WSOP reveals ongoing investigation into Martin Kabrhel card-marking allegations

Martin Kabrhel
Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: June 19, 2023 16:41 PDT

Officials from the World Series of Poker said Tuesday night that Czech poker star Martin Kabrhel remains at the center of an investigation into cheating allegations.

The WSOP issued a brief statement on the investigation after a weekend fury of allegations and subtweets from multiple high-stakes pros including Phil Hellmuth, Chance Kornuth, and Andrew Robl about Kabrhel's behavior in the $250,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller.

Kabrhel, an already-controversial player within poker’s elite-stakes community, found himself accused of marking cards during the event.

Top-name poker pros allege cheating

While allegations of cheating within the poker community appear frequently, most of the time, players’ names are omitted and situations are discussed only in general terms. The allegations against Kabrhel took a different path when Robl took to Twitter to discuss the situation directly:

Numerous pros acknowledged Robl’s accusatory Tweet, including Kornuth and Hellmuth who were seated at the same table with Kabrhel. Kornuth and Kabrhel exchanged words at one point, which drew the WSOP’s attention to the situation. The WSOP began investigating the situation immediately, and today issued a brief statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“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.”

The WSOP is generally known to employ high-tech means to identify card cheats and remove them from tournaments. Given the extremely high profile of the event, it’s possible that if the WSOP had uncovered evidence of foul play, it would have removed Kabrhel from the event which offered more than $5 million to the winner. Chris Brewer won the tourney, while Kabrhel placed third for well over $2 million.

Kabrhel threatens defamation lawsuit

The day after the initial accusations became public, Kabrhel was on the receiving end of a tirade from another player at the final table, Dan Smith, who told Kabrhel that he hoped Kabrhel would be barred from the WSOP.

Kabrhel pushed back against the allegations in his own Twitter post earlier this evening:

Kabrhel's response stretched across several Tweets, and included his intention to turn the tables on his accuser.

"I have decided to take legal action against Andrew Robl, because in such a professional tournament series as WSOP, it is very easy to prove such accusations are pure lies," Kabrhel wrote on Twitter. Kabrhel confirmed to PokerOrg that the tweet thread was his official statement on the matter.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated here and on our PokerOrg Instant Live from the WSOP feed below.