WSOP Drama: Martin Kabrhel Threatens to Sue Andrew Robl Over Cheating Allegations

4 min read

It wouldn’t be a World Series of Poker (WSOP) without some controversy and, this year, Martin Kabrhel is the man causing a stir in Las Vegas.

Martin Kabrhel
Czech pro Martin Kabrhel has been accused of marking cards and poor etiquette following his third-place finish in the $250,000 WSOP Super High Roller. (Image: WPT/Flickr)

The Czech pro is well-known on the high roller circuit for using every tool in his arsenal to get an edge. Indeed, if he’s not taking the maximum amount of time allowed during hands, he’s talking almost incessantly.

Those tactics have helped him win over $11.7 million in live tournaments, but his most recent cash is perhaps one of the most talked about. Kabrhel finished third in the $250,000 Super High Roller but received backlash from a number of pros, including Dan Smith who called for him to be banned from WSOP events.

Dan Smith hollas at Martin Kabrhel

Smith finished 6th in the Super High Roller after moving all-in with A♦ Q♦. Kabrhel called with 10♦ 6♦ and spiked a six on the flop. With the final board showing 8♣ 4♣ 6♥ 8♥ K♠, Smith was eliminated and Kabrhel raked in the pot.

Before exiting the WSOP stage, Smith, aka Dan Smith Holla, wished the remaining players good luck, except for Kabrhel. As you can hear in the video below, Smith said Kabrhel is the “worst” person he’s played against.

Smith’s comments set off a cascade of criticism that included accusations of cheating. One of the most vocal critics was Andrew Robl. The veteran high stakes player echoed Smith’s sentiment that Kabrhel should be banned from WSOP events. He also implied that the Czech pro cheats.

“How is Martin Kabrhel not banned from the WSOP? He makes any tournament no fun for anyone and, on top of it, I’ve seen him mark cards in every tournament I’ve ever played with him,” Robl tweeted on June 18.

That’s a serious allegation and people in the comments rightly called for some evidence. People in the thread subsequently began posting videos of what they claim to be evidence of Kabrhel marking cards.

For clarity, those videos aren’t evidence that Kabrhel marked cards or cheated in any way. They are simply videos some people are using to support the claims made by Robl.

Martin Kabrhel responds to WSOP cheating accusations

Martin Kabrhel is rarely lost for words and, true to form, he responded to Robl’s tweets. In a series of posts, Kabrhel said he accepts being called a pain in the a**. He also acknowledges that his jokes and style of play aren’t to everyone’s tastes. However, he draws the line at being called a cheater.

“On behalf of yesterday’s situation, I feel it’s necessary to speak up. Andrew Robl yesterday posted on Twitter an accusation that I’m marking cards and cheating in poker tournaments. I was shocked by how quickly people took it as true, it’s pure statement with no evidence,” Kabrhel tweeted on June 20.

Kabrhel is amazed at how quickly people have jumped on the idea he’s a cheater with, in his words, “no evidence.” He also said the accusations are affecting his time at the WSOP and his other business interests. As such, he’s taking legal action against Robl.

Robl appears to be unfazed by the threat of legal action. Around the same time Kabrhel posted his response, Robl doubled down on the card marking accusation, although this time with a little less conviction than his original tweets.

“Great thread here with multiple videos of Kabrhel seemingly marking cards. I have seen him doing this every time I have played poker with him,” Robl tweeted on June 19.

There have, and always will be, players at the WSOP who rub people up the wrong way. Phil Hellmuth has made a career out of his blow ups, while players such as Jamie Gold used their speech play to win WSOP bracelets.

However, the Martin Kabrhel drama is more than words. His speech play is there for all to hear, but the allegations of cheating are less clear. Those opposed to his tactics have said he’s guilty but, as yet, there’s no concrete evidence of marking cards.

Kabrhel denies the allegations and, instead of laying low, he’s going on the offensive. With neither side backing down, it seems as though this WSOP drama will run throughout the summer.

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