Never say never

It looks like poker pro Garrett Adelstein will not appear on Hustler Casino Live any time in the near future, or maybe ever. Adelstein, who famously lost a $269,000 to Robbi Jade Lew on the show six months ago and subsequently accused her of cheating because she made an insane call, has not been on the show since. Hustler Casino Live co-owner Nick Vertucci confirmed this week that Adelstein is “indefinitely” banned from the show.

But indefinite is not “permanent” and Vertucci has said Adelstein’s eventual return is possible, just not right now. Speaking with PokerNews, Vertucci said he and co-owner Ryan Feldman made a “business decision” to keep Adelstein off the roster.

“We have no hard feelings toward (Adelstein),” Vertucci emphasized. “We wish him the best. It’s not personal.”

Vertucci did not explain exactly why said business decision was made, but it one could guess. Adelstein is still adamant that Lew cheated, even after an investigation came up with nothing, so Vertucci and Feldman could just not want someone on their show who thinks the game is not on the up-and-up. Additionally, they might just think it would be a bad look to have him back.

Lew has not been asked back, either, and Feldman added, “As of now, we have no intention of inviting her to any games in the near future.”

For his part, Garrett Adelstein tweeted on Monday that he has intentionally avoided appearing in any live-streamed games since incident and has been “awfully blissful.”

Vertucci said that he did suggest to his partner that Hustler Casino Live have both Adelstein and Lew back at the same time, as it would generate a tremendous number of views, but Feldman shot down the idea. So if you want a reunion episode, it will have to be on another stream.

The infamous hand

It all goes back to September 2022. In what became arguably the biggest poker moment of the year, Adelstein and Lew squared off in a pot on Hustler Casino Live. With blinds at $100/$200, Adelstein raised pre-flop with 8♣ 7♣ and Lew called on the straddle with just J♣-4. The flop of 10-10♣ 9♣ gave Adelstein a straight flush draw, so he bet $2,500 and Lew called. The 3 on the turn prompted Adelstein to bet $10,000. Lew min-raised to $20,000 with air and then Adelstein re-raised all the way to $100,000, the rest of his chips. Lew called.

Everyone was shocked to see what the two turned over. Neither had anything, but Adelstein had tons of outs, while all Lew had was Jack-high. The thing was, Adelstein’s hand was one of the only reasonable hands she could have been beating, but there was no way she would know that. They ran the river twice, neither of which hit for Adelstein, and Lew won the pot.

From there, half the poker world, including Adelstein, believed Lew had to have cheated, especially because she gave Adelstein some money back later. But others, including myself and my colleague Earl Burton, opted to go with Occam’s Razor and go with the simplest explanation: Lew made a terrible call and got away with it. In fact, she probably just misread her hand and, embarrassed to admit it, postured like she made some amazing play.

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