Police in Ontario have released images of a man who violently beat poker player Salomon Ponte, otherwise known as the HashTagKing, in an illegal poker den over an outstanding debt.
A video circulating on poker forums and elsewhere shows a man reputed to be Ponte being knocked to the floor and repeatedly kicked and punched – now deleted tweets and a 2+2 forum thread from earlier this year linking the assault to Ponte and debts he accrued.
Police, who were called to the incident in June, have only now asked the public for help stating in a news release:
“Investigators have exhausted all leads and are releasing video of the suspect and appealing to the public for assistant to identify him.”
Ponte came to prominence in the poker world this summer when he appeared on Poker Night in America with a disgusting display of offensive behaviour and found himself banned from casinos including Caesars as well as the Live at the Bike poker show.
Doug Polk and Daniel Negreanu were among those who criticised his terrible behaviour – which included insulting Shaun Deeb’s wife – and the WSOP’s Seth Paalansky refused to lift a ban on his playing at Caesar’s stating:
“You need to get better self-control and make better decisions.”
The violent beating saw police called ‘to a commercial plaza at 9005 Leslie Street, which is just north of Highway 7, on June 9 around 2 p.m. for a report of an assault’, according to CP24.com, who added that: ‘Upon arrival at the scene, police located a 28-year-old man suffering from serious injuries. He was subsequently taken to hospital.’
As I wrote in an earlier piece on the Canadian player, Ponte binked the $1100 WPT Deepstacks in Hollywood, Florida last January for $344,420, but since then he has started to believe his own hype, despite very little success, and now considers himself to be a major player.
It was almost inevitable, however, that he would cross the wrong person at some point and the video of his assault seems to bear that out. The suspect wanted in connection with the investigation has been described by police as a six-foot-three middle-eastern man with a shaved head, muscular build and a goatee.