Player Booted from EPT Prague Main Event for Head-Butting Opponent

Player Booted from EPT Prague Main Event for Head-Butting Opponent

There was a triple-knockout on Day 1b of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague Main Event, but only one involved poker chips, and the rest the result of a fight that broke out at the table.

Despite the aggressive incident involving two opponents who played an all in pot together, the PokerStars-branded event, a 5,300 buy-in no-limit hold'em contest, is off to a strong start with over 1,200 players in the field and registration still open until the start of Day 2 on Wednesday.

Fight Breaks Out in Poker Tournament

As the final hands of the night were being played, tensions were already high at Table 12 from the previous hand where Michele Nizzardelli won a pot after a controversial check on the river.

Nizzardelli was covering the short stack of Ghattas Kortas, who was all in and at risk. Nizzardelli three-bet with AK and was called by Kortas, who turned over 1010.

Big Slick hit a pair immediately on the K47 flop, holding through the QJ runout to earn a second straight pot. Kortas was eliminated but was visibly angr at the situation. He walked behind Nizzardelli, removed the Italian's hat and began to walk away.

The player who won the hand reacted by pushing Kortas in the back. Kortas stumbled forward, turned around and walked back towards Nizzardelli, who put his hands up as if to challenge the player he'd just busted, perhaps anticipating he could knock him out a second time.

The two were then standing face to face when Nizzardelli threw a head-butt that caught Kortas on the bridge of the nose and knocked him to the floor. Kortas was startled and began asking other players if his face was alright. Security was called, escorting Nizzardelli out of the tournament room.

His stack was immediately removed from the table and he was disqualified. There was no word at the time as to whether he would be facing any further repercussions.

This certainly isn't the only fight to have ever broken out at a poker table. In 2022 at Hustler Casino in Los Angeles, one player shouted "yo momma" at another player, which sparked a brawl that ended with the cops busting out the taser gun.

A massive brawl at Talking Stick Casino in Phoenix broke out in 2018 over a petty issue, leading to multiple ejections from the facility.

EPT Prague Main Event Update

Following the aggressive incident woke the room up during one of the last hands of the day, 297 players managed to find a bag at the end of Day 1b of the 5,300 PokerStars European Poker Tour Prague Main Event at the Hilton Prague.

They are the remaining players out of a field of 838 entrants on Day 1b. In total, 1,250 entrants were recorded on both Day 1s, which is just seventeen entrants shy of last year's 1,267 entries. However, late registration remains open until the start of Day 2, so this 2023 EPT Prague Main Event will probably be the largest ever.

Three players bagged up more than 300,000 chips on Day 1a, but only Daniel Koloszar did it on Day 1b. Thanks to his 304,500 chip-stack, he ended the day as the chip leader. France's Mercedes Osti takes second place with 285,000 chips, even though she had a tough table in the last levels, with PokerStars ambassador Alejandro Lococo (131,000) to her right, and recent WSOP Europe Main Event champion Max Neugebauer (58,000) to her left. Both of them will also be back on Day 2.

Jon Kyte didn't have the easiest table either with Niklas Astedt (193,000) seated next to him. But with 245,500 in the bag, he finished Day 1b in third place.

Day 1b Top Ten Chip Counts

RankPlayerCountryChip CountsBig Blinds
1Daniel KoloszarHungary304,500254
2Mercedes OstiFrance285,000238
3Jon KyteNorway245,500205
4Omar EljachSweden244,500204
5Niall FarrellUnited Kingdom243,500203
6Davis MihelsonsLatvia240,000200
7Dario SammartinoItaly236,000197
8Wouter BeltzNetherlands235,000196
9Cesar GarciaSpain230,500192
10Mehdi SenhajiMorocco216,000180

Omar Eljach (244,500), Niall Farrell (243,500), and Dario Sammartino (236,000) also managed to reach the Top 10, along with Cesar Garcia (230,500), who was in the front row of tonight's incident.

Jason Wheeler filled his bag with 206,000 chips. Tamas Adamszki will also be returning with a healthy stack (157,500) and he will be looking to collect his third trophy of the festival, as he already secured two victories last week by taking down the 10,200 NL Hold'Em event and the 50,000 EPT Super High Roller.

Furthermore, at least seven former EPT winners are progressing to Day 2, including Lucien Cohen (178,000), Robin Ylitalo (174,000), Dimitar Danchev (144,500), Simon Wiciak (76,500), Grzegorz Glowny (52,500), or Piotr Nurzynski (43,000).

PokerNews will also be keeping an eye on some familiar faces, such as Jules Dickerson (136,500), Marle Spragg (109,500), Luca Moschitta (100,000) Thomas Eychenne (99,000), Julien Sitbon (75,000), Maria Lampropulos (64,000) and Leo Margets (41,500).

All Day 1 survivors, plus the new entrants before the end of late registration, will return to their seats at noon local time on Wednesday, December 13. As from then, all levels will last 90 minutes, commencing with Level 11, which features 1,000/1,500 blinds with a 1,500 big-blind ante. Day 2 is expected to conclude after five levels or when the bubble bursts, depending on which is longer.

The PokerNews live reporting team will be back on the floor to provide all the action. The live stream feature table action also commences on Day 2 with cards-up coverage and commentary on a security delay of 30 minutes on the PokerStars social media channels.

Follow EPT Prague Main Event Live Coverage at PokerNews


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