This was the first week of NBC's new poker series, "Poker After Dark," and already it's making waves. Poker viewers were treated to a classic meltdown from Phil Hellmuth this week and will get a chance to see it again tonight after "Saturday Night Live."
The Wednesday night showing of the series featured a full seven-minute tirade of Phil Hellmuth at the poker table with five other players. Upset over people talking out of turn, the Poker Brat threw a fit and ended up leaving the table for 20 minutes.
For poker fans who missed it, the wrap up for the week and preview of next week's table on Saturday will show the rant in its entirety once again.
Hellmuth describes the fit in his own blog, citing his reasons and apologizing for his behavior.
"Why did I lose it? I lost it simply because I asked my tablemates to 'Please' be quiet for a moment during a key hand, and they continued to talk," he wrote.
His resulting tantrum included bringing in the show's producer Morey Eskandani to ask about penalties for players who don't follow rules. According to the Tournament Directors Association rules, when a player asks for silence, players ignoring that request can be penalized 20 minutes.
Hellmuth was particularly upset with Shawn Sheikhan, who he'd been butting heads with throughout the game. Hellmuth got into it verbally with Sheikhan and threatened to give up playing on the show.
When he felt like justice wasn't being done, the Poker Brat left the poker table for 20 minutes before returning to the game. Other players at the table were Annie Duke, Huck Seed, Gus Hansen and Steve Zolotow.
In retrospect, Hellmuth said he realizes that he overreacted and apologized for his actions. When he watched the show Wednesday night, he realized that most of the table antics after he asked for quiet had been innocent.
"It seems that I was the one who crossed the line here, and I apologize to everyone involved and to all of the television viewers for my conduct," he said.
Hellmuth did admit the tantrum made for good television though. The weekly wrap-up will air after "Saturday Night Live" live this evening.
Aside from the wrap-up and replay of the Poker Brat's behavior, the show will also give fans a preview of next week's six players sitting down to play for $120,000.