Cheating Allegations Rock Poker World After Impossible Call

One of the wildest calls ever made in professional poker has led to allegations of cheating and an investigation that may employ lie-detector tests.

Poker ace Garrett Adelstein accused newbie Robbi Jade Lew of cheating last week during a Hustler Casino Live (HCL) stream from the famous Gardena, Calif. casino. The hubbub is over a completely illogical call Lew made to Adelstein’s semi-bluff all-in, which grew the pot to $269K. Even more bizarrely, following Lew’s win, she gave all her winnings back to Adelstein, making her look guilty. Later, she claimed, she did so under duress.

Poker ace Garrett Adelstein, glowers at rookie Robbi Jade Lew, whom he accuses of cheating during a Hustler Casino Live poker game last week. Lew denies all accusations, even though she gave her $269K winnings back to Adelstein. (Image: screen grab/Hustler Live Stream)

Rundown of a Bad Beatdown

Lew had Jack-four off-suit, Adelstein the seven and eight of clubs. The flop revealed a 10 of hearts, 10 of clubs, and nine of clubs. This gave Adelstein a 70% chance of winning. Lew called Adelstein’s $2,500 bet.

The turn brought the three of hearts, which helped neither contestant. After an initial bet of $10K from Adelstein, and a raise to double that from Lew, Adelstein went all-in for $129K. It was a semi-bluff because his hand was not yet made. However, Adelstein still had a shot at a straight, a flush and even a straight flush on the river.

Lew had essentially nothing – no draw and only a hope of a pair on the river. According to a calculation by DraftKings, she had approximately 150 ways to lose her hand, but only six ways to win.

The audacious bet floored live stream commentator Bart Hanson, who stated: “She calls? What is going on here? Is it possible her hand might be misread in the card graphics?”

Yet, after agreeing to play the river twice because it helped neither side, win she did, with only a jack-high.

Swindler at the Hustler?

“I don’t understand what’s happening right now,” Adelstein stated on the live stream, giving Lew what she called a “death stare.”

“You look like you want to kill me,” she said, laughing.

Adelstein took to Twitter claiming he’d been “clearly cheated,” speculating that Lew may have had a card reader or been wearing a device used to signal her. He provided no evidence.

But it’s what happened off camera that truly stunned the world of poker. During a conversation both players stepped away to have with live stream producer Ryan Feldman, Lew gave Adelstein his chips back, a bizarre move that made her look guilty. (Poker player Eric Persson, a player in the game, told the others at the table: “She never should have given the money back.”)

Lew explained to the table that she has misread her own cards as jack-three, thinking that the turn gave her a low pair against what she believed was a bluff. She said that she would “win the money back” that she gave Adelstein, and “I’m not gonna deal with drama.”

Duress Claimed

However, on Twitter, Lew claimed Adelstein “cornered me & threatened me.” She wrote: “If he has the audacity to give me the death stare ON camera, picture what it’s like OFF camera. I was pulled out of the game & forced to speak to him in a dark hallway.”

In a statement, HCL said it was “hiring a law firm to conduct a comprehensive investigation, which will include staff and player interviews, a review of relevant records, and possibly the use of polygraph testing.” Until that investigation is complete, neither Adelstein nor Lew will be allowed to appear on HCL.

On Twitter, Lew challenged her opponent for a head-to-head rematch.

“After I’m vindicated, let’s go heads up,” she said. “The whole world can watch me read you all day.”

Adelstein tweeted his acceptance of the challenge.

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