Nick Schulman responds to WSOP Main Event broadcast kerfuffle


Three-time bracelet winner, Nick Schulman, responds to suggestions that PokerGO and ESPN removed him from the World Series of Poker Main Event broadcast after a tete-a-tete with a disgruntled fan on Twitter.

nick-schulman-responds-to-wsop-main-event-broadcast-kerfuffleIn Vegas, playing cards, and it’s too cold for a Polar Bear. The Matador sits quietly in Seat #8, dressed all in black. A resurrected Stan Lee sits in Seat #1, showing the Asian player in Seat #2 photographs of his boy while his Cherry Bakewell flavoured chapstick protects his cards. The conversation is on ‘poker commentary,’ and the feeling is unanimous amongst the nine recreational players.

Nick Schulman is the man.’

As someone who competes in the highest echelon in the game, and has a voice that drips with the calm of a hummingbird taking water from a feeder, Schulman’s in a small band of ‘world-class’ commentators.

Schulman has been smashing it, both on and off the felt, during the 50th Anniversary World Series of Poker (WSOP). On it, he’s been ‘on it,’ making money in six events, either side of his sixth-place finish in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Tournament of Champions. He’s made three final tables and earned himself a bracelet after winning the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship.

Off it, he’s also been ‘on-it’ producing the sort of cool-as-fuck commentary that makes you think of a gangster dropping a roach into the remains of a stiff one, smoke twirling in the air like a DNA helix.

Then it all got a little odd.

On July 10, David Stewart (@TreeBandz) sent this tweet into poker’s Twitterverse.

“When @NickSchulman says on national television that “if you want to get better at poker, then don’t watch the main event”…how does that look from a recreational perspective?  They view the @WSOP main event as a prestigious tournament with the best in the world playing. And when you say that, it kind of takes away from the shine of what is the main event. Get off your high horse and at least pretend you view the main event as a glorious tournament as it should be viewed. Rant over.”

Schulman responded:

“You might be right David. 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.”

You can’t help it.

You’re drawn to it like a vivisectionist to a beagle.

You have to believe that PokerGO decided to pull their top man from the commentary booth over his comment that the Main Event is a tad soft {my words, not Nicks}.

Did PokerGO pull Schulman’s leash?

Professional poker players from throughout the world backed Schulman’s comments at factual and reasonable. Jamie Kerstetter likely said it best when she tweeted:

“I took his comments to mean we should watch the Main mostly for entertainment and learn strategy from other sources, pretty good advice imo.”

The fact remains, Schulman was off the Main Event roster, but why? Someone had reliably informed Daniel Negreanu that PokerGO had dropped Schulman, but not because of any comment. Instead, it was a scheduling decision independent of David Stewart’s remarks.

Then after finishing 3/99 in the $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for $1,187,802, Schulman broke radio silence. You can watch the video below, but if you’re operating at full capacity and don’t have the time to watch a two-minute video, here are the cliffs.

Schulman made it clear that Stewart’s tweet had gotten under his skin. The three-time bracelet winner said that he ‘didn’t think’ PokerGO or ESPN had censored him, but the decision to not use him for the remainder of the Main Event ‘hurt my feelings a little bit.’

“It’s a little awkward for me,” said Schulman. “ I don’t get to commentate that much, I am a player, but it’s the Main, and I wanted to bring it home. It hurt my feelings and set me off.”

Schulman said that he ‘loved the fans,’ and that things were ‘good’ between him and PokerGo and ESPN, before leaving us with a cliffhanger.

“I’ll see you guys fairly soon, or maybe not at all. I don’t know.”

Here is the video, in full.

After taking a chill pill, Schulman found time to apologise to David Stewart and even offered him a beer the next time he’s in Vegas.

“Now that I am 2nd in chips in this 100k I’d like to apologize for coming down so hard on this guy lol. Seriously wasn’t so bad what dude said I just go nuts sometimes. Beer on me if you come to vegas David nobody perfect.”

“Nick Schulman is the man.”

Or is Norman Chad the man?