A former employee of the Hustler Casino Live poker stream caught up in a notorious cheating scandal has reportedly absconded from justice.
Police in Gardena, Calif., attempted to arrest Bryan Sagbigsal last week but were unable to find the 24-year-old, despite an all-day search, The LA Times reports. Sagbigsal is accused of stealing $15,000 in casino chips from poker player Robbi Jade Lew, who herself has been accused of cheating. It is unclear whether Gardena Police have since located the suspect.
Sagbigsal worked behind the scenes during the infamous live poker stream in which longtime pro Garret Adelson claimed he had been cheated by Lew.
In the hand that caused the controversy, Adelstein, holding 7c8c moved all in on the turn on a 10h 10c 9c 3h board with an up and down straight flush draw. Lew called with Jc 4d to win the hand, despite having to put in an extra $109,000. Yes, that’s real money.
To many observers, including Adelstein, the call was “impossible,” unless Lew had assistance from someone with access to the hidden cards.
It’s a scenario that has played out before in a live stream in the Mike Postle cheating saga. In 2021, 90 poker players sued fellow player Mike Postle, claiming that a member of the production staff with access to the hole cards was signaling to Postle at the Stones Gambling Hall, another California card room.
Lew’s call was so suspicious because her jack-high was actually losing to most of Adelstein’s possible bluffs. She could not reasonably expect to win unless, as her detractors believe, she knew his exact holding.
Others were more generous, noting that Lew is a novice player who may have simply made a mistake, believing perhaps that she had J-3 and was making a “hero call” with bottom pair.
Lew’s behavior afterwards was also suspicious. She changed her story multiple times when trying to explain what had happened in the hand. Although it’s possible that she merely felt foolish and was trying to find a story that fit while making her “mistake” seem more reasonable.
She also offered to give the chips back to Adelstein, which many in the poker community interpretated as a sign of a guilty conscience.
The story took a new twist when Sagbigsal was found stealing Lew’s chips. Was he a coconspirator who was taking his cut? Or merely an opportunist caught mid-crime?
Lew’s initial decision not to press charges was seen as further proof of guilt by many sections of the poker community, who also noted she followed Sagbigsal on Instagram. Aware of the bad optics, she changed her mind, sending the Gardena Police Department to his door.
With all this unfolding on social media in real time, Sagbigsal had plenty of time to make himself scarce.
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