A larger than normal player field, a big first place prize, and as much media coverage as the World Series of Poker, the EPT Berlin tournament created the perfect storm for six individuals.
The tournament was running smoothly and it had seemed to be another notch on the successful belt of PokerStars, until the unthinkable. Six men entered the Grand Hyatt’s hotel seeking one thing, money.
Just as another hand was being dealt, an eruption in the lobby occurred, directly next to the tournament registration desk. A scurry of people rushed to the other side of the room in fear for their life as the six men demanded the prize money in the vault. The men were armed with handguns and machetes despite the report of AK’s and hand grenades by the local media.
Regardless of the unsettling events happening outside the poker room, perhaps the most disturbing event of the day was the resumed play during the heist. Players were forced to play out all hands even when their buy-ins were taken from the premise.
One American player, Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee, who was in the final 20 players logged onto PocketFives.com and explained his disappointment how the situation was handled “I honestly think we should have stopped play.”
Although he was upset how the tournament directors handled the explosive issue, that didn’t stop Kevin from playing some of the best poker of his life. MacPhee battled through all of the adversity, diversity, and extremely tough competition to take down a replenished first place prize of €1,000,000.
When Kevin was asked what he would do to celebrate his recent win, he replied with “I’m going to go play the Sunday Million” which started in 15 minutes.
Hopefully not only PokerStars, but all major poker venues will be locked up tight and provide the security and protection that the players and staff deserve.
Watch the videos below of this horrific event that took place.