On December 1 Friday, news came out regarding a video footage released by York Regional Police in Ontario, Canada, showing a man being viciously beaten inside an illegal card room which happened on June 9 this year. The police now have openly released the video in the hopes that someone could help in the capture of the suspect, who's still apparently at large.
The male victim, whose facial features have been blurred in the video, is rumored to be Salomon ‘Hashtag King' Ponte (picture), a poker player who has made headlines this year for insulting other poker players via social media as well as boasting about how wealthy and skilled he is at poker.
Doug Polk, who is a short-lived rival of Ponte during the Hashtag King's 15-minutes of fame (or shame), shared the video link on Twitter and he wrote what he thought about the man, "In retrospect I feel bad about the way I acted towards hashtag king. For awhile I thought it was all an act, but it has become clear to me he suffers from mental health issues. If you haven't seen the video, it's likely but unconfirmed HTK is the victim."
The victim's identity has not been confirmed by the police to be Ponte, but many commenters on Polk's Twitter post agree that it must be him.
Ponte has neither denied nor confirmed that it was him being pummeled on the video. As he had repeat incidents of abusive behavior, he had his Instagram and Twitter accounts suspended for a while, or maybe he opted to take his accounts down once again, so he has been unable to make any public commentary.
Mike Matusow tweeted, "It's definitely him. "I tried everything to help him he's got severe bipolar and then started doing drugs which he never did which made him insane I feel for him his mother was a wreck."
The Video The 51-second long video shows a bald man, possibly white but dark-skinned by Canadian standards, wearing a gray shirt and the place shows a typical underground card room in the town of Richmond Hill, a suburb in Toronto.
Caught on video, the six-foot-three tall man throws the victim to the ground, which left a body-sized hole in the wall. After that the muscular brute is repeatedly kicking and punching the cowering victim in the chest and head.
There's no game going on at the time, and since there's no audio recorded, it is unclear what the victim and suspect are discussing. However in the end, the male victim who poker players believe to be Ponte, props himself up to a chair and it looks like he was either begging for the man to stop hurting him or promising to make things right.
Rumors are spreading like wildfire on the Internet about why someone beat up Hashtag King. Lots of commenters on Polk's post speculated that he may have an unpaid debt of $25,000 to a loan shark, but at this point it is unconfirmed and deemed a mere rumor.
One piece of ‘evidence' that may say that Ponte is really the victim, as one poster explains, is that even with the facial blurring, you can see that the victim is wearing three watches on his wrist. Ponte was often seen wearing multiple wristwatches, and it was said that the even tried to pawn one after he lost his buy-in on an edition of Poker Night in America earlier this year.
Whether it was really Ponte or not, police reported that when they arrived at the scene, they found a 28-year-old male suffering from serious injuries, for which he was taken to the hospital.
Police have opted to release the video in the hopes that the public can help identify who the attacker is so they can serve him justice.
About Ponte Salomon Ponte made his first appearance to the poker world earlier this year on ‘Poker Night in America', Live at the Bike, and guerilla marketed his hats branded with #HashtagKing. Unfortunately, he did not make a lot of friends but instead he quickly became a villain.
Ponte currently has $400,000 in lifetime tournament earnings, lives in Toronto, Canada. According to reports, Ponte, if not the same age, is roughly the same age as that of the victim.
He was immediately banned from ‘Live at the Bike' for his abusive behavior. Also, during a Poker Night in America $25 / $50 cash game, Shaun Deeb was one of his opponents, and he made insulting comments directed to Shaun Deeb's wife, probably saying some ugly comments about her physical appearance.
Also, Ponte challenged Polk to a $1 million heads-up match, in which Polk accepted. Polk suggested each player then escrow $500,000 in good faith. Ponte, a man who is known to brag about his alleged wealth, refused to escrow the funds, so the match never took place.
Regarding Hashtag King's financial state, the self-proclaimed "best poker player in the world" earlier this year had an $80 bill at Pot Liquor, a Las Vegas barbecue restaurant, and oddly he was unable to pay the said tab. The restaurant owner called police when Ponte had no intention to pay. A video about it showed up on YouTube, that showed Ponte calling the Hispanic waitress "fat" while talking with an ethnic slur. The Pot Liquor owner said the waitress tried swiping "eight or nine" of Hashtag King's credit cards to their machine, but they were all declined.
A lot of poker players have already expressed their concerns that Salomon Ponte, an ex-CPA from Canada, struggles with mental illness, but many disagree and think he's just a jerk.
However, Polk and Matusow, two poker pros who do not have a medical license, are simply happy to diagnose him as mentally ill.
In case you or someone you know recognizes the unknown guy who beat up the victim in the video, make sure to call Canada police 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7241.
I always thought the best way to beat an opponent who doesn't know when to shut up is on the table, in silent, so he gets the taste of his worst poison. Killing with white silver gloves, this is the best knockout stomach punch one can give to whoever plays against us. And if we don't like to receive some every now and then, the best is to act other way at the tables, not being mean (besides with the cards) to anyone who sits around.
it's nice to see that the perpetrator of this crime has already been identified .... or did not recognize it as yet little evidence ..... it seems to me that this video is enough to prove the guilt of this man ...... especially since he already had problems in connection with its inadequacy
well no one like to have their money not being returned, so after all the small talk which is just verbal way of getting money back to the owner, some head banging sometimes does the trick. don't borrow or don't lend and no such situations will occur
Yes I read this article and it looks kike this guy like to talk about how ruch he is and how good plays poker and saynthat he is the best poker player in the world, but has mo money to show when he needs. So now he gets some in the face and I think it is because omly his actions.
If this man swears on social sites it's worth being beaten. If he is mad then he should be admitted to a hospital. I see that professional poker players do not have good opinions about him. Need to take measures against him because when he gets the chance he will do much worse and is not good.
I am never for violence but if he is just an annoying pr1ck, then he probably asked for it. I don't know the guy. I don't know the real and or complete story, but you know if you go to this kind of underground poker things that things go wrong and not like in a casino where there is security and cameras and stuff. Not that there is nothing wrong with player poker somewhere else other then a casino.
Posted by Ingrind33: I am never for violence but if he is just an annoying pr1ck, then he probably asked for it. I don't know the guy. I don't know the real and or complete story, but you know if you go to this kind of underground poker things that things go wrong and not like in a casino where there is security and cameras and stuff. Not that there is nothing wrong with player poker somewhere else other then a casino.
I once again read this message ... now I did it more carefully ... and drew attention to the fact that the game was going on in an illegal room .... and if the game goes illegally, then all sorts of bad events can happen ... so I do not play in such rooms .... although now in Russia there are very few places for legal games
Posted by pajalnick: I once again read this message ... now I did it more carefully ... and drew attention to the fact that the game was going on in an illegal room .... and if the game goes illegally, then all sorts of bad events can happen ... so I do not play in such rooms .... although now in Russia there are very few places for legal games
You can also suffer some bad in the legal rooms. Example las vegas where this year were murders, beatings and robberies. If they can not afford to ensure the security of the players then it would be the case not to play in casinos. In East Europe like in russia or romania you are eaten alive. . Need many bodyguards.
Lool, a plaer with the nickname Hashtag King plays in a illegal card room , verry funny And this guys are wondering verry often why they loose a lot of money in this scene... And normally he can find a lot of legal poker rooms with serious dealers to play.
The place looks like a makeshift conference room in a cheaply built warehouse building. The video footage clearly revealed the assailant's face. His identity can be easily pinned down and he will be apprehended by the law enforcement officers shortly. It's a relief the victim wasn't gunned down and killed.