2021 World Series of Poker 2021 MSPT Venetian

Nick Schulman Addresses Commentating Controversy After Finishing Third in the 100K High Roller

Nick Schulman cleared the air about his relationship with PokerGO and ESPN.

It's been an eventful summer for Nick Schulman. At the beginning of July, the 34-year-old pro nabbed a third WSOP bracelet in Event #65: $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship.

Despite stellar results and almost twelve million dollars in lifetime tournament cashes, many poker fans know Schulman for his work in the booth at ESPN and PokerGO. For the last three years, he's entertained viewers with lucid commentary, a sultry voice, and playful rapport with his partner Ali Nejad. But recent events have thrown Schulman's status into question.

The Controversy

The controversy began three days ago when David Steward tweeted at Schulman.

"You might be right David," Schulman responded. "Coincidentally I have also been removed from the broadcast lol. But I won't put the little monkey hat on and dance around for you or them. Tourney is soft with some incredible players in there battling. These are facts. It's still an incredible sweat."

Soon Schulman elaborated on his tweet in the following video.

"There's not much I'd like to add," Schulman told PokerNews. "Again, I'd like to apologize to the guy on Twitter. It was a weird week, I guess. I didn't mean to make it about me."

Ever since the controversy started, the poker world has been wondering if Schulman's removal from the broadcast is intentional or if—as Norman Chad and Daniel Negreanu have claimed—it's merely the result of a scheduling conflict. As he entered Day 3 of Event #83: $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em High Roller, Schulman himself didn't seem to know where he stood. But he had more pressing matters to attend to.

Reflecting on a Third-Place Finish and Beyond

Schulman eliminated a slew of tough players on his road to the final table, including Ali Imsirovic, Elio Fox, and Steffen Sontheimer.

As expected, the final table was rife with elite competition that included Igor Kurganov, Brandon Adams, Dominik Nitsche, Daniel Negreanu, and the eventual champion Keith Tilston. In a pivotal hand, with three players left, Schulman raised to 1,600,000 on the button and Negreanu re-raised all in for 13,000,000 from the small blind.

Schulman called with {6-Clubs}{6-Diamonds} and was flipping against Negreanu's {a-Hearts}{9-Hearts}. Negreanu flopped a pair of nines and won a massive pot. A few hands later, Schulman was eliminated in third place for $1,187,802.

Nick Schulman
Nick Schulman finished third in the $100k High Roller.

"Great result," Schulman said afterward. When asked if he had begun to make sense of a summer packed with both drama and success, he added, "No, not really. I always feel like I can erupt during the summer and rattle off good results. I play hard. I've been doing it for a long time. It doesn't mean that much. But I'm very happy with this result."

"I'm just going to sit it out this year. It's not meant to be. It's all good."

As he looks forward to the final days of the WSOP, Schulman plans to enjoy the Main Event, play the $10K six-max, and be grateful for things. "My head is down," he added. "Back to work."

But what kind of work? When coverage of the Main Event resumes on Sunday, will Schulman be back in the booth?

"I'm not going to be commentating, that I know of," Schulman said. "I'm just going to sit it out this year. It's not meant to be. It's all good."

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  • After being removed from commentating duties for ESPN and PokerGO, Nick Schulman finished third in the WSOP $100k High Roller.

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