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Poker fans believe they may have spotted the moment a professional player allegedly used a ‘vibrating ring’ to cheat in a high-stakes table match.
Robbi Jade Lew, a glamorous newcomer to the sport, stunned the poker world on Thursday at the Hustler Casino Live game, going all-in with a Jack high to win the $269,000 pot.
Her flabbergasted rival Garrett Adelstein, a top player in livestreamed no-limit hold ’em, openly accused her of cheating by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’
Such a scheme would require a confederate monitoring the live broadcast of the game, which reveals each player’s ‘hole cards’ that are not visible to the others at the table. Lew has vehemently denied cheating.
Now, eagle-eyed fans believe they may have spotted a key clue in the emerging scandal in the moments after Lew revealed her winning cards.
As the hole cards were revealed, the light banter at the table suddenly stopped, and Adelstein stared silently at Lew for upwards of a minute, with one commentator remarking ‘it’s literally the most disturbed look I’ve ever seen Garrett give.’
Lew, growing visibly uncomfortable, began to fiddle with the rings on her right hand, including a distinctive round red one on her middle finger.
Seconds later, after she placed her hand below the table, the ring’s large setting was no longer visible, after she either rotated it or slipped it off.
Eagle-eyed fans believe they’ve spotted a key clue in the game footage, when Lew appears to fiddle with a ring and remove or rotate it under the table after the hand
Robbi Jade Lew, 35, only started taking poker seriously after the coronavirus pandemic
Eagle-eyed fans believe the disappearing ring could be a key clue in the scandal
‘Why unnaturally slap your hand down on the table, nervously clear your throat, then take the red ring off of your right middle finger and put it elsewhere?’ wrote Twitter user @MigTheTig.
The fan added: ‘100% a signaling device. Excessive amounts of other jewelry to blend it in, took one piece off when the heat was on you…’
During the hand, Lew was holding offsuit Jack-four in the hole, while Adelstein had the seven and eight of clubs.
The flop came out 10 of hearts, 10 of clubs, nine of clubs, meaning that Adelstein needed any club, jack, or six to achieve a flush or straight for a near-certain win.
At this point Lew called Adelstein’s $2,500 bet, and the turn brought a three of hearts, which was no help to either player.
Adelstein initially bet $10,000, which Lew saw and raised to $20,000. Adelstein then went all-in for for $129,000.
At this point, with only one card left to be revealed, Adelstein had a 53 percent chance of winning, according to live odds from the broadcast.
After crossing her arms and fiddling with her chips briefly, Lew called the all-in bet, stunning the announcers.
‘She calls?!’ exclaimed one announcer, going on to speculate that the on-screen graphics showing Lew’s Jack-four hole cards might be incorrect.
The river card came up Ace of spades, again helping neither player. Lew’s Jack-high won the pot.
Poker newcomer Robbi Jade Lew, 35, right, won an all-in hand for a pot of $269,000 against Garrett Adelstein, 36, who lost the hand, who believes she cheated during the game
The river card came up Ace of spades, again helping neither player. Lew’s Jack-high won the pot.
Lew denies cheating, and has said that she mis-remembered her low hole card as a three, believing the turn gave her a pair of threes.
But after the hand, Lew returned the money she won to Adelstein in a puzzling move that only further fueled suspicions.
Lew claims she was taken outside of the gambling hall and threatened in a ‘dark hallway,’ by Adelstein.
‘Garrett blocked me. Guilty as charged. What an honest man. He cornered me & threatened me. If he has the audacity to give me the death stare ON camera, picture what it’s like OFF camera.’
Adelstein, 36, from Arizona, is a regular at the 24-hour Hustler Casino in California.
Those commentating on the game were in disbelief because the odds were stacked against her with online betting casino DraftKings calculating there were around 150 ways for Lew to lose, but only six ways for her to win – which she proceeded to do.
Adelstein forced Lew to go all in with her $130,000 hand and appeared shocked as her cards revealed her to have a ‘Jack high’, winning the game and taking the entire $269,000 pot.
Adelstein, 36, was first seen in public during the 2013 season of CBS’ Survivor: Cagayan, however he was voted off just two weeks into the run, pictured above
Lew previously worked in a senior capacity for pharmaceutical company Bayer
Adelstein hails from Tucson and has been playing poker professionally for almost a decade. His specialty is on ‘live no-limit hold ’em cash games’ where he is known for his aggressive and large wagers.
He became a public figure during the 2013 season of CBS’ Survivor: Cagayan, and began appearing regularly on live poker shows in 2017.
Robbi Jade Lew, meanwhile only started taking poker seriously after the coronavirus pandemic.
She previously worked in a senior capacity for pharmaceutical company Bayer.
During the game in question Garrett had needed a club, six or a jack, but Lew’s jack won the hand.
The look on Adelstein’s face as he lost the hand said it all as he stared on in disbelief and simmering rage.
