The game of poker if full of enough pitfalls without having to factor in whether your opponent is a Kung Fu master and would get upset if you continue stealing his blinds throughout night.
Unfortunately for Michael Iannucci this was not far from the truth, after Mixed Martial Arts instructor James Neely didn’t take kindly to his opponent’s winning ways and allegedly decided to give him a free martial arts lesson away from the felts.
The incident took place around 12:37 a.m. on Monday at the Hog Wild Saloon, Kingsport, Tennessee during the bars regular Sunday night Texas Hold’em poker free roll tournament.
James Neely, who previously owned East Tennessee Mixed Martial Arts, became progressively more upset after losing to Iannucci and so in a fit of pique apparently attacked his poker playmate.
The 35 year old instructor, whose style makes him conversant in kickboxing, Greco-Roman judo, wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, then apparently punched Iannucci on the side of his face, and then proceeded to kick, and spit on him after he had hit the floor.
At this point, employees of the Hog Wild Saloon broke up the assault and Michael Iannucci is claiming he was further threatened by one of the bars staff. In any case, James Neely then took off and by the time police officer Bobby Lawson appeared on the scene he noted that Iannucci had abrasions on his head and that his glasses were broken.
Despite a criminal summons being issued for Neely which has still to be served, and Iannucci’s father, Steven Iannucci claiming that Hog Wild owner Drew Reardon is attempting to cover up the assault it would appear that the attack is about to be settled outside of the law courts.
As Drew Reardon explains, after a chat Michael Iannucci said he would be prepared to drop the charges if Neely apologized for his actions. Reardon now says that, “I’ve got both of them coming in sometime tonight to shake hands and squash it.”
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