Nik Airball Takes a Ride Through LA with 888Ride

Nik Airball 888Ride

5 minutes

Last Updated: April 5, 2024

The popular 888Ride took a slight detour from their usual territory in Las Vegas and drove to Los Angeles for an exclusive interview with high stakes streams legend Nik Airball.

None other but David Tuchman drove all the way to LA and picked up Nik Airball en route to a high stakes poker game, a ride Airball takes nearly every day of the year.

Seeking to please the fans, Tuck drove to Nik’s base of operations and spoke to “Niky Airball” as he likes to call him on a variety of topics, both poker-related and otherwise.

As always, Nik was honest and spoke his mind in reply to nearly every question, including those on his relationship with Garrett Adelstein, his participation in massive streamed games, and much more.

You can check out the full 888Ride with Nik Airball in the video below or get all the highlights if you read on as we take a deeper dive into some of the main topics of conversation in this exclusive 888poker powered interview.


Nik Airball Speaks His Poker Beginnings and Wealth Origins

Tuck opened the conversation by asking Nik some very basic questions, including what his real name was. While most fans already know, Airball confirmed his real name is Nikhil Arcot, which was not really a secret to begin with.

The two then went on to talk about Nik’s poker origin story, which started when he was just a kid and his father used to play a weekly poker game with his buddies.

His dad even played a yearly leaderboard with his friends for a place at the WSOP Main Event, got to go one year, and made Day 2 of the most prestigious tournament in the world of poker.

Despite all that, Arcot senior never got into poker on any serious level, but Nik fell in love with the game and eventually started playing it professionally.

The tough question of wealth origins was asked again, and Airball once again said that he made his money partially working as an investment banker, partially as a poker player, and partially from other ventures in his life.

He did, however, deny that he is a trust fund baby or that his wife’s family was financing him, the latter of which was another theory that some fans of Hustler Casino Live came up with over the years.

Excessive Tanking – The Bane of Airball’s Existence

If there is one thing Nik Airball hates, it’s excessive tanking in poker games, and he made that abundantly clear once again during his interview on 888Ride.

Nik called out the players who take a long time to make every decision, especially in big games with whales involved, as he believes that makes for a boring game, bad TV, and just generally takes away from the joy of poker.

He did also look back at a few hands he played where he took a long time, including the one at The Lodge a couple of weeks ago where he took 21 minutes to make a single decision.

However, Nik rightfully said that he gets to take that long as he usually plays very fast, and there is no denying that he is one of the fastest players in streamed games these days.

As for the likes of Mariano and other pros who like to take their time to make decisions that seem trivial, Airball said they need to move things along and let the fish win the pot in cooler situations, making another very good point.

Villain or Hero – Which Is It?

For some, Nik Airball is the villain in high-stakes poker games, but he seems to believe himself to be the hero, fighting for the rights of recreational poker players and fans watching the games.

In truth, Nik is the one always pushing for more action, which does cater to both recs in the games and the fans at home, which does make him a hero of sorts.

While he certainly started his career off with some questionable table antics, Airball has taken a turn and learned from his mistakes, rarely getting out of line these days.

To call him a hero of the poker world may be a bit excessive, but there is no denying that he is one of the players who keep the high stakes streamed games going.

During the interview, Tuck compared Nik to Phil Hellmuth, also known as “Poker Brat,” and the comparison made a lot of sense given both players wear their emotions on their sleeves and like to get out of line from time to time.

Relationship with Garrett Adelstein & High Stakes Poker

David decided to take the conversation into slightly more controversial waters as well, asking about Nik’s take on the entire Robbi Jade Lew situation with J4 and his relationship with Garrett Adelstein.

Airball reiterated his belief that Adelstein made mistakes in handling the situation and that he should not have acted the way he did towards Robbi until there was more proof of wrongdoing.

On a more personal note, he called Garrett out for implying he might be involved with the cheating and said he would never play in a game with Garrett anymore as he sees no upside to doing so.

High Stakes Poker

The two have been in a feud ever since the incident, and Garrett’s challenge to play heads up poker for ultra-high stakes remains open to Airball to this day.

Nik further touched on his relationship with the nosebleed stakes he plays these days, stating that the numbers no longer have as much impact on him as they used to.

Indeed, it seems that the million dollar swings are not as bad for players like Nik Airball as they would be for the rest of us, as they are simply a part of the business they choose to be in.

In one exclusive revelation in this interview, Nik openly said that $4 million of the chips on the table during last year’s Million Dollar Game on HCL were in fact his chips that other players have borrowed from him.

Lending out $4 million in chips may seem like a reckless decision, but that’s simply the nature of the high stakes poker games that players like Airball play on a regular basis.

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