There have been plenty of times when cheating in poker has occurred. The Russ Hamilton-led Ultimate Bet Superuser scandal is one particular moment that comes to mind, and the Mike Postle Stones Live situation has never been fully explained. Add into that the history of cheating in the game of poker – the usage of ‘shiners,’ marked cards, or special ink visible only by wearing a certain color sunglass. But an incident occurred in a live streamed event recently that people are being very quick to accuse as cheating instead of the much more likely situation that it was just a bad play.

Big Money Brings Big Problems

Once again, the streaming program Hustler Casino Live is the battleground for the latest accusations of cheating. If you will remember, the streaming program was the site of a cheating allegation earlier this year when a player was sneaking a peek at the hole cards of another player at the table. This allegation, however, does not seem to have much evidence to it and more like sour grapes from the person who tried to make a move.

The hand went down as such.

Garrett Adelstein, who is a notable player on the Hustler shows, was in a $100/$200 cash game with some players who were not otherwise notable. Holding an 8♣ 7♣, Adelstein raised out of the THIRD blind (indicative of the action), while a player by the name of Robbi Jade Lew made the call on the straddle with a measly J-4. A 10-10♣ 9♣ flop hit the felt, giving Lew absolutely nothing and Adelstein the world.

Adelstein acted like he was holding the nuts, powering out a bet of $2500 and Lew looked him up. A trey on the turn did nothing to help – nor hurt Lew’s leading hand, it must be noted – but Adelstein put out another bullet of $10,000. Lew pushed a bit here, min-raising the pot to $20K, and Adelstein tried to buy his way out with an all-in move for over $100,000.

Many viewing the stream felt she should have folded, but apparently Lew was not going to be bullied off the pot. She made the call and, with her Jack good, only had to fade every other club in the deck, any Jacks, sixes, eights, and sevens, to be able to take the monstrous $269,000 pot. The two players decided to run it twice and both times the river blanked, giving Lew the full $269K pot.

Adelstein immediately began to whine about losing the hand, badgering Lew about the bad call and why she made the call. And the internet went nuts.

Anyone Ever Hear of Occam’s Razor?

The accusations immediately began to fly that Lew had “cheated” to win the hand – without anyone producing a method for Lew to have cheated. Admittedly Lew did not make it look good, either; Adelstein and her stepped away from the felt during the livestream and Lew, for some unexplained reason, gave the whiny Adelstein $100K to try to diffuse the situation. But there was absolutely nothing evident that Lew had done anything wrong other than maybe make a horrifically bad play that worked out for her.

There is a principle called Occam’s Razor that states that no more assumptions should be made than are necessary to explain a situation. The problem with saying that Lew “cheated” is that you therefore must produce more assumptions about how she did it. Occam’s Razor dictates that the simplest explanation – that Lew made a bad call – is the most logical one; that she was rewarded handsomely for that bad move is immaterial.

These types of plays happen all the time on the poker tables. Usually, it is the testosterone driven males who make these moves and then bray about them, rubbing it in the face of their opposition. Lew is a woman, who is not expected to make moves like this – is this simply a factor that people are making accusations against Lew because she is not male? She should not be capable of making such moves? If this is what the poker community thinks, then a massive brain transplant is necessary for many people.

Could It Be…Sexism?

Lew’s poker skills, even by her admission rudimentary, did not stop her from stepping to that table on Thursday night. It did not stop her from playing in a big game. And it should not have ruined what was a good moment for her in calling down a player she thought was trying to push her around. Take the gender out of it, say that it was Tom Dwan in the seat, and suddenly everyone is gushing about how great a call it was.

This entire situation reeks of sexism, putting Lew down because she is not the right gender to have dropped the hammer on Adelstein (quite honestly, he should be giving the $100K BACK to Lew because he was beat fair and square). And how much longer is the streaming poker world going to exist if EVERY. DAMN. TIME. something “happens that shouldn’t” people scream for a federal investigation of the issue? Eventually these shows will say, “You know, it’s not worth the headache to have everyone watching every nervous tic of the players…we quit.”

The entire Lew/Adelstein situation is complete garbage. She beat him, fair and square. As ‘Teddy KGB’ noted in Rounders, “NYET! (She) won fair and square! Pay that (wo)man her money!” Additionally, the poker world just needs to back the hell up with the continuous accusations – let the players on the felt police the situation, not those watching a live stream several thousand miles away.


  1. Ruth Hall says:

    Newer to the game, not worried about money, nervous that he’s bluffing her again on livestream, she might have misread her hand, she may not know the correct poker terminology, she looked embarrassed when she realized she won. I agree, give the girl a break! She returned his money just to keep the peace.

  2. Ronald says:

    What does he want her to call with personally I think it’s a bad play to put all your money in with a draw if you look at her after the hand is over she looks like shes high

  3. Greg says:

    Stupid and bad for poker to make in warranted accusations. No matter what she said after. Proof. I do wish she had not given the money back. Have proof or shut up.

  4. Frank Rizzo says:

    “Garrett Adelstein, who is a notable player on the Hustler shows, was in a $100/$200 cash game with some players who were not otherwise notable.”

    If Phil Ivey isn’t notable, nor Andy Stacks, I’ve been played.

  5. Liz says:

    Garret, like a mob boss, shook her down utilizing his popularity and her desire to participate in the stream as weapons. Technically what he did is a against racketeering laws. She made an amazing call based on his pattern of bluffing ie getting a player off kk just days before. Hustler with fear of losing their golden boy created the cheating boogie man. They should be investigating the intimidation shake down.

  6. Tom B says:

    What about the jerks at the table that just kept blabblering on how bad of a play it was. How many times can you describe the play with your big mouth? If Lew was cheating, it was showing how big her breasts were, very distracting at the poker table.

  7. keith heltsley says:

    great description of what happened. she did a terrible job of explaining that she thought he had garbage. if someone who was a really good player had that happen he would say good call. or just walk away to cool off but to sit there like a little baby was stupid.

  8. Joel Alpert says:

    This situation is blow out of proportion and shouldn’t be compared to the Stones situation which was 100% cheating.


    i have been thinking about this more. if I was holding a ten or a boat i would call on the flop. if there wwas not a bad card on the turn and the player bet again, if i had a ten or a boat i would probably min raise to get more value thinking the other player folds if they miss.
    How did Garrett know she did not have a boat or a ten. was he cheating ?

    and yes he had a massivc draw but how many people here would shove on the turn with his cards when you miss? if i had his hand on the turn i flat and reevaulate if i hit the flush or str .

  10. Anthony Guptaitis says:

    im not going to accuse garret of playing bad he played his hand well. but when you loose noone owes you an investigation shes cheating doesnt make sense like how is she getting the information? and the hand she chooses to cheat he runs twice? in a 50/50 spot? if your going to cheat that is the worst use of cheating ive heard of

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