I did not cheat. That was the unequivocal statement made by Martin Kabrhel in response to claims he marked cards during the WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller.
The comment was made during an hour-long discussion with Doug Polk (see video below). The discussion covered a number of topics, including rumors Kabrhel has been banned from other events for foul play.
Polk also pressed the Czech poker player on why he handles the cards in certain ways. Kabrhel was visibly incensed with some of the comments made by other pros and, in between his extended rants, he addressed them during the discussion.
Martin Kabrhel sparks WSOP debate
The genesis of the latest WSOP drama came during the $250,000 Super High Roller. Dan Smith called out Kabrhel as he exited the tournament in sixth place. Kabrhel took the criticism in his stride at the time but, after other pros jumped on the bandwagon, he responded.
As CardsChat reported on Tuesday, Kabrhel threatened to take legal action. He doubled down on that statement during his interview with Doug Polk and, just a few hours later, a legal letter appeared online. Written by Daniel B. Ravicher of Zeisler PLLC, the letter names five parties as guilty of defamation against Kabrhel.
Smith is one of the five named in the letter. Kabrhel’s attorney also listed Andrew Robl, Chance Kornuth, Justin Bonomo, and PokerGO in his tweet (see below) and official letter.
NOTICE OF LEGAL CLAIMS & PRESERVATION DEMAND
Re: Your Defamation of @martinkabrhell
To The Above-Named Parties:
This firm represents Martin Kabrhel with respect to your false and defamatory statements that… pic.twitter.com/3gfG1cimi3
— Daniel B. Ravicher (@danravicher) June 21, 2023
The tweet doesn’t say a lawsuit has been filed. However, Ravicher did make it clear that legal claims are being prepared.
Legal action is underway
The attorney also reiterated Kabrhel’s assertion that he’s not a cheat and didn’t mark cards in the WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller or any other poker tournament.
“To be absolutely clear, Mr. Kabrhel is not a cheater. He does not mark cards. You have said these false things with malicious intent. We will prove this in court and ask that you be ordered to compensate him for any and all injury caused by your statements,” reads the legal letter from Ravicher.
Those named in the letter are yet to respond, so we don’t know what their take on the latest development is. However, some of them did speak to Doug Polk prior to the letter being published online (see video below). What’s clear right now is that very little is clear.
As Polk correctly pointed out during his discussion with Kabrhel, defamation cases are complex and proving guilt or innocence is far from easy. That means Kabrhel vs. Smith et al could drag on for months.
It may not but, if it does, the drama could overshadow what’s been an otherwise successful WSOP. The attendance records set this year will always be remembered, as will those who’ve etched their names into the history books by winning bracelets. However, at least in the short-term, the Kabrhel cheating accusations are stealing some of the shine from the 2023 WSOP.