Hottest Show in Poker Hustler Casino Live Celebrates Second Anniversary
Over the past two years, the live-stream has produced some of the most entertaining moments in poker, some of which we relive below. The brand has grown from its infancy to, quite frankly, the most talked about show in the industry in short time.
Co-owners Ryan Feldman and Nick Vertucci discovered the magic potion for building a poker live-stream — entertaining players, skilled commentators, controversy, drama, TV-quality production. Hustler Casino Live doesn't miss on any of those elements.
At present, the live-streamed poker show from Hustler Casino in Los Angeles has over 280,000 YouTube subscribers. Only Bally's Big Bet Poker LIVE, formerly Live at the Bike, is even close (218,000).
The All-Star Game kicks off at 4 p.m. PT on YouTube with nine familiar faces battling it out in a special $50/$100 no-limit hold'em contest. Vertucci and Billy “DGAF,” who runs the weekly “Max Pain Monday” stream, will handle the commentary duties. Xuan Liu, Nikhil “Nik Airball” Arcot, “Wes Side” Wesley, and Andy “Stacks” are among the competitors.
Most Memorable Hustler Casino Live Moments
Over the past two years, HCL has brought on some of the biggest names in poker such as Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Tom Dwan, and Antonio Esfandiari. They've also introduced the poker world to some new entertaining characters like Alan Keating and Nik Airball, and have given the poker vloggers (Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Mariano) a seat at the table.
Feldman and Vertucci have even brought in a number of non-poker stars that have massive mainstream followings, including chess star Alexandra Botez, boxer Ryan Garcia, rapper Hoodie Allen, video gamer Ninja, and MrBeast, the biggest YouTuber in the world.
There have been numerous entertaining and memorable moments on the show since it first launched in Summer 2021, but none more so than the infamous Sep. 29, 2022 “J4 hand.”
Robbi Jade Lew, a new player on the show, was accused by HCL's most popular player, Garrett Adelstein, of cheating during a six-figure pot when she made a call with jack-high on the turn with no draw and took down the pot against eight-high (drawing hand that missed).
The scandal picked up mainstream attention outside poker and was the talk of the industry for weeks. Adelstein hasn't since returned to poker and won't be invited back to Hustler Casino Live any time soon, if ever again.
There are also plenty of positive memorable HCL moments, starting with the epic “MrBeast Game” in May 2022. At one point in the stream, there were over 100,000 concurrent viewers across various platforms to watch some of the top YouTubers and Twitch streamers such as MrBeast, Ninja, and Botez battling in what just might be the loosest and most entertaining televised or live-streamed poker game in history.
More recently, July 2023 to be exact, HCL stepped outside the box and featured pot-limit Omaha for a week, and it turned out to be a hit. Thousands tuned in to watch Dwan, Airball, and others throw chips around for some of the largest PLO pots ever publicly seen.
Earlier in the summer, the show hosted the first ever true $1 million buy-in live-streamed cash games. During those four sessions, poker fans were treated to the largest live-streamed pot in history ($3.1 million won by Dwan) and an epic $1.1 million failed bluff by Doug Polk against Dwan, among other entertaining hands.
Hustler Casino Live has created superstars, hosted some of the biggest live-streamed pots ever, and delivered content that continually has the poker community talking. The only question now is can they keep it up for years to come? It probably wouldn't be wise to bet against them.
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