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European Poker Tour -- Berlin Event Robbed

Six Armed Gun Men Interrupted Play but No One was Injured


Photo Courtesy of PokerStarsAction during day 4 at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Berlin €5,000 no-limit hold’em main event came to an abrupt halt today just after 2 p.m. local time, when four armed men stormed into the tournament registration area. The robbers were only after cash and no one was seriously injured at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin. A police investigation has already begun.

Players, staff, and media members evacuated the tournament room during the disturbance that took place, and once security declared that the room was safe again they all returned from the lobby and streets where they had sought safety during the affair. What they returned to was a scattered mess of flipped tables, chairs, and chip stacks that were strewn across the tables that were still standing (pictured right).

EPT Tournament Director Thomas Kremser and his staff worked quickly to bring things back to order and play resumed at 6 p.m. local time with 20 players remaining in the main event. Other tournaments that were disturbed when the incident took place were a €1,000 no-limit hold’em event and the ladies €300 no-limit hold’em event. PokerStars gave players in each of those tournaments the option to take a refund of their buy-in. The €1,000 no-limit hold’em event was eventually canceled.

The cameras of EPT Live were rolling to capture the action at one of the three final tables of the tournament when a commotion and stampede of people was visible in the background. The broadcast was ended soon thereafter and even though the tournament has started again there will be no more EPT Live footage from today’s event.

UPDATE: Play was able to continue in the main event, high rollers event, and ladies event as originally planned. The main event reached the final table of eight tonight and the EPT Live video feed will be back up for tomorrow.

Here is the official statement about the incident at EPT Berlin from EPT spokesperson Kristy Thompson that was initially released:

“An armed robbery by six men took place today at EPT Berlin. Nobody was seriously injured. We hope to re-start all events at 4pm local time. A police investigation is under way. If you have video footage or photographs that could help the police, please contact the EPT organizers as soon as possible.”

UPDATE (Here is the most recent release from PokerStars regarding the incident): "Yesterday at approximately 2.15 pm, an armed robbery took place at the European Poker Tour event in Berlin. Nobody was seriously injured. Four armed men were involved in the robbery which targeted the tournament registration desk outside the tournament area.

No shots were fired and the suspects quickly fled after a security guard intervened. The police investigation so far has shown that the suspects had a handgun and a machete. Contrary to tabloid reports, no Kalashnikov assault rifles or hand grenades were used. The suspects did not enter the tournament area and the money taken was substantially less than what has been reported.

The tournament resumed after a few hours and a police investigation is now under way. The tournament is taking place on the first floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Marlene-Dietrich-Platz and is being held by SPIELBANK Berlin Casino.

The police are working closely with the EPT and SPIELBANK Berlin. Police are asking anyone who has information, video footage or photographs that might aid the investigation to contact them."

Card Player will keep you up-to-date on any further developments in this story as they are released by tournament officials and law enforcement in Germany.



12 years ago

so they got tournament chips that worth nothing??


12 years ago

according to:

they made away with one million euros


12 years ago

umm so did they not have security?? pretty terrible tournament if you ask me, I think security is the first thing most casinos would make sure to have when ther is a lot of money at stake.


12 years ago

@richenough, donkeytron: This is Europe. We're not as gun-happy as you guys on the other continents. Seems that security got into a fistfight with the robbers, and some of the stolen money was recovered. Nothing beyond light injuries.

Gun laws are better in Europe. In the US, there probably would have been 3 people shot dead and 8 wounded...


12 years ago

There are vids showing security tackling the robbers even though they had guns, thanks to the bravery of these people this situation wasn't as bad as it could be. Gnorzo, nice point, their argument is always that if everyone had guns people would somehow be safer, failing to realise that making guns illegal saves far more people.

The claim about the money stolen has been grossly overstated there was nothing like a million euros stolen, thanks to the actions of security.


12 years ago

if this happened in Texas, all of the robbers would have been shot by no less then three of the players and everybody would have continued playing the tournament......


12 years ago

Perhaps that was Pokerstars version of Rush Poker? Anyway, I find it a bit amusing that Pokerstars was robbed in a six seater "sitngo".