Murdered Georgian man took part in Utrecht poker tournament with wanted suspect
A 32-year-old man from Georgia killed in a stabbing at a hotel in Utrecht on Tuesday evening. The police have identified the suspected perpetrator and issued an international arrest warrant against him. De Telegraaf, citing sources from the poker world, reported that the two men, both from Georgia, knew each other through poker.
The suspect is Tornike Manvelidze and is from Tbilisi, Georgia, police stated. He allegedly stabbed the victim at about 6:10 p.m. at the Moxy Utrecht Hotel located on the Helling. The stabbing took place inside the hotel, though earlier it was unclear if it happened in the building or just outside. First responders resuscitated the victim at the scene and then rushed him to a hospital in critical condition. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital.
According to insiders within the poker community, the victim and his alleged assailant were known to play poker together and recently participated in a tournament in Bratislava.
Based on rankings, the victim was considered a recreational player. He regularly engaged in smaller tournaments with entry fees ranging from 70 to 500 euros, a source told the newspaper. He won a prize in the last Utrecht Poker Series held in February. Both the victim and Tornike Manvelidze are believed to have attended that tournament.
The newspaper also reported an incident at the Utrecht Poker Series at Holland Casino Utrecht on Wednesday night. A police arrest team reportedly arrested a suspect directly from a poker table during the tournament. This intervention was part of an unrelated police investigation, about which the police declined to comment further.