While thousands of viewers were tuned in to watch the drama of the $250,000 Super High Roller event unfold, on Twitter, another drama was taking place. During the final table, notable high-stakes poker pro Andrew Robl tweeted out his disdain for Martin Kabrhel, asking how he has not been banned from the WSOP for making cards.
As you can see in the tweet above, Robl is insinuating that this is not a new thing for Kabrhel and that action should be taken long before now. Many people who watched the $250K event were quick to pile on, offering their own opinions on the potential cheating scandal.
Andrew’s tweet has led to a full-scale Twitter investigation, with dozens of clips from the $250K event being posted online as potential evidence of Kabrhel marking cards. As you can imagine from a Twitter investigation, some of these videos are more than speculative, but there are some questionable videos doing the rounds that have made some players more than a little suspicious.
This last clip we have is particularly egregious; we’re not sure if Martin had heard the rumblings at this point, and we wouldn’t put it past him to deliberately do it as an “f-you” to the community, but take a look and decide for yourself.
Will The Real Martin Kabrhel Please Stand Up
Kabrhel is a player who divides opinion in the poker world; he has a unique table presence that is tilting to many players but is no doubt effective considering his considerable tournament success. However, in light of these recent allegations from Robl, many players are wondering if it’s more than Martin’s needling that’s leading to his success at the tables.
Part of Martin’s persona at the table is someone who likes to get involved both on the felt and off the felt, continually needling his opponents throughout the hand and getting in their faces. However, in this event, he took that to a whole new level, continually standing up while in hands against opponents across the table from him.
When asked about his antics, Martin explained that he was trying to get a better view of the chip stacks of the players far away from him. However, many people now suspect that it’s a way to get a better look at the backs of his opponent’s cards.
It got so bad, that several of the players complained to the floor about Martin continually standing up during a hand. PokerGo, who was broadcasting the event at the time, uploaded this clip to their Twitter page calling it “#StandGate.”
Without knowing what’s going on in Martin’s head, it’s hard to know the exact reason why he’s standing. Maybe it is to get a better look at his opponent’s chips, maybe he’s doing it because he knows it’s tilting – we have to remember in these situations that people are presumed innocent until found guilty, and we must consider all of the evidence before coming to our conclusion.
Ace Of Spades
We don’t know whether or not Martin is a big fan of Motorhead’s classic “Ace of Spades,” but that card in particular was the subject of much speculation; as it seemed to regularly pop up in hands deemed suspicious by the Twitterverse.
Twitter user @gmaiknow noticed this, providing a timeline of when he suspects Martin marked the ace of spades, and how it affected the action in hands against Decarolis and Martirosian.
When looking through hands posted online, we’ve found multiple instances of the ace of spades being in the hands of his opponents. Again, this is not to say that Martin definitely marked the ace of spades, or that this is in any way proof of Martin cheating. Think of this as a collection of potential evidence and decide for yourself what you think the most reasonable explanation is.
The ace of spades even featured in Martin’s bust-out hand, when he ran Q2cc into the AsKd of Martirosyan.
While Andrew was the first to tweet about this, many other high-stakes players soon came out with their own thoughts on Martin Kabrhel. Phil Hellmuth put out a tweet echoing Andrew’s sentiment, that there would be a unanimous agreement amongst poker players to ban Martin if it were put to a vote.
High-stakes poker pro turned football club owner Haralbos Voulgaris tweeted about his experience playing with Martin, saying “He spends an inordinate amount of time looking at his hole cards, flicking them in all kinds of different ways w/ his nails.”
Even the players at the table were putting in their two cents, with Dan Smith, in particular, being one of the most vocal denouncers of Martin.
Dan even went as far as to chastise Martin after being eliminated by the man in question, wishing good luck to everyone else in the tournament and saying that he hopes Martin gets barred from the WSOP.
However, not everyone has had a negative experience with Martin, and other professionals came out in support of the controversial player.
Others were quick to highlight that these accusations could be a result of tilt stemming from Martin’s style of play and that we shouldn’t be so quick to accuse foreign players of cheating because we don’t like them.
Despite the furore we’ve seen on Twitter, we’ve yet to hear from Martin Kabrhel or the WSOP on the events of the $250K or the accusations that have been levelled by players in and out of the event.
When a controversial player is embroiled in an even bigger controversy, it’s easy to immediately denounce that player as a “cheater” or “bad for the game” that “should be banned from the WSOP.” However, these are serious accusations being levelled against a player who’s been playing high-stakes tournaments for a long time; and while there are many players denouncing his actions from past events, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
If these players are seriously accusing Martin of cheating, they should lodge a formal complaint with the WSOP, who should then investigate the events that have transpired. Until then, we can only speculate, but let’s remember to keep things civil, and keep that presumption of innocence until enough evidence has come to light.