A six-streak was broken, a new winner was found, and there was late drama as a big pot went wild. Just another night in the studio for the cast of the latest Hustler Casino Live stream on Max Pain Monday.

Early Action Sees Botez Bodied

Nine-handed poker doesn’t get more entertaining than the Global Poker Award-winning Hustler Casino Live (HCL) stream and last night, ‘Max Pain Monday’ brought exactly that to five players as only four players ended the evening in profit. Five hours of cash game action saw the night end with over $85,000 on the table and just two players banking five-figure profits.

The integrity of the HCL stream is without question and following controversial moments for other streams in the recent past – Mike Postle and the Stones Gambling Hall chief among them – every player on HCL must relinquish their cell phone and be scanned with a ‘wand’ upon arrival. For regular pre-match presenter Alexandra Botez and chess queen ‘Nemo’, both wearing black body suits, that was an easy task, with ‘Pocket Yakis’ – who played five hours in a shark suit – the only player tempted to bite back.

Once the poker got under way, it was all about which way the cards would fall. With the nine players at the felt all buying in for different amounts, Yakis ($2,000) was the lowest buy-in, with Sammy, the Mayor of Palmdale sitting down with $2,500. YouTube poker vlogger Brantzen bought in for $3,000, with Nemo, ‘DGAF’, FaZe Clan member and pro gamer Nate Hill and Randy Pitchford all putting down $4,000 to start the action rolling.

Only Botez was at the felt with the biggest buy-in of $5,000, but she did not get off to an auspicious start. On all six other occasions on the HCL stream, Botez banked profit, having never lost a session, but after an initial dip, she wandered into trouble against fellow Twitch streamer Nemo. The latter three-bet to $600 with pocket kings and Botez quickly four-bet to $3,000 with ace-queen of diamonds. Nemo called off her stack of $2,460 and Botez got the bad news.

“If I lose this, I’m out.” Said Nemo.

The flop of 8-5-3 with two diamonds was a worry for Nemo, the all-in player, but after an offsuit six on the turn, and offsuit ten on the river confirmed she’d be doubling up and Botez would be rounding her losses within the first half of play to over $7,000.

Randy on the Rise

At the half-way stage, Botez had recovered slightly, down just $4,940, with Nemo dropping below her, almost to the bottom of the leaderboard. Losing $6,590 at that stage, Nemo was the biggest loser sitting at the table, but only because Sammy had left it, pressing the stop-loss button at a total of $12,610 in the red.

It was Randy Pitchford who was doing all the damage, up over $22,000 at the mid-way point of proceedings. Pitchford, who states his purpose as to “create joy and happiness” via his software company Gearbox, which is responsible for the smash-hit videogame Borderlands, declared his intentions beforehand, saying: “I think I’m due to book a win.  That’s how it works, right?” A la Negreanu, so it was the case.

Happy to raise it up to $200 with pocket fours, Randy got the better of Nemo’s king-queen, largely due to a flop of Q-4-3. Checking the flop, two bets from others and a three-bet to $2,400 from Nemo saw Randy put on the worst acting since Hollywood started rewarding those who fall short of greatness at the annual ‘Razzies’ awards. Four-betting to $9,060, Randy again started the table talk.

“There’s no shame in folding.” He quipped, shuffling chips. “It’s my birthday.”

And it was, but Nemo didn’t feel obliged to hand out any presents, making the tricky fold to stave off another big loss.

Late Drama Ends with Birthday Boy on Top

With time running out, Brantzen took a stand, three-betting with pocket tens, a holding that is difficult to play. Going very strong, Randy’s four-bet to $5,740 with ace-queen offsuit was a bold move, but it polarized Brantzen’s decision and eventually led to a call. Another player had folded ace-queen, so Brantzen, looking almost sick with nerves, was a 2:1 favorite to win the hand. Breathing heavily, Brantzen saw his pocket pair survive to double-up and that salvaged his evening in style.

He may have lost that hand, but Randy was on top, and just a few short hands later, the Max Pain Monday session drew to a conclusion. Randy Pitchford was the biggest winner, but that late coinflip defeat reduced his winnings from over $22,000 to a top score of $16,370 for his night’s work – a fine birthday present indeed. The other three winners were Nate Hill ($11,680), DK ($5,900) and the aforementioned Brantzen, who ended the night up $2,160 thanks to that late double-up through the table captain.

Of those three, Nate Hill deserves a special mention. Remarkably consistent and for the most part highly focused through the six hours, his performance was his best yet on HCL. Others didn’t fare so well, with Sammy ending the night down a further few thousand, losing a total of $16,230 on the night. With ‘DGAF’ down $6,860, Nemo losing $5,960 and Pocket Yakis also short $35,40, Alexandra Botez lost her six-game HCL winning streak, dropping $3,520 across her session. Previous winning sessions more than make up for it, especially at Hustler, but the chess queen will be desperate to get back among the action and go again next week.

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Paul seaton

Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He's not just a spectator; he's been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul's poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he's interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton's expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.