Hustler Casino Live’s popular televised cash game was rocked by a cheating incident this week when one of the players blatantly – and on multiple occasions – stole a look at an opponent’s cards and attempted to collude with another player.
Poker Cheater Caught Looking at Opponents Cards! https://t.co/JfSE9RLD8R via @YouTube
— Alex Duvall (@alexduvallin) February 3, 2022
The video above breaks down how Julio, who plays under the nickname “Skillsrocks”, clearly cheated his unsuspecting fellow player, Barry, in the $10/$20/$40 game – at one point even moving Barry’s sunglasses to get a better sneaky view of his cards.
Although player’s ought to protect their cards from being seen, there is little that can be done if, as “Skillsrocks” does in this game, he bends over backwards to get a good view of the opponent’s hole cards.
The Hustler Casino Live show has become a very popular stop on the poker fans’ viewing schedule, the mix of everyday players with colourful characters and big-name stars making it a fun and exciting show.
Ryan Feldman and Nick Vertucci, who created the HCL brand, recently had Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey playing on the show, but it’s likely that this week’s episode will garner just as many views – and for all the wrong reasons.
Julio, the cheat in the video, even appears to try to include a fellow player in his dirty shenanigans, kicking the player to his right – “SoFlo” Antonio – under the table in a three-way pot with Barry and himself.
Knowing that Barry has the stone-cold nuts, it appears as though Julio is warning Antonio, but it backfires as it takes two to collude and Antonio appears blissfully unaware of what is going on.
Barry goes on to win a huge pot from Antonio, but is suspicious after the hand – in which Julio lays down two pair despite having called everything under the sun previously – about the under the table footplay, declaring:
“Whatever you all did and whatever you all said? Not cool!”
Almost as unbearable as the cheating, however, was Julio’s behaviour, slamming down every bluff with an insufferable running commentary – despite knowingly having cheated his way to the pot.
Kudos to Hustler Casino Live, however, as they responded quickly when the cheating video went viral, immediately banning Julio from the show and then from the casino.
A statement from HCL was shared on Twitter:
Our statement on last night’s show pic.twitter.com/FzpZz8M7Ul
— Hustler Casino Live (@HCLPokerShow) February 3, 2022
It begins: “We at Hustler Casino Live think that protecting the integrity of the game is absolutely paramount. We won’t stand for things like what happened on last night’s episode of HCL. The player known as “Skillsrocks” won’t be welcome back to HCL or Hustler Casino.”
Although the statement from Feldman and Vertucci points out that “…it is certainly each player’s own responsibility to protect their cards at all times,” they add: “…it is highly unethical to ever look at another player’s cards and use that as an advantage.”
Cheats and angleshooters everywhere?
A similar incident occurred at the EPT Barcelona stop in 2019, with Quan Zhou throwing in some angleshooting for good measure in a hand in the Main Event.
Get @Stapes and @spraggy’s thoughts on a possible angle in the #EPTBarcelona Main Event 👇
Cards-up coverage continues at https://t.co/hRFaQAqWdkpic.twitter.com/Ok0y6NN5rS
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) August 28, 2019
Just as with Julio on HCL, the cheater Zhou slouches in his chair in an attempt to see his opponent’s cards, then follows with a fake-fold while watching for any reaction.
Several years ago there was a curious case of someone cheating, or at least angleshooting – often the line between them is blurred – by sneaking a look at his own cards!
Texan pro Jim Carroll has a (very bad) habit of sneaking a look at his first card and then declaring he is “playing blind” – giving himself a big advantage over anyone who believes him.
As Doug Polk stated on his Polker News show:
“It’s extremely misleading…he’s running a really shitty angle…to gain an unfair advantage. Angle-shooting should not be allowed, because…it opens up the doors for the game of poker not to be played by the rules itself.” Of course, there was also the infamous incident between Phil Hellmuth and Tony G, in which the Lithuanian maestro pulled a similar dirty trick against the “Poker Brat”.
The best defence against cheating and angleshooting is, firstly, knowing all the potential pitfalls and, secondly, calling them out whenever you see them.
If every casino and tournament responds the way Hustler Casino Live did, the game of poker will be a better, cleaner place.
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