The 5 most hated people in poker: 2011 edition

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 08, 2011 Posted in Op-Ed | 2 Comments »

Over the years there have been a lot of scandals involving poker players and in most of these cases the transgressions that occurred would eventually be forgiven provided the money involved wasn’t off-the-charts, and the perpetrator was willing to pay their dues and rehabilitate their image. However, there have been instances where the person involved is basically ostracized from the poker world and are loathed by the community.

Likewise, some players have such polarizing personalities that people simply cannot stomach to be around them. While some of their peers will go to bat for them, more often than not the mention of their name is met with scorn and disdain.

In this column I will take a look at the 5 Most Hated People in Poker –I’ll limit the list to players only, so names like Ray Bitar and Scott Tom will get a pass this time around. Mind you, this is not my personal feelings on the matter, but more of how I feel the pulse of the poker community is beating based on the forums and my talks with players –in fact I know a few of these players and happen to like them.

1. Howard Lederer

It wasn’t too long ago that Howard Lederer was topping the “Most Powerful” list in poker, but with the company that put him at the top of that list basically clinging to life, and owing players close to $400 million, Lederer has become the poker world’s “Most Wanted” man.

2. Chris Ferguson

Until recently it was always assumed that Howard Lederer was the head honcho at Full Tilt, but once the DOJ released the ownership shares of the Full Tilt Board of Directors the poker world discovered it was actually Chris Ferguson who held the most shares of the company. So, while Howard initially caught most of the flack, “Jesus” has now joined him as bearing the burden for Full Tilt Poker’s troubles.

3. Russ Hamilton

It seems almost impossible that Russ Hamilton is not the most hated man in poker, and I’m sure Russ, and everyone else involved in Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Poker, are thanking the poker gods for sending them a runner-runner straight flush miracle in the form of Full Tilt Poker.

4. Ali Tekintamgac

If there is one thing that the poker world simply will not tolerate it’s a straight cheater, and this is exactly what Tekintamgac has been accused of. Live and online players have been exploiting gray areas since poker began, and even certain scams and unpaid debts are able to be forgiven, but straight up cheating will land you on the most hated list.

5. Annie Duke

Congratulations to the brother/sister duo of Annie Duke and Howard Lederer! While Duke is the only player on the list who has never been accused of cheating or scamming other players, she is the most polarizing figure in the game, and has drawn fire from a number of top players. Whether it’s indiscretions at the tables, her affiliation with Ultimate Bet, or simply her personality, Annie Duke has by far the worst reputation of any non-cheater in poker –it’s bad enough that she edges out players who have cheated!

Honorable Mention:

* Team Full Tilt Poker Pros

* Josh “JJProdigy” Fields

* Mason Malmuth

* Chino Rheem

* Sorel Mizzi

* Jamie Gold

* Joe Sebok

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2 Responses to “The 5 most hated people in poker: 2011 edition”

  1. james says:

    Hands Down….

    AARON KATZ!
    He is not a great poker player. But, most hated by every casino in America. Just banned from Borgata for stealing chips of someone stack! He is a sleezy
    scumbag who has run out of outlets to play poker at all. I would rather sit at a table with all of those guys above than AARON KATZ!!

  2. Phil Ivey says:

    Aaron Katz by far is the biggest scumbag the poker world has ever scene. He is a thief and a lowlife. Also, I heard he is running a poker game in NY, you would have to be a real a-hole to ever go anywhere, where that man is. I met him in Vegas once, and was respulsed. Everything I heard about him is true. I think he should be banned from poker. Any respectable player would be crazy to ever sit at a table with him. He is also dirty and doesn’t shower.

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