Chance Kornuth calls for Martin Kabrhel to be banned

Chance Kornuth
Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: June 20, 2023 14:22 PDT

The fallout from the card-marking allegations thrown at Czech poker star Martin Kabrhel during the recent $250,000 No-Limit Super High Roller event continues to expand. Among the latest developments is a call by Chance Kornuth, one of the players who mixed it up verbally with Kabrhel during the event, for Kabrhel to be barred from the WSOP and other prominent live events.

Kornuth, who placed fifth in the $250K Super High Roller, offered a lengthy statement on Twitter explaining his rationale. "Martin Kabrhel should 100% be banned," Kornuth wrote, "But not for the reason that most think...."

Kornuth (pictured above) then went on to explain news that began to spread yesterday, in that the WSOP examined cards used in the high roller from the table where both Kornuth and Kabrhel competed and found no signs of marked cards. PokerOrg learned separately that WSOP officials pulled three complete setups from that table and conducted thorough examinations of the cards, finding nothing, though the WSOP does not offer details on the protocols and methods being used.

Kornuth's statement also confirms that the investigation into Kabrhel's alleged card-marking isn't ongoing, as reported by many mainstream outlets, but has in fact already completed with no findings of any such cheating by Kabrhel.

'A huge angle shoot'

Despite the WSOP finding no evidence of Kabrhel doing any actual card-marking, Kornuth asserts that Kabrhel, through his frequent and extreme antics at the table, is pretending to cheat to exploit the knowledge that he has been accused of cheating in the past. Kornuth wrote this, in part:

Martin Kabrhel Martin Kabrhel Joe Giron/

"Martin is possibly cheating in a way that security isn’t able to notice yet or he is intentionally trying to make it look like he is cheating to gain an edge.

"Regardless of which it is, I think he should be banned from playing the WSOP and other High Roller Tournaments.

"As @Andrew_Robl and others have stated, he has been accused of cheating in the past, which could be grounds to be barred already.

"He is using this past version of himself to make players in a $250,000 buy-in scared to bluff him because he 'might' be cheating (he very loudly and suspiciously suggested that there were sticky substances on the cards during the $250K FT a few days ago).

"He stands up and makes a show of looking at players cards when he's faced with almost any decision - he knows that he's been accused of marking cards in the past and wants players to be thinking about that - a huge angle shoot."

'The ultimate angle'

Kornuth also wrote, "The floor does everything it can to protect players from angle shooters and to me what Martin is doing is the ultimate angle…. To INTENTIONALLY give the illusion you are cheating in any event, especially the highest of stakes should not be tolerated."

Kornuth also supplied a quote from the President of PokerGO, Mori Eskandani, who is an omnipresent force behind the scenes at all recent WSOP series. According to Kornuth, Eskandani concurred that Kabrhel's antics are simply too much. “I don’t know if Martin was cheating or not," Eskandani said, "but one thing is for certain, he created an atmosphere that was extremely distracting and unfair to the other players. Not sure where the poker industry should draw the line.”

Kabrhel ultimately finished third in the super high roller, winning $2.28 million. Chris Brewer was the event's champion, earning $5.3 million and his long-sought first WSOP bracelet.

Litigation threat by Kabrhel against Andrew Robl remains pending

As reported on PokerOrg last night, Kabrhel has already threatened to sue Andrew Robl for asserting publicly that Kabrhel had definitely marked cards in earlier events, if not during the recent super high roller.

Kabrhel's threat of legal action against Robl appears in this Twitter thread:

Should Kabrhel follow through on his threats of legal action, it will be interesting to see who else might be named in such a defamation claim. As Kabrhel noted, numerous other well-known pros jumped on the accusatory bandwagon over the past two or three days, and videos and images purporting to show Kabrhel cheating have proliferated over the Internet in that time.