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Why Does Everyone Hate Martin Kabrhel

Who is Martin Kabrhel, why has an investigation into him by the WSOP started, and what does he do at the table to tilt all his opponents?

Martin Kabrhel is the most successful tournament player in the Czech Republic with over $1 million in online losses

Born in 1983 in the Czech Republic, Martin Kabrhel has accumulated $11.7 million in live tournament earnings. This includes winning 2 WSOP bracelets, 5 WSOPC rings, and 4 EPT trophies. All of his rings and bracelets were won at events held in Rozvadov.

Martin Kabrhel WSOP winnings

It is noteworthy that 64 out of 134 in-the-money finishes he has achieved at King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Kabrhel himself predominantly plays only in Rozvadov because ‘home and walls help.’ However, players do not believe in Kabrhel’s success and express suspicions about unfair play: allegedly, Kabrhel is a cheater.

Another interesting observation concerns the buy-ins of tournaments. Martin Kabrhel plays tournaments ranging from $100 to $250,000. Reddit user grinder0292 speculated that money is not important to Kabrhel, as he owns an IT firm worth millions of dollars.

In any game, he behaves like the ultimate idiot. But money means nothing to him. I’ve seen him play blackjack at $3,000 per hand after a seven-figure win. Once I managed to knock him out of a tournament for $5,000 – the whole table applauded. As for his poker skills, he’s good at reading other players and tilting them. He’s a shark, but as a person – an idiot.

According to another version, Kabrhel rolls in all tournaments on behalf of Leon Tsoukernik.

Kabrhel is not suited for online play. In 2017, he entered the top 15 of the most losing players in high stakes. Throughout his time on Full Tilt, he lost $425K. Additionally, he lost $619K on PokerStars under the nickname ‘gomir’.

Martin 'gomir' Kabrhel online results

How does Martin Kabrhel tilt all the players at the WSOP table

“The Most Controversial Trash Talking Poker Player Shuts Up” – this is the title of the most popular videos featuring Kabrhel on YouTube.

The arsenal of “the dirtiest player in poker” includes several tactics:

  1. Mixing chips of different denominations when making a bet. For example, when betting 95, he picks up 2 green chips (worth 25 each) and 9 red chips (worth 5 each). The green chips are mixed in with the red ones, making the bet less obvious. Players and the dealer have to recount the chips.
  2. Using inconvenient chip denominations. For instance, announcing a raise of 240K and tossing a 300K chip, although he could have made up 240K with other chips.
  3. Deliberately prolonging the decision-making process. This not only irritates players but also the viewers of the stream. Even when Kabrhel clearly has a fold with 43o, he takes an extra 30 seconds before mucking his cards.
  4. Slow-rolling. For example, at the bubble of the EPT Prague 2022 Main Event, he slow-rolled Ramon Colillas. In the €25K Platinum High Roller WSOP Europe, he engaged in a two-minute Hollywood act on the river with a nut full house against Joni Jouhkimainen.
  5. He constantly chatters non-stop at the table. For instance, here’s a video from the €25K WSOP Europe 2021.
Martin Kabrhel Hollywooding

But his main tactics were demonstrated during the $250K WSOP 2023.

Why has the poker community rallied against Martin Kabrhel?

He garnered the most attention for his behavior during the $250K WSOP Super High Roller, where he took 3rd place ($2,279,038).

The main accusation revolved around Kabrhel marking cards by leaving scratches on the edges with his fingernail.

One of the first players to voice the accusation against the Czech regular was Andrew Robl.

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.

If I knew he was going to be in any tournament I’d rather not play, imagine how recreational players must feel.

Most pros have felt this way for years. Every player in the tournament cringed when he entered, if there was a player vote from the high roller field if he should be banned it would likely be unanimous and poker players can’t agree on everything.

Arthur Martirosyan also voiced accusations of unfair play.

There are suspicions that Kabrhel is marking cards – that’s why he managed to pull off two bluffs.

During the break, Dan Smith approached me and said, ‘Be careful. Try to completely cover your cards with chips because it’s very likely that Kabrhel may be marking cards.’

Dan Smith immediately after being eliminated from the tournament uttered:

GG. Good luck to all of you guys except Martin Kabrhel. I hope you get banned from tournaments.

Martin is the worst player I’ve ever played with at the table. Many players say he marks cards. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but playing with him is not enjoyable. He’s rude, takes 30 seconds to make a decision every time. When I played with him, I felt like something strange was happening. I can’t say this for sure, but he definitely should be banned from the game.

On Twitter and in YouTube comments, people started sharing timestamps where Kabrhel is marking cards. One such example was posted on Twitter.

In addition to stalling and leaving marks on the cards, Kabrhel constantly stood up from the table to look at others’ stacks – this was directly prohibited by the rules, but he was not penalized. Kabrhel also ‘drilled with his gaze’ opponents’ cards.

X-ray Vision from Martin Kabrhel

Doug Polk released a video compiling highlights of Kabrhel from the final table of this tournament.

WSOP has initiated an investigation

An official representative of WSOP stated to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that an investigation has begun regarding Kabrhel.

While we don’t discuss specific security protocols used for monitoring players and gaming equipment, the integrity of the game remains a top priority, and we can assure other visitors that we take these allegations very seriously.

UPD: As a result of the investigation, Martin Kabrhel’s unfair play was not proven.

‘Calling me a cheater is something completely out of line’

Martin Kabrhel commented on the situation on Twitter:

On behalf of yesterday situation I feel 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, pure statement with no evidence and started media blizzard in which I am portrayed as cheater. You can accuse me of controversial manners, bad jokes, uncomfortable play, or whatever stickers you put on my autistic behavior, you can call me pain in the a** but calling me a cheater is something completely out of line.

I am not a cheater, this is not true!! This gossip is damaging me not only as poker player, but also my business activities and my family. That’s why 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. I just can’t believe how easy it’s for people to join such accusations just by their personal antipathy towards my person.

Cheating not found, but Kabrhel still wants to be banned

Chance Kornuth tweeted that WSOP organizers did not find any cheating:

Martin Kabrhel should 100% be banned.

But not for the reason that most think…

I’ve had a lot of people asking me about the MK situation in the last few days, and I have given it considerable thought.

First, the Floors during this WSOP did a great job, examined the decks and found no cheating, so I see it as one of two scenarios…

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.

But let’s assume for the sake of This thread that Martin isn’t cheating…

To have a strategy of making players think you are cheating is bad for the game on multiple levels.

He gains an unfair edge and pushes the line of mental warfare too far.

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.

Additionally, his antics at the table make for a terrible playing environment and very likely discourage recreational and professional players from wanting to play any event that he is in.

He was openly and consistently abusing Alex Kulev and critiquing his play during our $250K final table a few days ago.

Even if he’s not cheating, he should still be subject to consistent, severe penalties and a potential ban as he is in clear violation of TDA rules – “persistent delay of game, abusive conduct and excessive chatter” ON ALMOST EVERY HAND.

Poker Hall of Famer and PokerGo President Mori Eskandani had this to say: “I don’t know if Martin was cheating or not, 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.”

One thing is for sure: Kahbrel’s constant abuse, tanking and angle shooting is horrible for poker and he needs to be stopped.

We as a community need to do more to get this behavior out of our game.