Controversy erupts over huge hand in Hustler Casino Live streamed game

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: September 30, 2022 03:03 PDT

A bizarre hand and a massive $265,000 pot that occurred in Thursday night's streamed Hustler Casino Live cash game featuring Garrett "Gman" Adelstein and Robbi Jade Lew, a relative newcomer to the game. With stakes of $100/$200/$400 (straddle), the unusual hand saw the $269,000 pot shipped Lew's way, and cheating accusations by a shocked and incensed Adelstein quickly followed.

The furor quickly carried over to social media after Hustler Casino excerpted and posted video of the hand:

How the hand played out

Action began in the hand with Adelstein making the $400 straddle bet with a modest but draw-friendly 8c-7c. Two seats later, Lew raised to $1,000 with Jc-4h. Action folded around to Adelstein, who three-bet to $3,000, which Lew called. The flop came Th-Tc-9c, giving Adelstein a huge straight-flush draw but no made hand. He led out for another $2,500, and after a brief pause, Lew called again.

The turn was the 3h. Adelstein, still on his draw, bet $10,000, and Lew min-raised him to $20,000. Adelstein, who started the hand with more than $800,000 on the table, then moved all in, easily covering Lew's remaining $109,000 stack. Lew, though, called it off. Before exposing their hole cards, the two players agreed to run the river twice. The first river card was the 9d, and the second was the As.

Only then did the players expose their hole cards. A stunned Adelstein saw that Lew's jack kicker played on both rivers, and the dealer shoved the huge $269,000 pot Lew's way. Adelstein's move shifted from shock to increasing anger as he tried to comprehend the strategy behind Lew's all-in call on the turn. "You look like you want to kill me, Garrett," said Lew.

After about a minute spent pondering the hand, Adelstein said, "The flop goes bet, call. The turn goes bet, raise, shove, call." After another pause, Adelstein added, "I don't understand, sort of, what's happening right now.

Within moments, an incensed Adelstein left the table, followed by Lew, and Ryan Feldman, a co-owner of the HCL streamed game. Later, a third player in the game, nicknamed Rip, who has been reported as a possible business partner of Lew's, may have briefly joined the discussion. After an off-set argument, in which Lew later claimed she was threatened, Lew agreed to return Adelstein's share of the pot. Adelstein, though, soon bagged up his chips and left the game.

Both players take grievances to Twitter

Adelstein aired his concerns and beliefs about the hand in a lengthy pair of posts on Twitter comprised of six screenshots, full of text detailing his take on the strange hand.

Adelstein's comments included his questioning whether Lew was wearing a hidden device that signaled to her that her J-4 was ahead on the flop and turn. How that would work without someone knowing the hole cards of all players is unclear. Adelstein also brought up the possibility of someone hacking into the software used to identify the cards in play and produce the graphics overlaying the stream's broadcast. Adelstein took care to excuse Hustler Casino ownership from any suspicion of guilt.

Lew responded in kind, though much briefer in context. She described being "threatened" by Adelstein, a referral to Adelstein's declared comments about her initial "word salad" defenses of her play, and lines such as "Robbie, this is likely to be viewed by millions of people," and "I think you know now, you fucked up."

Supporters of Lew noted her unusual playing style and her previous willingness to make intuition-based reads rather than play based largely on the percentages. Her comments turned increasingly angry as she also noted she'd been quickly blocked by Adelstein on Twitter.

Hustler promises full internal investigation

The hosting venue, Los Angeles's Hustler Casino, quickly issued its own statement on the bizarre situation. While noting the "magnitude of the situation" and promising to look into "every aspect of this incident," Hustler noted that at this point, there was no immediate evidence of wrongdoing behind the accusations made by Adelstin.

Adelstein, widely recognized as one of the best cash-game players on the planet, has become the focal point of the Hustler Casino Live streamed games. His extreme skills have allowed him amass what has been reported as roughly $1.8 million in profit over the course of the stream's history, built up against a wide assortment of well-to-do players of varying skill levels.

The popular HCL stream is itself no stranger to controversy. In February, Hustler Casino banned another HCL stream player, Julio "skillsrocks" Cedillo, after Cedillo apparently rubbernecked the hole cards of an adjacent player in the game, Barry Wallace.

Featured image source: YouTube / Hustler Casino Live