The World Series of Poker is underway in Las Vegas with the $10,000 Main Event set to kick off on July 3. The series brings together thousands of players each day from around the world, and with so many people in one place, occasionally, some crazy events happen.

The mass of people can occasionally lead to fascinating situations, whether from frayed nerves, intoxicants and substances, bad attitudes, clashing personalities, or other intriguing events.

Here’s a quick look at some of the WSOP’s craziest moments.

1 – Throwing Shoes & Dropping Pants

After getting eliminated from a tournament, most players simply push their chair in and exit the tournament area. There may be a few grumbles about a bad beat along the way, but most good-naturedly move on.

That wasn’t the case with one player in 2019.

Top 6 Crazy, Unbelievable WSOP (World Series of Poker) Moments!
Top 6 Crazy WSOP Moments! - Dropping Pants

After busting out of a WSOP event, this man expressed his displeasure in quite a unique way – dropping his pants for all to see and throwing shoes at the dealer. And, no, this was no strip poker game!

Apparently, this player went all-in without looking at his cards. He decided to expose himself, not happy with the cards the dealer exposed.

Card Player magazine later reported he also jumped on top of a craps table at another Las Vegas casino and again dropped his pants.

 This time, he was arrested, and the nudist-style gambling came to a stop.

Watch the full video here if you have the stomach for it!

2 – Too Much Table Talk?

William Kassouf may have set a new standard for “speech play” at the 2016 WSOP. Not a minute went by without the English player saying something, much to the consternation of his opponents.

Kassouf even argued with some of the dealers and tournament staff. Kassouf just couldn’t seem to shut up, leading to some tense moments like the poker hand below.

He argued that his unique style of play was gamesmanship - meant to put opponents on edge and make mistakes.

Perhaps he enjoys the television time as well?

Top 6 Crazy, WSOP Moments! - Will Kassouf - Speech Play
Top 6 Crazy, WSOP Moments! - Will Kassouf - Speech Play

Kassouf went on to finish 17th in 2016 for $338,288 and now has more than $1.6 million in live tournament winnings.

In 2018, he was caught allegedly palming £100 chips at the roulette table at Grosvenor Casino. The brand dropped his sponsorship and banned him from all company properties.

Kassouf remains a controversial figure in the poker world.

3 – War of Words

Eric Molina caused quite a stir at the 2006 WSOP Main Event with brash and bold behaviour. Just 21 years old at the time, his antics included the following –

  • Arguments with eventual winner Jamie Gold
  • Angry outbursts
  • Moments of braggadocio
  • Criticism of other players
  • The occasional cursing

“If someone tries to mess with my game, then I just show them what I’m all about,” he said during an interview with ESPN. “I’m not going to let someone else affect me. I have a goal.”

Molina’s frequent confrontations left one player calling him a “jerk”. He even called an opponent’s all-in without looking at his cards on a nothing poker board. Another moment saw him flip his lucky chip at Gold, which Gold quickly fired back.

4 – Full Tilt Fiasco

Chris Ferguson became a pariah in the poker world after the collapse of the online poker site he'd headed up in 2011. Many players had funds stuck on Full Tilt Poker for months, and their bankrolls were left in jeopardy on a site the U.S. law enforcement officials referred to as a "Ponzi scheme."

Players were enraged and took their anger out on the 2000 WSOP Main Event champion and six-time bracelet winner. Ferguson apparently decided to take some time away from the series from 2011-15 but was back in action in 2016.

His appearance wasn’t received well by some players, and they posted their sentiments about him.

Despite raising the ire of some players, Ferguson continues to find some big finishes. That included winning a bracelet at the 2017 WSOP Europe and several final table appearances.

His reappearance made for some uncomfortable moments at the tables.

5 – Pandemic Main Event

The pandemic was challenging for the casino industry, including the WSOP. From June to September, most of the series took place online, with bracelets awarded in the U.S. and internationally.

The lone event that played “live” in the biggest world poker tournament was the $10,000 Main Event that was delayed until Nov. 29.

Instead of the traditional live play, players battled it out online in the U.S. and internationally. International players hoped to make a live final table set for Dec. 15 at King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

American players began online play on Dec. 13 with a live final table set for Dec. 28.

The winners of both final tables met on Jan. 3 (in 2021) for a heads-up battle to win the 2020 Main Event and an extra $1 million.

  • At the international final table, Argentina’s Damian Salas ultimately topped a field of 674 for entries that created a $6.5 million prize pool and took the top prize of $1.6 million.
  • At the U.S. final table, Joseph Heber, of Louisiana, came out the winner after a field of 705 entries produced a $6.8 million prize pool and secured the top prize of $1.6 million.
Top 6 Crazy WSOP Moments! Pandemic Main Event
Top 6 Crazy WSOP Moments! Pandemic Main Event

In the end, Salas won – scoring an extra million bucks and the coveted gold bracelet. It was a change for the Main Event, but Salas was pleased with how things turned out, noting that the heads-up matchup wasn’t easy.

"Joseph was a very hard opponent and played really well," Salas said. "In a few instances, he was about to win; it was a real fight, and he never slowed down. Going into the championship, I felt all the energy and support from my family and friends in Argentina tonight, which helped me."

6 – Phil Hellmuth Race Car Wreck

Phil Hellmuth has had some unique entrances at the WSOP Main Event. The spectacles have included dressing as Caesar, a superhero, a wizard, and more.

Some players and poker fans enjoy the sense of showmanship, while others despise it.

In 2008, the "Poker Brat" hopped in the driver's seat of a race car to promote a now-defunct online poker brand. He was supposed to take a few laps around the parking lot at the Rio, but things went differently than planned.

Instead, Hellmuth smashed right into a concrete post. He was unhurt in the crash but felt embarrassed at his driving skills.

Sean Chaffin is a poker writer who appears in numerous websites and publications. He is also the host of the True Gambling Stories podcast