‘I don’t understand what’s happening right now,’ he said.
‘You look like you want to kill me. I thought you had ace high,’ Lew said.
‘So, why call with jack high?’ Adelstein said. A jack high would have lost to ace high.
‘Because you don’t have s**t!’ Lew said.
Adelstein then got up and left the table.
Lew has explained her unorthodox way of playing her hand was simply because she believed Adelstein’s cards were inferior to hers.
‘Get over it,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Lew then gave back he winnings shortly afterwards with Adelstein seeing the gesture as ‘an admission of guilt’
Some on social media suggested Lew’s chair was seen to be vibrating before she made the call
Yet Adelstein later revealed on social media how Lew then offered to return the money he lost which he took as a sure sign of her guilt.
Adelstein has now openly accused Lew of cheating.
‘Poker is an extremely complicated and nuanced game,’ he said adding that her hand had ‘very little equity’.
He then went on to analyze some of Lew’s previous strategies and suggested that someone could ‘cheat’ by using a ‘device hidden that simply vibrates to indicate you have the best hand.’
‘Another common way of cheating is someone has the technology to know who will have the best hand at showdown by hacking into the card reader.’
Adelstein has not provided any evidence whatsoever that Lew cheated or used such a device.
He went on to note how after the game he told her: ‘Robbie, this is likely to be viewed by millions of people … I think you know now, you f**ked up.’
It was at that point Adelstein claims Lew offered to repay him the winnings.
‘Knowing a) this was likely the closest I would get to a confession and b) how impossible it is to get refunded in these cheating scandals … I took her up on her offer,’ he wrote.
‘Once she offered, of course I am going to accept my money back after being clearly cheated.’
Lew has explained her unorthodox way of playing her hand because she believed Adelstein’s cards to have been inferior to hers
Lew then detailed how she was ‘forced to speak to him in a dark hallway’ whereupon she offered him back her winnings
Adelstein appears to like games as seen in this 2013 snap of him on Survivor in which he was booted off on the second week
‘I don’t sleep to dream of the life I want to live. When I’m awake, I’m living it,’ Robbi Jade Lew writes on her Instagram profile
A DraftKings blog seemed equally perplexed by Lew’s decision.
‘Forget ranges or game theory optimal play, even the most novice players simply don’t ever make that call simply based on the strength of their hand. You can always bluff in poker, but once your opponent moves all-in for twice the size of the pot, that’s where the bluffing stops.;
Hustler Casino Live co-founder Nick Vertucci has said Lew is an inexperienced player who likely misread her hand.
‘There’s no possibility that there’s anything that could be cheating goes,’ Vertucci said. ‘We’ve checked everything.’
Hustler Casino has said neither player will be invited to return until the incident had been investigated.
Adelstein then went on social media in an attempt to unpack what had happened and suggested Lew may have cheated using a ‘device’ to aid her poker playing
‘We completely understand the magnitude of the situation and the accusations. We take this extremely seriously,’ the casino said in a statement.
‘At this point we have no proof either way or any indication of any wrongdoing besides the accusations of parties involved.’
Adelstein has appeared more than 50 times on the casino’s livestreamed show and is its top player, winning more than $1.6million.
By contrast, Lew has only appeared twice collecting just over $100k in winnings.
Adelstein has appeared more than 50 times on the casino’s livestreamed show winning more than $1.6million
Lew has only appeared twice on the online poker game collecting just over $100k in winnings
Poker is not the only table game to be rocked by allegations of elaborate cheating schemes.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) said it will convene a three-person panel to look into world champion Magnus Carlsen’s allegations that American player Hans Niemann had cheated.
Carlsen, 31, withdrew from the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, Missouri earlier this month after losing to the 19-year-old, who lags him by almost 200 Elo points – the rating system used to calculate the relative skill level of players.
The surprise defeat and Carlsen’s withdrawal from the over-the-board tournament sparked a furor of comments and allegations that Niemann had cheated, including from U.S. grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura.
The Norwegian then resigned at the Julius Baer Generation Cup after just one move against Niemann in an online game.
International Chess Federation (FIDE) said it will convene a three-person panel to look into world champion Magnus Carlsen’s (left) allegations that American player Hans Niemann (right) had cheated, possibly using some kind of signaling device
Niemann has previously been banned from chess.com for cheating online after admitting he had not played fairly in non-competitive games on the website in his youth. However, he has denied any wrongdoing in over-the-board games.
Carlsen on Monday said that he believed Niemann had “cheated more – and more recently – than he has publicly admitted”.
FIDE said in a statement on Thursday: “The focus of the investigation would be twofold: checking the world champion’s claims of alleged cheating by Niemann and Niemann’s self-statement regarding online cheating …
“The panel will ensure a fair ruling, protecting the rights of both parties during the investigation.”