wrong statement. Ruthlessly attacking Phil Hellmuth was in poor taste. There was nothing noble about it. Period.

Why Attacking Phil Helmuth Was Illogical

Since we have already discussed his behavior being unacceptable, now lets talk about this Ultimate Bet story. Behind this whole attack is an implicit belief that it was all ok because Phil Hellmuth is the greater “evil” by being involved with UB. Somehow Phil Hellmuth promoting himself and accepting money from UB automatically makes him a “cancer”. This is wrong on many levels. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • We are dealing with imperfect information. It is difficult if not impossible to ascertain what if anything Phil Hellmuth knew about UB.
  • Phil Hellmuth did not attack or provoke you personally. Thus it was not a “defensive” response.
  • There is no clear benefit to acting in this distasteful manner. It seems infantile and thoughtless.

Should Phil Hellmuth Have Known Better?

This world is gray. I get it. If Phil Hellmuth knew what was going on with UB and was not acting in “good faith” then his behavior is truly reprehensible. However, Daniel Colman presents no evidence of this…. Without some evidence linking Phil Hellmuth with the criminal behavior at UB I think the attacks are off base. If there was evidence that Phil Hellmuth simply turned a blind eye to the criminal behavior at UB that would also be bad. However, assuming because he was the “face” of UB that he would or should know all this is not fair IMO.

It is not possible to be held responsible for all of the actions of corporations around you. Can you imagine what our world would like if all the employees of a corporation or government were responsible for all of its actions? It would be a disaster. Heck, if we want to get really ridiculous about this then we could just start attacking everybody. Work for an oil company? Well, that is clearly “evil” because of carbon dioxide. Are you a doctor? That could be horribly bad too because you are a part of a health care system that is “fleecing” America (America has the highest health care costs as % of GDP in the developed world). Then again maybe the health care isn’t as bad as we think. Tremendous amounts of R&D happen in the United States that don’t happen elsewhere. Maybe, just maybe, the world is a little bit more gray than Daniel Colman likes to admit.

The fact of the matter is that we don’t know what Phil Hellmuth’s level of knowledge and involvement at UB was. Would we like to know? Sure, but that is not likely to happen. I am generally a believer in transparency and what happened at UB is clearly criminal. However, Phil Hellmuth was not an owner of UB. He was a hired hand and I am not convinced he is the right target.

Just my 2 cents.


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