Hustler Casino Live‘s stream last night saw some crazy action. The star-studded show broke Phil Hellmuth’s spirit, saw chess queen Alexandra Botez win just under half a mill, and cost Alan Keating more than a full million.
The event followed up on the Creator Poker Night stream earlier in the week, though the stakes this time around were a little higher. The game was $100/$200 with a $200 ante and a $50,000 buy-in.
Tom Dwan, Phil Hellmuth, and Alan Keating were the only professional poker players at the table. That alone would have been cause enough for hyping the stream. But HCL outdid itself, filling the other five seats with celebrity online content creators.
Mr. Beast was hosting the game with Ludwig Ahgren (on whose Youtube channel the stream was also broadcast), Alexandra Botez, “Ninja,” “xQc,” and “Slime.” All of these amateur poker players have vast audiences of their own professional realms.
As if those players weren’t enough of a draw, there was an additional cherry on the cake. Ryan Feldman managed to pick Joey Ingram out of his Trotsky-like exile in Mexico. Ingram was the man on the floor, interviewing players while David Tuchman commentated from the eye in the sky.
All in all, it was a brutal show that seemed to have been put together with the intention of killing the new Live at the Bike stream in its crib. The two streams were in competition last night. You only need to briefly check your Twitter feed to see which stream won out in terms of engagement.
The stream is one of the most entertaining streams we’ve seen in what is proving to be a new golden age of live cash game shows.
Despite the high stakes, everyone was friendly (with one notable exception) and the table was buffeted by endless table talk.
Hellmuth seemed in a bad mood from the start. Usually boisterous and talkative, in the maelstrom of youthful extroversion he seemed diminished. Even Tom Dwan seemed more chipper.
The first hand saw Keating get all his chips in preflop. Ninja called with pocket eights. Keating held A♦Q♦. The eights held and Keating reloaded. That hand set the tone for the evening.
A few hands later Ninja and Keating were all-in again, this time on the river, and this time with Ninja the solid favorite. Ninja held and Keating reloaded.
Phil Hellmuth sidelined
Soon Phil was tapping the glass, making fun of the way Ninja played AK pre-flop. That continued all night, with Phil coming under fire online for the constant berating of the amateurs that consistently beat him.
Hellmuth is usually pleased to play the villain for the cameras, but in this game, he seemed relegated to the sidelines, a place he’s certainly not used to.
After losing a four-way all-in to Alexandra Botez, Keating smiled and chatted with her, Mr. Beast made jokes about his loss, and Hellmuth sat and muttered to himself before yelling at the table about Botez’s play as his voice cracked and no one listened.
Botez has almost certainly used to dealing with worse in her time on the chess scene, but even she looked embarrassed for him as she counted his chips into her stack.
None of this even touches on the debate over Hellmuth’s possible angle-shoot, his talking about his cards while the hand is still in play, or his attacks on the dealers. We finally got to see what Phil’s schtick looks like when it’s done at a table full of extroverts that just don’t give him room to bluster.
He just kind of crumpled, as everyone else ignored him in the classiest way possible.
The big winner for the evening was Botez, who took down $456,900 in profit. Mr. Beast was close behind her with $438,900. Ludwig did well too with $404,700 in winnings. Ninja was up $144k and Dwan was up $26,500.
The losers for the evening were Hellmuth ($96,400), xQc ($99,500), Slime ($142,700), and of course Alan (a whopping $1,132,700).
The stream was one of the liveliest both in terms of talk and action. If HCL is looking to beat this stream in the future, they’ve given themselves a hell of a bar to clear.
Plus, if the viewing numbers on Ludwig’s stream of the event are anything to go by, we’ll be seeing a lot more people taking up poker.
You can watch the full stream on Youtube.
Featured image source: Youtube