Turkish poker player Kadir Karabulut has been removed from a Dutch poker room in Utrecht, the Netherlands, hosting the Holland Casino Dom Classic poker competition on suspicion of cheating for a second time. Last September, his compatriot Ali Tekintamgac was banned from the Partouche Poker Tour final table because reporters and bloggers, including Karabulut, were standing behind competing poker players and communicating cards with Tekintamgac using hand signals. Now, it appears Karabulut considered with at least one photographer to try it again, only this time he took the role of a player.
Karabulut was ousted from the €1,500 buy-in Holland Casino Main Event when there were only 30 opponents remaining. Pieter de Korver, a Dutch member of PokerStars Team Pro, found interaction between Karabulut and a circling photographer doubtful so Korver shared his distrust with the poker competition director. Other poker players became conscious of the dilemma and refused to continue playing until Karabulut, the photographer, and several “railbirds” was barred from not only the poker competition, but also Holland Casino.
Mark Woldberg, spokesperson for Holland Casino elaborated “[Entrance by] the three persons to Holland Casino [has been] immediately denied. The stack of the player remaining in the tournament [Karabulut] was taken out of the tournament. We particularly regret that this occurred and it goes without saying that this is totally unacceptable for Holland Casino.”
Between Karabulut’s new poker scandal and the Tekintamgac’s mis-game, the possibility for corrupt media staff to participate in cheating rings has found the spotlight. Game security is being reevaluated, especially with regard to reporter competition access. Woldberg declared “To avoid such problems in future, we will see if we – in addition to the press regulations [that] currently have to be signed [by media personnel] – can have even stricter regulations for bloggers and journalists.”
At the time of the Partouche Poker Tour incident, an editor of PokerNews rightly questioned “The scandal, which involved the poker media, brought about concerns over the game’s security, specifically, questions regarding the media’s access to the tournament floor. Should the media be allowed to wander freely when hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars is up for grabs?” One may also wonder whether Dutch gambling laws include adequate provisions to harshly punish cheaters in order to limit the incentivizing power these jackpots have.
Now, internet poker forum users are chipping in their two cents against Karabulut. “Loosefoot” asserted “He should be blacklisted and banned in every casino like they do with known card counters.” “Stranger123,” alleged that this has already happened, responding, “Yeah, he is banned from a lot of casinos in Europe.”
After the banishment of Karabulut enabled the poker competition to continue and eventually complete, Dutch poker player M de Gier took first place and a prize of €63,420.