Phil Hellmuth, Doug Polk Spar Over Cryptocurrency Affiliations
Hustler Casino Live co-founder Nick Vertucci unintentionally started a chain-reaction that sparked a Twitter feud between two of poker's most popular stars, Phil Hellmuth and Doug Polk.
Both Polk and Hellmuth have been affiliated with two cryptocurrency-related businesses — CoinFlex (Polk) and Bitcoin Latinum (Hellmuth) — that have received some bad publicity recently. As such, the poker pros have each taken some heat from their followers over those affiliations.
Hellmuth, Polk Take Some Heat
Polk's been critical of the "Poker Brat" the past few months for repeatedly wearing a Bitcoin Latinum hat in public despite the coin facing allegations of securities fraud and misappropriation of funds aimed at one of its executives. Hellmuth, however, has openly stated that although he endorses the coin, he isn't giving financial advice.
This is not investment advice, and I am paid endorser of Bitcoin Latinum. Happy to see this! @BitcoinLatinum… https://t.co/FN2DQnk8Zg— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth)
As a result of continuing to wear the Bitcoin Latinum hat, even though he doesn't directly give investment advice, Hellmuth's taken a good amount of heat for it the past few months. Polk is now receiving similar criticism for promoting CoinFlex so heavily on his podcast now that the crypto trading platform suspended withdrawals last month when it was discovered a certain individual's account, allegedly crypto investor Roger Ver, had gone into negative equity, affecting CoinFlex customer balances.
CoinFlex is attempting to recover $84 million delinquent debt so that investors can withdraw from the trading platform, but the company's reputation is shattered. Days after the CoinFlex scandal was made public, Polk announced he was stepping down as an ambassador in a lengthy YouTube video. The Upswing Poker founder was still heavily criticized for promoting CoinFlex in the past by some of his followers.
Poker Pros Feud on Twitter
On June 9, Polk sent out a tweet defending his affiliation with CoinFlex and differentiated his actions to that of Hellmuth, who continued wearing the Bitcoin Latinum hat after the coin faced some serious allegations.
People are coming after me like I'm the person at fault and/or this says something about my character. I stand by m… https://t.co/kp47hioiZu— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids)
Vertucci then chimed in to defend Hellmuth and rip on Polk before later deleting his tweet and apologizing for being so aggressive in his response. The apology came after Polk fired back at Vertucci.
"Nick, for starters you are a complete tool. You hit me up over and over again for me to give you free s**t (newsflash, I don't know you). Anyway huge difference between the people I've gone after for unethical decisions and my situation. Not surprised you cant see the difference," Polk responded.
As is par for the course when any poker player feud turns nasty, Polk offered up a heads-up challenge with Vertucci, although the match isn't likely to happen. Vertucci apologized, but Hellmuth went on the offensive.
You made a big mistake @DougPolkVids! Then, you try to “compare” our involvement in the projects and throw shade at… https://t.co/RIGpfBYHNi— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth)
Polk didn't ignore the Hellmuth tweet. He advised the 16-time bracelet winner that, in his opinion, any time a coin pops up that uses "Bitcoin" or "Ethereum" in the name, "it's a scam. The entire community knows this."
"There is only one Bitcoin," Polk wrote.
The co-owner of the Lodge Card Club in Austin, Texas also informed Hellmuth and his followers that he also will "lose money on the deal if the exchange goes under."
"The difference here is when I realize a company is doing something wrong, I have the courage to quit. That makes one of us," Polk claims.
Hellmuth and Polk have since seemed to move on from the brief back-and-forth Twitter war. Polk mentioned on Twitter Tuesday morning that he'd patched things over with Vertucci and praised Hustler Casino Live.