Image courtesy of PokerGO.com
Nick Vertucci has revealed that Hustler Casino Live will not be inviting back high-stakes cash game star Garrett Adelstein to play on the show for an "indefinite” period of time. The show’s co-owner made the announcement during a recent episode of the Nick Vertucci Show on 20 March where he said it was a business decision not to invite Adelstein back to the show and nothing personal.
While fans of Adelstein had been expecting him to return for the upcoming Million Dollar buy-in cash game, it seems there is no hope for his participation. Vertucci said the decision was based on the fact that the other players do not want Adelstein back, and that the games have grown larger since he stopped appearing on the show.
He added that there was no ill will towards Adelstein, but he had made it hard for himself by holding and maintaining the belief he was cheated during a now infamous J4 poker hand last September against Robbi Jade Lew.
Adelstein took to Twitter to release a statement, making it clear that his absence from the scene for the last six months has been his choice and throwing in a pointed comment about his name being used for social media engagement.
He wrote: "Make no mistake, I have chosen to avoid all poker streams for the last 6 months, not the other way around. And my life has been awfully blissful in the interim. I still may hop on a stream I trust later, but until then, stay thirsty and keep using my name for clicks."
Adelstein's response indicates that he has accepted the decision made by HCL, but he still stands by his belief that something was off about the J4 hand. Talking about making a comeback on “streams that I trust” was particularly telling.
Poker.org appears to have been tipped off before the pre-recorded Nick Vertucci show was uploaded and they reached out for comment to explain the surprising decision.
“There’s a number of reasons behind our decision. For one, our players don’t want him back. And you can see that our games have grown even larger. Players are buying in deeper because Garrett is not there. So, there’s more action, which makes the pots bigger and more exciting.
“I’ve always called Garrett a friend. And I truly wish him and his wife the very best during the birth of their child. This is hard on all of us. But he didn’t do us any favours by leaning hard into the position he held and still believes – that he was cheated. Even after an extensive investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. I hesitate to use the word banned, in regard to having Garrett back on the show. Maybe things will change down the line. We will never say never.”
How Will this Decision Impact Hustler Casino Live’s Future?Many are now wondering if HCL's decision not to invite Adelstein back to the stream will have an impact on the show's viewership. Adelstein is a popular and well-respected player in the poker community, and his absence is sure to be noticed by fans of the show. It remains to be seen how this will affect the show's ratings, but it is true that no player is bigger than the game itself.
On the other hand, HCL's decision may also lead to increased interest in the show. The absence of Adelstein may lead to more free-flowing action and bigger pots with less experienced players no longer feeling the need to avoid one of the legends of the game. Additionally, the decision has generated a lot of buzz on social media and new viewers will no doubt be forthcoming.
As for Garrett Adelstein’s future playing on the live stream circuit, he is still kind of spoiled for choice. Live at the Bike is one such popular show where he has appeared many times in the past, and there is also the upcoming stream at the Lodge Poker Club in Texas where Doug Polk regularly makes an appearance.
Time will tell, but we’re sure that once Garrett Adelstein is free from the demands of looking after a newborn he will be picking up where he left off at the tables and we will be seeing plenty of him in the future.