Luke Vrabel sat quietly at table No. 678 in Bally’s Event Center, wearing a black Iron Maiden T-shirt and switching between chit-chatting with fellow players and glancing at his phone.
He didn’t want to do anything that would attract unwanted attention.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” Vrabel remarked. “It has been incredible.”
Five years ago, Vrabel was suspended from the World Series of Poker and all Caesars Entertainment facilities following an altercation during the “Colossus” No-limit Hold’em event.
However, he was allowed this summer by WSOP vice president Jack Effel before the commencement of the $10,000 buy-in Main Event No-limit Hold’em World Championship, and he was ascending the chip counts as the event entered the dinner break on Day 3.
Vrabel refused to address the reason for his ban, although he did write about it in posts on Facebook and the online poker community twoplustwo.com in 2017. Moreover, to clarify what transpired, he also appeared as a guest on the “HighRollerRadioTV” podcast in 2017.
According to Vrabel’s posts and interview, the poker pro from West Hartford, Connecticut, was reportedly being jeered by a group of fans with ten players remaining in the 2017 “Colossus” event at the Rio Convention Center.
In the episode, Vrabel stated that he requested a tournament director to silence the supporters but was informed, “They did nothing wrong. Take a seat and deal with it.” According to the interview, the mocking became too much for Vrabel. He urged the tournament director to eject the fans.
According to Section 40-c of the WSOP official regulations. “All players are entitled to demand politeness and kindness from one another at every table and throughout the WSOP area. Anyone who witnesses conduct that is not respectful, courteous, or abusive is required to inform a WSOP Tournament official promptly.”
Clashing with WSOP Staff
In the interview, Vrabel mentioned that WSOP summoned security not long after that incident, and he is the first to confess that he, too, can be disruptive and noisy at the table at times.
Nonetheless, instead of being placed near the spectators, the two security personnel were positioned on either side of Vrabel as he played.
Once the WSOP staff stopped the play with nine players left, Vrabel claimed that he talked to the tournament director, and the duo clashed again. The tournament director referred to Vrabel as an obscenity, per his postings and interview.
“Here I am competing for a million dollars. This is by far the greatest highlight of my WSOP career, and this man is siding with the audience,” Vrabel posted on twoplustwo.com.
The following day, Vrabel resumed for the final table, though he was eliminated from the event in ninth place and took home around $80,000. Afterward, he declared that he would never play in the WSOP again.
As per unsubstantiated reports on twoplustwo.com, Vrabel was suspended shortly after the event during “Colossus” and his subsequent statements on social media and podcast interviews about it.
Vrabel said on Saturday that Nicholas Palma, a friend, and fellow poker player, had spoken to Effel last week on his behalf to get the suspension overturned.
He came into the limelight in 2011 after winning a Lamborghini and almost $700,000 in the PokerStars Sunday Million online tournament.
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