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Poker Player Arrested After Spitting Incident While Gambling

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High stakes poker is a game that can sometimes get the best of players' emotions. rarely do these emotions boil over to a point of criminal activity, but it did happen in the case of Mesbah Khaffaji on Sunday evening.

Khaffaji was arrested by authorities with the Bell Gardens Police Department after he allegedly spit in the face of a deal at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens. The player was upset over the way the game was developing. When arrested, Khaffaji was charged with misdemeanor battery.

Police official Sergeant Brendan Kirkpatrick speculated that the incident escalated after Khaffaji lost a hand at the No-Limit poker table he was playing at. The problem of aggressive acts by gamblers is one they have seen before in Bell Gardens.

"Is it often? No. Does it happen? Yes," said Kirkpatrick, as reported by The Los Angeles Times. "People get heated. Large sums of money lost, people can't control their emotions."

It is likely that many of these gamblers have seen the aggressive behavior on television from the top professionals in the world. Players such as Phil Hellmuth and Mike Matusow have reputations for exploding on fellow players when the pros lose a controversial hand.

Hellmuth is well known for lambasting other players for their poor play. He once commented that if everyone played the way they were supposed to play on a poker table, Hellmuth would never lose. Of course there are other professionals that would dispute that claim.

Poker has become of the most popular gambling options in the world. The World Series of Poker has been broadcast on ESPN the past several years, and even casual fans are tuning in to watch the best in the world compete for millions of dollars.

Last year, Phil Ivey, considered to be the top player in the world by many, made it all the way to the final table of the WSOP Main Event. That sparked another round of new participants through the beginning of 2010. The WSOP that was held in May through July had the second most players participate ever at the event.

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