Martin Kabrhel breaks silence on WSOP cheating allegations

Brad Willis
Posted on: June 21, 2023 05:00 PDT

Martin Kabrhel, the high-roller accused by fellow poker pros of marking cards in the 2023 World Series of Poker $250,000 event joined Doug Polk live on YouTube Wednesday and vehemently denied cheating in that event or ever before in his poker career.

"I never cheated. I was not banned from any's complete bullshit. It's completely untrue," Kabrhel told Polk.

Kabrhel joined Polk on YouTube after Kabrhel reached out to Joe Ingram, and according to Polk, Ingram helped arrange the sitdown with Polk.

Cheating allegations at the WSOP

Poker player Andrew Robl and others called attention to what they considered concerning behavior during Kabrhel's $250K final table run.

At one point during the event, PokerOrg's Tiffany Michelle captured this video of Dan Smith sitting with Phil Helmuth and Martin Kabrhel in the tournament as Smith started pointing out what he believed to be marked cards in action.

The WSOP has made no public comment on whether any of the cards in action had been marked and even after cards were taken out of play, play continued, and Kabrhel went on to make the final table and finish in third place for $2.8 million.

Later, the  World Series of Poker issued a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

(The WSOP is available to watch live on PokerGo)

The WSOP's statement read:

“While we do not discuss specific security protocols used to monitor players and gaming equipment, the integrity of the game remains paramount and we can assure fellow patrons that we are taking these allegations very seriously. As this is an ongoing investigation, there is no further comment on the matter at this time.”

Martin Kabrhel denies acting like a poker cheater

Tuesday, poker pro Chance Kornuth posted a lengthy Twitter thread explaining that--cheating or not--Kabrhel's behavior warranted a full WSOP ban. Justin Bonomo posted a similar thread later in the evening.

Kornuth wrote in his thread, “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.

"They are very unhappy I'm playing their tournament," Kabhrel told Polk. "It's probably very tough to play against me. I'm probably not the most likable guy."

Kabrhel insisted that while his mannerisms in the $250,000 event might not have been what his fellow pros liked, he was not, as some pros suggested, pretending to cheat to gain an edge at the table.

"Normal, ordinary people who don't know me can think that's suspicious. I can understand it," Kabrhel said. "I was not trying to look like a cheater and make people uncomfortable. I think it would be crazy, stupid, and I didn't do that. That's it."

Martin Kabrhel files legal action against alleged WSOP accusers

Monday night, Florida lawyer Daniel Ravicher notified several poker pros and PokerGo that Kabrhel was planning a defamation lawsuit based on the card-marking allegations. The legal notice informed all of the parties (Justin Bonomo, Kornuth, PokerGo, Robl, and Smith) to preserve all their messages related to the upcoming case.

The letter read and tweet from the attorney read:

This firm represents Martin Kabrhel with respect to your false and defamatory statements that he is a cheater and marks cards. The purpose of this letter is not to debate the demerits of your baseless allegations, but rather simply to provide you notice that this firm is preparing to file legal claims on behalf of Mr. Kabrhel against you. As such, you must from this time forward preserve any and all materials, including but not limited to messages (including but not limited to email, text, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and social media DMs), documents, publications (including but not limited to tweets and other social media posts, whether private or public), notes, drafts, audio or video recordings, and call logs, bearing any relation or relevance to Mr. Kabrhel. Failing to preserve these materials is grounds for Mr. Kabrhel to ask that sanctions be imposed against you by the court before which this matter will be resolved. 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.

Martin Kabrhel Joe Giron/

While talking with Polk for an hour about life, children, family, social media, and other topics, Kabrhel told Polk he preferred to leave the discussions of the lawsuit to his attorney, Ravicher. Three years ago, Ravicher was the subject of news himself after he claimed he'd been fired by the University of Miami law school for a series of conservative posts on Twitter. While the school denied that was the reason Ravicher had been let go, the attorney penned an op-ed in the Miami Herald suggesting he'd been fired as a result of "campus cancel culture."

To watch the full interview, visit Doug Polk's channel on YouTube.

This is a developing story and will be updated when news warrants.For breaking news and the latest on this story, visit our Instant Live updates from the WSOP.