As Phil Hellmuth's stack has gotten shorter, so has his fuse, in particular with regard to his neighbor to his right, Mark Newhouse. The two were jawing back and forth fairly consistently for the last part of Level 4, and as the break arrived Hellmuth called the floor over to voice a complaint.
"In six weeks, I've not asked for protection one time," said Hellmuth to Tournament Director Steve Frezer as Newhouse stood by. "This guy's been a complete a**hole, and should get a warning."
Frezer listened further, then said to both that his ruling was for the two players simply not to talk to each other going forward. He added further clarification to the dealers that "if anything disparaging is said by either of them -- be it the f-word or 'moron' or what have you -- there's going to be a penalty."
Frezer then repeated the warning to the whole table before the first hand of Level 5 was dealt, by which time it appeared Newhouse and Hellmuth were on better terms than 20 minutes ago.
Newhouse begins Level 5 with 74,325, while Hellmuth has but 5,300. We'll keep an eye on both players' stacks. And keep an ear out as well for anything else of interest to report.