Should Poker Live Streams Be on Delay to Prevent Cheating?

  • The poker world has been rocked by a scandal involving Robbi Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein.
  • Adelstein accused Lew of cheating by knowing his cards.
  • Lew denied this, but returned Adelstein’s money after an allegedly threatening encounter.

LAS VEGAS – The controversial confrontation between Robbi Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein has left many wondering what can be done about cheating in poker, especially in live streamed games.

The controversy involves Lew being accused of cheating by Adelstein, as he believed that her play was unlikely, given his range of possible outcomes.

Adelson had a hand with the potential for a straight flush, and went all-in on the turn – a move that should scare off basically anyone, let alone someone with a jack-high hand like the one Lew had.

Lew, instead, also went all-in, a move that is generally regarded as incorrect in that spot.

It was so incorrect that Adelstein accused her of cheating almost immediately. The two later had a confrontation in a hallway that resulted in Lew giving Adelstein his money back.

To Adelstein, this was evidence that Lew cheated. “I never even considered asking as it would be such an obvious admission of guilt on her end,” he wrote. “But once she offered, of course I’m going to accept my money back after being clearly cheated.

Lew, meanwhile, maintains that she was intimidated by Adelstein, which resulted in her returning his money.

The controversy brought to mind the case of Mike Postle, an itinerant cheater who used embedded RFID chips in the cards in order to get signals sent to him from tournament organizers.

In turn, the controversy also raises questions about the ethics of running live poker tournaments on streams.

If it turns out Lew was cheating due to being able to see Adelson’s cards via some form of stream, one wonders if delay might be a solid precaution against other such incidents in the future.

Indeed, given the Postle situation, it seems prudent to take all the precautions possible to prevent cheating.

However, the Postle situation involved direct access to the RFID chips in the cards – and Adelstein’s allegations also involve something along those lines, rather than anything to do with the broadcast.

Perhaps putting streams on delay would do nothing – after all, Postle didn’t use streams, and Adelstein’s accusations don’t involve them.

Lew maintains her innocence, and an investigation is ongoing. Many poker observers backed up her claims, noting that if she was truly cheating, she would have folded after the flop, where the range of outcomes was wildly in favor of Adelstein, rather than staying in.