Garrett Adelstein Accuses Player of Cheating on ‘Hustler Casino Live’

8 min read

Last night, Garrett Adelstein sat stunned and stupefied as tens of thousands of people watched the high-stakes specialist and livestream poker star contemplate just how he lost a $269K pot to amateur Robbi Jade Lew’s hand of gossamer on Hustler Casino Live.

Garrett Adelsetin
Garrett Adelstein thinks he smells something funny. (Image: Hustler Casino Live)

In particular, how in the hell did she call her entire stack of $109K on the turn with nothing but jack-high and diddly-squat?

“I’ll just come out and say it: Garrett doesn’t think this hand was played straight in some way. There’s no doubt about it,” said HCL announcer Bart Hanson.

Hanson was correct. A few hours after the hand was over, Adelstein claimed he was “clearly cheated” and spelled out how he came to that conclusion in a statement released on Twitter.

Lew says that’s nothing but a bunch of bullshit.

It’s the beginning of a poker story that will be on the radar for years. It already entered the mainstream news cycle. It immediately went viral and prompted poker vlogger, player, and content creator Joey Ingram to instantly go live with Shaun Deeb in a broadcast billed as an EMERGENCY INVESTIGATION.

The video, where Lew appeared and defended herself, passed 150K views in less than 24 hours.

Are we at the cusp of another Mike Postle-like livestream cheating scandal, or is this just a crazy hand played by a fairly new poker player (Lew started playing during the pandemic) who may be playing over her head?

According to Lew, more information about this story will drop this weekend, but there’s a lot to unpack already.

And to top it all the drama off, Phil Ivey was in the house, looking as shocked and surprised as the fans watching at home with potato chip crumbs on their shirts.

The hand 

About a third of a way into last’s night stream, Adelstein raised $3K with 87 clubs and Lew was the only caller behind him with J4 off. Stacks were about $815K for Adlestein, $135K for Lew. Blinds were $100/200/400 with an $800 straddle.

The flop came 9TT with two clubs. Adelstein, who is well-know for his ruthless and aggressive style, bet $2,500 on his straight flush draw. Lew, who is a bit all over the place with her starting hands as a relative neophyte, made the call. 

The turn came a meaningless four. As Hanson said: “This is usually where Garrett will lay the hammer down with combo-draws.”

The hammer was a $10K semi-bluff. Without much pondering-time, Lew min-raised to $20K.

Adelstein tanked for a minute before saying “all-in.”

After staring at her hand for about 10 seconds, Lew threw out a time chip and started to squirm. She asked Adelstein if her pair of threes were good. But she held J3 the hand prior, not this hand. 

She later claimed she misread her hand, but still made the call for her entire stack.


The two players then had an awkward conversation about whether or not they wanted to run it once or twice on the river. Adelstein said he preferred to run it once, but left the decision up to Lew.

“This is a pure bluff-catcher,” she told the table.

“Pocket threes?” someone said.

“Fuck no,” she said. “I think he has me beat.”

So she agreed to run it twice, which were two bricks for Adelstein (9,A).

Lew sat quiet and still after Adelstein tabled 87. Then, after the pause:  

“Wow, Garrett. How many times you going to let me do this to you?” she said, flipping over the jack-high winner. 

Did you feel it? That’s when the entire pokerverse shuttered.

Garrett thinks something stinks

The minutes go by and Adelstein sat there, stunned and confused, his jaw hanging open as he tries to compute what just occurred.

He balled his fist up and looked around as he repeated the action. Does he think she saw his hand somehow, Hanson wondered. He sat in the nine seat, she was in the one with the dealer in between them, though.

It’s obvious that Adelstein was disturbed.  

“I sort of don’t understand what is happening right now,” he finally said, as the dealer does the accounting.

“You know, you let me do this to you several times now,” Lew said. 

They argue a bit, as Lew defends her unorthodox play, but Adelstein pushed for more details on how she was able to make the call for her entire stack on the turn with jack-high and no draw.

Ace-high, maybe. But Jack-high?

“That’s right,” Lew said. “Because you don’t have shit. It’s not about what I have. It’s about what I think you have when you play against me.”

An even uglier turn

If the hand wasn’t ugly enough, Lew accused Adelstein of bullying her during the broadcast after producers pulled her off the table and forced her to talk with Adelstein while the game was going on.

According to Lew, she was threatened by Adelstein, and felt like she was pushed into returning the money she won in the hand. Listen to the Joey Ingram interview above to hear her talk more about it.

But Adelstein characterized the conversation much differently, claiming it was dominated by Lew justifying her play.

He wrote “her face clearly melted” after both he and HCL producer Ryan Feldman reminded Lew that millions of people would possibly view the hand and judge her play. That’s when Lew offered to return the money, Adelstein wrote.

To Adelstein, this is “an obvious admission of guilt on her end” and since it was “the closest (he) would get to a confession” he took the money. He goes on to explain his reasoning more in the posts on Twitter, but there’s really nothing solid there, only his own gut speculation.

HCL producers didn’t return a text seeking some clarification on this encounter, specifically to both confirm Adelstein’s account of the conversation and if Lew was alone while she faced Adelstein and Feldman, who Adelstein calls a friend.

HCL released a statement about the incident about an hour after Adelstein did, reporting that both players will be banned from the livestream until it completes a “thorough look into this incident.”

It also stated that HCL had nothing to do with Lew giving the money back and that the company is “extremely confident” in the game’s integrity and security.

Poker Twitter butts in

So either Lew somehow cheated as Adelstein claims, or one of contemporary poker’s greatest cash game players is having a meltdown after taking a terrible beat by someone he clearly feels is an inferior player.

Poker Twitter had its say:

There will surely be more to follow.


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