It’s been roughly six months since Garrett Adelstein and Robbie Jade Lew played out the now infamous Jack-Four hand on Hustler Casino Live, and during that time Adelstein has kept the majority of his opinions to himself while staying out of the poker spotlight.
That changed on Monday afternoon when the high-stakes cash game crusher appeared on Doug Polk’s podcast to both respond to a variety of topics brought up by Nikhil Arcot, aka ‘Nik Airball’, as well as speak out for the first time on his current thoughts about the notorious hand.
There was some palpable tension at the start of the conversation as Adelstein got his bearing, stumbling through the opening minutes as he prepared to speak.
“When all this happened,” he said. “Once I kind of had some time to reflect in the weeks after I think I realized I was dealing with quite a lot of PTSD from the backlash. It’s made me very shy to be in the public eye and I’d be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t very nervous.”
But it wasn’t very long before Adelstein and Polk both found their footing. Polk didn’t shy away from some direct questions, quickly tackling one of the most pressing subjects on the minds of his audience. This was whether, after all of this time and community conversation, Adelstein still believed he was cheated and whether was there any possibility of him returning the money that Lew gave him from the $269,000 pot.
“No matter what I say, there’s going to be a ton of backlash to answering this question,” he prefaced before plainly stating. “In essence, I stand completely behind the statement I made on Two Plus Two: I think it’s extremely likely that I was cheated in that poker hand. Simple as that.”
Adelstein then pointed out how, in his opinion, Lew’s play on subsequent livestreams differed greatly from his experience with her play on the night in question. He followed up, unprompted and unequivocally, to address the situation with the six-figure sum he received from her in the aftermath.
“The other elephant in the room that I have yet to address that I think everyone wants to know…well what should be done about the money at this point. And I think I can just answer flat out: No. No, I will not be refunding Robbie any money. Period. Flat out.”
He went on to reassert he was “extremely confident” that he was cheated in the hand and asked the audience to put themselves in a situation where they felt the same conviction and ask themselves what they would do if it was them.
While he stood by his previous statement, that wasn’t to say that Adelstein wasn’t without reflection on whether or not, in the moment, he did the right thing.
“Was this the best business decision for me? There’s a lot that’s been said, and you can imagine, a lot of soul-searching myself in terms of, like, did I handle this whole thing well? There were so many different decision points throughout it,” he said. “I’m someone [who wants to feel like] someone who makes great decisions in the most pivotal moments of their life. And I think that that’s been tough on me because I think it’s very unclear… Did I make good decisions both out of principle as well as for my business? And to address the business aspect of it – probably not.”
After clearing the air about his thoughts on Lew, Adelstein then spoke freely about his falling out with Hustler Casino Live’s Nick Vertucci and Ryan Feldman, his distaste for Arcot, a defense of Solve For Why’s Matt Berkey, and ultimately the fact that while it’s likely he will return to play poker on a live stream again, with the birth of his first child right around the corner, he has no set plans for the time being.