Poker Heel gets ‘Stomach Pumped’ on Hustler Casino Live

4 min read

Nik Airball is an unpleasant guy at the poker table. With a mouth that comes directly off a toxic-spewing teenaged-edgelord out of a Call of Duty lobby combined with a bankroll that is seemingly bottomless, he has grabbed the live poker spotlight and placed it directly over his big shaved head.

Nikhil “Airball” Arcot is the latest rich bully to get poker-smacked this month. (Image: Hustler Casino Live)

He’s the current “flavor of the month,” and the flavor is salty.

Airball, whose real name is Nikhil Arcot, floated to the top of big buy-in poker streams as a brash, obnoxious, and obscene opponent who seems to play not for stacking opponents, but for the opportunities to needle and bully on camera.

He’s joined casino owner and fellow verbal bludgeoner Eric Persson as a rich, annoying showoff who poker fans love to watch “having their stomach’s pumped,” as one redditor put it.

Arcot’s victims include poker champions like Dan Cates, who was labelled a “bitch” on The Lodge’s livestream after folding a winner, which prompted the two-time $50,000 World Series of Poker’s trophy-winner to wobble out of orbit.

His antics — and his staggering losses on Hustler Casino Live this month — have gone mainstream, with publications like Business Insider picking up the fact that Airball lost nearly $1 million in March on that stream.

The gargantuan amount of money, of course, is what makes it all so compelling. But Arcot’s bad sportsmanship, smart-ass mouth, and arrogance acts like a dopamine multiplier and many poker fans want to inject it directly into their veins, no matter how dirty it feels.

The viewings of Arcot chirping, getting coolered, called-down, and stacked are into the six-figures. Let’s face it, there’s a catharsis involved watching a cocky man (Arcot calls himself the “King of LA”) getting cratered by his own manufactured ego.

Soul-read by Rampage 

Even though he is still up more than $400K on the HCL stream this year, his downward swing has been a very expensive way to market himself as a rich man not to be trifled with.

It wasn’t a lesson that Ethan “Rampage” Yau heeded as he played a huge pot against Arcot on St. Patrick’s Day where he sniffed out a $110,000 river bluff in less than five seconds and called the braggart with ace-high.

Yau, who just scooped two Global Poker Index Awards earlier this month, seems to have picked up a tell on Arcot and almost sheepishly scooped a pot worth more than $300,000 with his better ace.

It’s what you get when a brilliant player meets man pretending to be a bulldozer.

Back-to-back bashing

Five days later on the same stream, Arcot took two huge blows in about the same amount of time it takes to grab a burger and a shake at any In-N-Out in Gardenia.

This time, the poker Gods showed up to remind Arcot about that evil witch called variance.

And then only about 10 minutes later, with Arcot still steaming from flopping trips and drawing to one-out against a full-house, he made the same mistake by pressing with another pair of middle connectors.

This time, he got sloppy against an AK and pocket aces, and while the flop hit him much better than the previous hand, in the end, the money went to a man known as Pepe.

But Arcot isn’t going anywhere. In fact after getting blasted, he agreed to to play a series of heads-up $200/400/400 grudge matches in the next several weeks against pro Matt Berkey. He’s already bringing the verbal heat:

CardsChat will have an update on that developing story later this week.

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