A group of six armed robbers halted play this morning at the 2010 PokerStars.net EPT event in Berlin. The break in occurred around 2:30 PM local time inside the city’s Grand Hyatt Hotel.
While no one was seriously injured in the ensuing panic, it is unclear as to how much cash the criminals managed to escape with. They are said to have been wearing black ski masks and winter coats, and are rumored to have wielded everything from guns to knives to machetes.
What is certain is this: for nearly half an hour, mass panic gripped the EPT poker room. Tables were overturned, scattering chips in an attempt to form makeshift barricades. Members of the media barred the doors to their suite upon glimpsing one of the assailants as he sprinted toward them. Security guards wrestled with the robbers, but it is unknown as to whether any of them were apprehended.
According to both the above clip and an account from PokerNews.com, the panic ensued when a group of tournament personalities burst into the playing hall and began shouting in German. While not everyone present could comprehend exactly what was being said, the actions of those who understood quickly set the tone for the crowd.
Poker Stars has released a statement regarding the event:
“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 underway. If you have video footage or photographs that could help the police, please contact the EPT organizers as soon as possible.”
Due to the tenuous circumstances, players in the both the €1,000 side event and the ladies event have been offered a refund. The €1,000 side game has been canceled outright, while the women’s tournament continues to hang in the balance.
Main event play is set to resume around 5 PM local time.