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Poker game with Monopoly money ends in death

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14:34 CEST+02:00

A man goes on trial on Monday in the southern town of Pau accused of murder after a poker game took a very bad turn.


The events took place almost two years ago, in November 2009, when two men, Jonathan Laurent, 25, and Fatih Acar, 34, met to play a game of poker. The evening ended with Laurent dead and Acar facing a charge of murder.

According to local newspaper, La République des Pyrénées, Jonathan Laurent had recently moved to the area to start a new life and was staying with his sister. The other man, Acar, lived in Paris but was in the town to visit his son.

After meeting while playing billiards, the two men and a few friends decided to extend their evening with a game of poker in the house where Acar was staying. 

A simple disagreement over whether to play with real money or Monopoly money sparked the violence. Laurent wanted to play with real money while Acar preferred the make-believe version.

Acar will claim in court that he grabbed a knife to defend himself from Laurent who had become aggressive and was kicking and punching him. He told investigators at the time that Laurent had "impaled himself" on the knife.

The autopsy found that Laurent had been stabbed four times, the third of which was fatal, casting doubt on Acar's story.

The newspaper reported that friends and acquaintances of both men have denied they were aggressive.

Laurent was described by friends as someone who wasn't violent but who could react "badly to alcohol." He had moved to the area for a fresh start and had just found a job in a cafeteria. Acar was described by his roommate as polite and not at all aggressive.

The case will be heard until Wednesday.


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