While the PokerStars.net was celebrating one of their largest fields at the 2010 EPT Berlin tournament, an unforeseen event sparked controversy and chaos.
Life as a professional poker player is supposed to be filled with solitude and mental warfare. At European Poker Tour in Berlin, lives were turned a bit upside down. This last Sunday, at 2:15 (local time), a group of armed men entered the Grand Hyatt’s casino with only one thought on their mind, money.
Up to six men walked into the hotel, and proceeded to the tournament registration desk. One reported player ran into the tournament tables frantically yelling the tournament money was being robbed. Immediately, chaos followed and the players were fish in a barrel. The tournament was set up in a matter which emergency exits were not only difficult to get to, but also where the armed men were.
The whole short lived event scared not only the hotel employees, but also the players inside the large convention room. Tournament directors instructed each dealer to resume play despite the danger which lurked in the other room. One American player, Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee, told PocketFives.com “I honestly thought we should have stopped play.”
It didn’t take long for the tabloids and media to report on this story, as it was being broad casted live via PokerStars new LiveEPT cams. These cameras stream the event happening as you are watching, and it seems that PokerStars may have bit off a bit more than they can chew.
Although money was taken, and lives were changed, the tournament was played out and a victor was crowned.
No casualties or injuries were reported, but can players and staff be so lucky next time? Hopefully PokerStars will learn from this and provide the security players deserve.
Below you will see video that was captured during the time of the robbery.