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A death stare and a $269,000 bet: Why this could be the ‘biggest scandal’ in poker history

Lie detector test could be used in investigation of high-stakes game

Shweta Sharma
Tuesday 04 October 2022 09:58 BST
Garrett ‘Gman’ Adelstein and Robbi Jade Lew during televised event
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A cheating scandal has now erupted in the world of high-stakes poker, just days after the chess community was rocked by what has been dubbed the biggest scandal in the board game’s history.

A casino in Los Angeles is investigating after a player accused his opponent of cheating to scoop a $269,000 pot with an audacious bet that left spectators “speechless”.

Garrett Adelstein, who is considered one of the best high-stakes cash game players in the world, has claimed he was “clearly cheated” by his opponent Robbi Jade Lew after she went all-in on an underwhelming hand.

During the televised, high-stakes game at the Hustler Casino, Adelstein had seven and eight of clubs while Lew played wider with the jack of clubs and four of hearts.

After the flop revealed the 10 of hearts, 10 of clubs and nine of clubs, Adelstein bet high given his chances of a straight, a flush or even a straight flush on the river.

But Lew stunned her opponents and the commentators when she called the bet, growing the pot to $269,000.

Another opponent at the table laughed, saying: “She calls me with a jack-high.”

“She calls?” the commentator in the live-stream asked with complete surprise. “What is going on here. Is it possible her hand might be misread in the card graphics?”

They agreed to play the river twice but it brought nothing to either side and Lew won the full $269,000 pot with jack-high. It sparked commotion at the table with Adelstein saying: “I don’t understand what’s happening right now.”

After a brief exchange, Adelstein gave Lew what she called a “death stare”.

“Garrett, you look like you want to kill me,” Lew said. The commentator on the live-stream said he was “speechless” and called it “the most disturbed look I’ve ever seen Garrett give”.

The two exchanged words on and off camera, with both players accusing each other and later giving conflicting accounts of what was said.

In a lengthy statement, Adelstein said he has been “clearly cheated”, without providing evidence of any wrongdoing. He went on to speculate that Lew might have been wearing a vibrating device that was used to signal her but said it was impossible to know.

Lew has denied any wrongdoing and challenged her opponent for a head-to-head rematch: “After I’m vindicated, let’s go heads up. The whole world can watch me read you all day.”

The match organisers are now investigating what could be one of the biggest cheating scandals in poker tournaments.

Hustler Casino said investigators could conduct a lie detector test after initially saying there was “no proof either way or any indication of any wrongdoing besides the accusations of parties involved”.

The latest scandal comes as investigators look into an incident during a chess tournament when a teenage player defeated Magnus Carlsen, who is widely considered one of the best chess players who ever lived, prompting accusations of cheating.

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