Gardena police hunt for Bryan Sagbigsal

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: October 28, 2022 12:44 pm EDT

One of the central figures in the Garrett Adelstein / Robbi Jade Lew alleged-cheating scandal, former Hustler Casino Live employee Bryan Sagbigsal, has not been located by Gardena, California police officers who attempted to find, question, and possibly arrest him earlier this week.

The news regarding the 24-year-old Sagbigsal comes via a Los Angeles Times feature update published on Thursday that revealed the L.A. area police department’s day-long search for him came up empty. The search began at the home of Sagbigsal’s now-former girlfriend’s parents in Long Beach, where he had been living.

According to Thursday’s LA Times update, officers arrived at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, but were told that “Sagbigsal had been kicked out two weeks ago and that the family was not given a forwarding address. [Gardena Detective Hugo] Gualotuna said calls to Sagbigsal’s cellphone were not answered.”

Bryan Sagbigsal (Image source: Twitter [archived])

Sagbigsal could face a felony grand-theft charge for lifting $15,000 in chips from Lew’s stack immediately following the controversial streamed HCL game wherein Lew won a $269,000 pot from Adelstein in a bizarrely played hand. The hand triggered Adelstein to accuse Lew and possibly others, later specifically including Sagbigsal, of somehow cheating during the game. Sagbigsal’s theft from Lew’s stack was discovered via security-footage review of the game in the early days of an ongoing investigation announced by HCL owners Nick Vertucci and Ryan Feldman.

Sagbigsal was immediately terminated from his role at HCL, where he once claimed he was the most senior employee of the production. However, Lew initially declined to pursue charges against Sagbigsal, and though she later reversed course, her initial decision delayed the Gardena Police Department’s ability to pursue Sagbigsal for the theft.

The LA Times update, written by staff reporter Andrea Chang, only lightly mentions a possible contributory role the paper played in Sagbigsal’s current unknown location. The latest report states, “Approached outside his girlfriend’s home in Long Beach on Oct. 9, Sagbigsal declined to answer questions and threatened to follow a Times reporter.” That reporter was Chang, the same writer who filed Thursday’s update. The contact could have triggered a confrontation with Sagbigsal’s girlfriend’s family, who might not have been aware of the full extent of the story at that time.

Sagbigsal appeared online in a lengthy series of posts on the 2+2 poker forums later on the same night, October 9, following his confrontation with Chang. Sagbigsal did not mention that confrontation, but did make roughly four dozen posts in response to an accusatory “Report” thread started by Adelstein. Sagbigsal’s identity was verified by podcaster Joey Ingram, with whom Sagbigsal had been in previous contact. Since that flurry of posts, however, Sagbigsal has not been verified to have posted or spoken publicly in any form.

If charged with and found guilty of felony grand theft, which generally applies to thefts of cash or merchandise worth over $5,000, Sagbigsal could face a maximum three years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine under California law. Sagbigsal would likely also be ordered to make restitution to his victim, Lew. However, the decision to prosecute would be based on the Gardena police investigation; Lew would be left to file a civil complaint in the event the district attorney’s office declines to file formal charges once Sagbigsal is located.

Featured image source: Hustler Casino Live