The parent company of “Hustler Casino Live”, High Stakes Poker Productions, has announced that it is initiating a third-party investigation into the circumstances surrounding the bizarre hand from Thursday’s livestreamed HCL show between Garrett Adelstein and Robbi Jade Lew.
Ryan Feldman and Nick Vertucci, the owners and operators of High Stakes Poker Productions and the “Hustler Casino Live” streams, issued the declaration Saturday evening via social media. According to their statement, a law firm will be retained to oversee the investigation, which will include “staff and player interviews, a review of relevant records and possibly the use of polygraph testing.
Feldman and Vertucci haven’t retained the law firm as yet, with that announcement likely to come in the next few days or weeks. Once retained, the law firm will also oversee a technical investigation to be conducted by a third-party cybersecurity firm. Accusations made publicly against Lew include the possibility that she may have been electronically tipped in some way as to Adelstein’s holdings. Since the show is streamed on a brief delay, such electronic-based cheating would have to involve a system hack involving the show’s set-up, including RFID cards and the sensors and software necessary to translate that information into on-screen graphics. The cybersecurity’s firm will be to determine if the HCL’s stream was compromised in any way.
No evidence of cheating as yet
Despite the accusations made by Adelstein that Lew “100 percent” cheated, Adelstein and Vertucci made clear that as of their statement, there is no evidence as yet that Lew cheated in any way. The alternative to a finding is that Lew made an unusual and against-the-odds call that turned out to lucky. The poker world remains highly divided on the topic. The pro-cheating contingent argues that no reasonable player could have made the call against Adelstein’s jam, while the no-cheating side believes that Lew, in essence, combined a solid read with something of a call made on tilt.
The controversial hand saw Lew rake in a $269,000 pot after she called the all-in bet from Adelstein with a weak J-4 holding that was still good enough to beat Adelstein’s semi-bluff. Adelstein quickly accused Lew of cheating, and Lew, Adelstein, and Feldman soon began an off-set discussion in which Adelstein reputedly asked for the return of his share of the pot. Lew complied, under circumstances wherein the parties present don’t agree on other things that transpired in their discussion.
Adelstein quickly bagged up his chips and left the HCL set, while Lew continued to play. Since then, the two have battled indirectly in other ways, especially on Twitter. Adelstein stated that he accepted the return of half the giant pot as an “admission of guilt” from Lew, while Lew reiterated that no cheating was involved and that she felt pressured and threatened to return the money.
The reputed presence of HCL’s Feldman in the off-set discussion may have also contributed to the quick decision by High Stakes Poker Productions to announce that legal counsel and a formal investigation will take place, though the Feldman/Vertucci statement disavows that they or hosting venue Hustler Casino were involved in the monetary exchange between Lew and Adelstein. Feldman and Vertucci also vowed, “Once the investigation is finished, we will release the findings publicly — no matter what they reveal.” The HCL owners added that the investigation would likely “take considerable time” to reach any conclusions.
Featured image source: YouTube/Hustler Casino Live