PokerStars Festival Rozvadov: Kassouf-like Kabrhel gives 'em hell

"I like you, that's why I want you to make the money. We're less than 100 away now - why do you want to bust!?" comes a shout from across the Poker Room at the King's Casino. "Don't do anything stupid!"

It's not the first outburst to come from this table today.

I walk over to watch the action. The noise is coming from Martin Kabrhel - who many have referred to as the Czech equivalent of the infamous William Kassouf. Somewhat of a local hero here at the King's Casino, Kabrhel has had some big scores over the years - the biggest being a €250,000 win at the EPT6 Deauville High Roller back in 2010.

A few minutes at the table and the reasons for the Kassouf comparison become clear in his table antics. But Kabrhel's talk is of a different nature. I arrive to see a three-bet against Kabrhel's open. It prompts another outburst. "Are you crazy? Tell me now. Are you really crazy? This bet is too big!"


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The Czech Republic's very own Will Kassouf?

Kabrehl continues. "I have a big hand, France. A very big hand". He's apparently resorted to naming every player on the table by the country they're from.

"I can't believe you want to bust before the money... I don't think I can fold this."

After a long tank, Kabrehl open folds his hand. It's the T♠4♥.

He smirks.

By this point the players on table 110 are visibly agitated. It's clearly been a relentless assault from Kabrehl throughout the day. One player has his head in his hands and is rubbing his face. Another player gets up and walks away from the table mid-level. Another, later, leans away from the table to confide in me, "I have a headache" he tells me, "You see why?"

As play continues I observe the Czech-man. He's twitchy and seems agitated - something which I later come to realise is genuine excitement. He's in his element, and clearly loves being here - so much so that he's unable to sit still in his chair. When he's in a hand he's a force, and an intimidating presence. It's a marked difference from when he plays a hand quietly - meekly putting his chips in and taking his time to look players up and down, and sizing up his bets.

"Unlucky Norway, I like your style!" he shouts again as a player busts by calling a shove with K♦Q♦ to pocket tens. "Holland, it's my big blind now - don't mess with me, I warn you! Leave it for this hand. We'll take all the chips from Mr. November nine next hand!"

Hold on, what?

And with that Vojtech Ruzicka, who had stepped away from the table earlier returns to his seat. His fellow countryman came fifth at the 2016 WSOP Main Event last year, taking home just under $2 million.

Ruzicka is the only player at the table who Kabrehl doesn't refer to by his country. Ruzicka gets special nickname privileges for his deep-run.


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Kabrehl and Ruzicka face off

There's some history from earlier on in the day. Kabrehl doubled up Ruzicka after calling a shove from his under-the-gun raise. Ruzicka flipped over 2♣2♦. "Deuces? Pay me!" Kabrhel joked as he turned over K♥Q♥, but the board ran clean to keep Ruzicka alive.

"If you make the min-cash it would be a great success for you, Mr. November," jokes Kabrhel now that I'm table-side.

"Well, I've had a nice streak" retorts Ruzicka.

"Oh yeah?" replies Kabrhel. "When was the last time you made the money?"

"Uh, November actually".

The two laugh, and play continues.

As the bubble bursts the two have now made the cash - stay tuned to see how deep the pair make it as Day 2 continues.

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Kabrhel in trouble with the law

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Dan Jones
@PokerStars in Live