05/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

European Poker Tour Rocked By Goodfellas-Style Armed Robbery

Like something straight out of a Scorsese movie, six men armed with assault rifles and machetes
stormed the European Poker Tour (EPT) in Berlin and made off with the $1.2 million tournament prize money.

As a frequent correspondent on the poker tour, what's crazy about this: the masked gunmen's ballsy robbery took place at 4 p.m. in the afternoon at Berlin's Grand Hyatt Hotel. The Michael Bay-eque spectacle was captured by German television cameras, who were on hand to cover the tournament, as players, hotel employees, and spectators were sent into panic mode as they scrambled for the exits. Tables littered with poker chips were rendered vacant.

"One guy stood in the corner stuffing 500 euro notes into his backpack, while a second man pinned down a security man with his machete," remarked Olaf Wagner -- a photographer for Germany's Bild newspaper. "I just couldn't believe my eyes."

Who orchestrated this: the screenwriters of The Bourne Supremacy? This story has it all: money, action, foreign intrigue, etc. Though poker's now a mainstream sport, an incident like this jolts us back to the organized crime-era captured by DeNiro,Casino, and Scorcese. EPT game action resumed about four hours after the attack.