“If not being able to play right now as a business decision is banned, then OK.”

The show’s co-creator and 4th Annual Global Poker Award winner Nick Vertucci confirmed on his podcast this week that at present, Adelstein is not welcome back onto the show. The only problem with this? Adelstein himself knew nothing about it, tweeting just a fortnight ago in response to a Norman Chad post on Twitter to “lock me the 5 seat”.

Clearly, that situation was the one the fans wanted, but Vertucci was not changing his stance. Adelstein was certain that by telling them to ‘lock up the 5 seat’ he would be in play, mocking Chad for a “bad read”. Turns out, the World Series of Poker co-commentator alongside Lon McEachern had it spot on.

Adelstein’s return will not be in the near future if Vertucci’s words on his own podcast are gospel. Interviewed by ‘Blank Check Ben’, who said “he seems to think he’s coming back”, Vertucci was asked if he was welcome at the felt.

“I don’t know if he has intentions of coming back. We’ve not spoken with him. If you’re asking me directly ‘Will he be in that million-dollar game and will he be back?’ No.”

Ben went on to ask Vertucci to clarify if Adelstein was banned, and the Hustler Casino pioneer, who won a Global Poker Award for the HCL stream just a few weeks ago, said it was a ‘business decision’ and didn’t want to use the word ‘banned’.

“If not being able to play right now as a business decision is banned, then OK. I’d prefer to say that right now, that’s not happening. That’s the truth.”


Vertucci may have confirmed the absence of Adelstein for any upcoming games on Hustler Casino Live, but he went on to describe the high stakes pro as having ‘good intentions’.

“I like Garrett. Meaning I don’t have any angst against Garrett. I believe his intentions are good and he’s been very kind to me, but he did not do us any favors during this incident.”

Ben probed further and clearly, the soft ‘ban’ comes down to the controversy in the weeks after the jack-four hand. Vertucci even had sympathy for Adelstein’s initial stance… up to a point.

“I can see in the moment having that thought process and digging in. After… it labelled us. It enhanced [the story] for more weeks, and that was what was best for him at the time. That’s OK, but I really mean it when I say it’s not personal, it’s business.”

HCL stream fans will miss Adelstein, but perhaps the game won’t, as Vertucci said things have improved without ‘G-Man’ in his seat.

“A lot of the players are playing deeper now because Garrett is not there. More people are willing to play, and it happened organically because of that [jack-four] incident.”

The show is clearly bigger than any one person, but that wasn’t always the way of it.

“It is,” said Vertucci. “It wasn’t before, and some people made that real clear. We had to jump through hoops and be on [our] toes, but now that’s not the case.”


“I have chosen to avoid all poker streams for the last six months, not the other way around.”

On his Twitter page, Adelstein turned the bad beat around and aimed a broadside at the show’s hosts.

“Make no mistake, I have chosen to avoid all poker streams for the last six months, not the other way around,” he wrote. “My life has been awfully blissful in the interim. I still may hop on a stream I trust later, but until then, stay thirsty and keep using my name for clicks. I’ll help.” Linking directly to Vertucci’s tweet, it’s difficult to see that tweet as anything other than inflammatory.

Vertucci, undaunted, shot back: “And to think I watered it down. Thanks for the help tho’.”

You can watch the clip of Vertucci explaining why Garrett Adelstein is banned from playing the million-dollar Hustler Casino Live streamed game right here:


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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton has been a professional poker writer and reporter for 12 years at the World Series of Poker, on the European Poker Tour and as part of the World Poker Tour team too. Passionate about interviewing many of poker’s best such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth Paul has been nominated for a Global Poker Award for Best Written Content.

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