There have always been poker fans that want to watch the intricacies of a good cash game. Long considered the true test of a poker player, cash games have had differing courses of success over the years. Now, the team behind one of the most popular cash game programs ever have decided to take their talents elsewhere and open for action at one of Southern California’s most popular poker rooms.
Hustler Casino Brings Feldman, Vertucci in for New Show
Beginning in 2021 (and certainly pending whatever happens with COVID-19 restrictions by that time), Nick Vertucci and Ryan Feldman will be moving over to the Hustler Casino in Gardena, CA (just outside of Los Angeles) to bring a new streaming cash game show to the air. The show will be called Hustler Casino Live and will feature a variety of No Limit Hold’em cash game options. Stakes for the games will range from $5/$5 all the way up to $100/$200, meaning that viewers will get to see the nuances of what it takes to play at the differing levels.
Vertucci and Feldman are well versed in this format and should bring an excellent product to Hustler Casino Live. Feldman created the livestreamed Live at the Bike, which featured the cash game action at one of Hustler Casino’s main competitors, the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. The reason that Feldman is available may directly be related to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns in California, which have closed casinos and poker rooms across the state.
That same reasoning is currently keeping Hustler Casino Live warming on the stove. Currently in the Golden State, further lockdowns have been implemented as the COVID-19 virus has reemerged in the state. California is one of currently two states (Texas is the other; Florida is rapidly approaching becoming the third) that has seen over one million people infected with the virus, which has killed over 255,000 people in the U. S. and infected more than 12.1 million people (according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University).
Streaming Shows Popular…Except for One
The history of streaming poker programming has shown that they can be popular, with potentially one exception to that rule. The previously mentioned Live at the Bike was the first cash game broadcast online when it started in 2005. Spurred by the “poker boom” of the Aughts, Live at the Bike was broadcast five days a week and featured everyone from the local Angelinos who grinded in the cash games of the Bike to top professionals bringing in massive stacks of cash for action.
The theory for Live at the Bike was to show the reality of the poker world. Instead of the massive tournament scores that the casual fan had become familiar with, the Live at the Bike crew showed the cash game players, some of whom might have been playing with their rent money, a reality in poker. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t big action; as Live at the Bike began offering their programming through a highly successful subscription service, the players saw one of the largest pots in the show’s history play out in 2019 (a $438,900 pot).
Along with the good will come the bad, however. Looking to ride on the coattails of the success of Live at the Bike, Stones Gambling Hall outside of Sacramento started their own show called Stones Live. That program became known for the incredible abilities of one Mike Postle, who allegedly won as much as $300,000 through the $1/$3 cash game on the show. Postle’s skills in poker were immeasurable as he always seemed to make the right moves, be it a bluff or a fold, as he ran roughshod over the competition.
That show, alas, ended rather ignominiously. Examination of video from the show showed some alleged improprieties by Postle and potentially even the card room itself, resulting in a class action lawsuit against Stones Gambling Hall. After the California courts tossed the case on technical grounds (gambling losses cannot be litigated in California), Stones Gambling Hall settled out of court with a sizeable chunk of the players from the class action lawsuit. Meanwhile, Postle hasn’t stepped near a card room since and has filed his own lawsuit against his accusers.
The new Hustler Casino Live will certainly have an audience when it premieres, especially with the departure of Live at the Bike from the scene. We will have to wait a bit, however, for things to come under control before we can see the games in action.