Update: Cheating Accusations After WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl Trigger Legal Response From Martin Kabrhel

World Series of Poker 2023

Getty Image / Denise Truscello

The WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl ended on Sunday night with long-time poker pro Chris Brewer winning his first gold bracelet and taking him $5,293,556 for 1st place.

Finishing in 3rd place was Martin Kabrhel of Prague, a polarizing figure who has a knack for rattling his opponent. His behavior, however, seems to have crossed the line for some in the poker community who are lobbying accusations of impropriety at best and cheating at worst.

When fellow poker pro Dan Smith was eliminated in 6th place ($912,022) by Martin Kabrhel, he then stood up and said “good luck (to) most of you” and pointed at Martin Kabrhel and added “I hope you get barred.”

Dan Smith then went on to clarify he hopes Martin Kabrhel gets banned, saying his “antics are the worst of anyone” he’s ever played with. Kabrhel calmly replied “somebody must be worse.”

Dan Smith Calls Out Martin Kabrhel After Being Eliminated

Saying ‘you’re antics are the worst’ is FAR from accusing someone of cheating. But that’s where things started, Smith calling him out.

UPDATE: Martin responds, defends himself on Twitter

After becoming the biggest story in the Poker world on Sunday and Monday, Martin Kabrhel took to Twitter to defend himself and say he has “decided to take legal action against Andrew Robl” after allegations made online.

UPDATE 2.0: The WSOP Issued A Statement About An Investigation

Late on Tuesday, the World Series of Poker released a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal stating they are taking the cheating allegations very seriously and opening an investigation.

“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.”

UPDATE 3.0: Lawyer for Martin Kabrhel announces intent to sue parties over ‘defamatory statements’

Late on Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, a lawyer working on behalf of Martin Kabrhel tweeted a letter announcing intent to sue over ‘defamatory statements’ made against his client:

Then the Poker Twiterrati pulled footage of suspicious behavior from Kabrhel, accusing him of marking cards. This tweet sums up many of the accusations.

Watch his fingers here:

Others chimed in:

In this clip, fellow poker pro Artur Martirosian calls out Martin. Saying the tournament director clearly told everyone before play that players are not allowed to stand up during a hand.

The reason that rule exists is so players cannot look at other player’s cards. They can ask the dealer or the player for a count of the chip stack but they cannot stand up from the table, something that Martin Kabrhel did.

Dan Smith straight-up says “the reason you’re not allowed to stand is if the cards are marked you’d have a better handle of it.” Chance Kornuth then cleverly chimes in with “they created the rule for you, to protect us. If you have any more questions, let us know.”

Dan Smith followed up by saying “people were speculating and there were a lot of discussions about whether he was marking cards” but didn’t explicitly accuse Martin of marking cards.

Others chimed in:

At that point, everyone was tired of the table antics but there were no concrete accusations of impropriety at the table. On Twitter, however, people were lobbying accusations with concrete proof.


Not everyone was on Dan’s side, however:

Another person wrote “Um yea he’s rude and none of the cool kids like him. This has been covered already. But until there is conclusive proof he’s marking cards, there’s really not much left to discuss.”

A lot of people in the poker community seem to enjoy Martin Kabrhel because he keeps the table lively. Spectators would rather watch him than a bunch of robots.

What I will add on this is there is no concrete proof Martin Kabrhel was cheating. There are accusations. This was the highest-stakes World Series of Poker tournament of 2023, the ‘Super Bowl’ as they call it and tensions were high.

Given the high-profile people involved, it does seem plausible that the World Series of Poker tournament directors will at least address the accusations. It remains to be seen if anything will come of it.

A day later, Doug Polk uploaded a deep dive (25min) on YouTube into the allegations and lack of evidence.

Cheating accusations are not taken likely in the poker world. The game’s biggest names adding their two cents on this is what has elevated the developing story.

Martin Kabrhel would eventually finish 3rd for $2,279,038. Kabrhel has previously won 2 WSOP Europe bracelets and has 50 cashes for $7,643,815 in live earnings.