Massive Swings and Poker Politics Mark HCL Super High Stakes Week 3

swings and politics hcl super high stakes week

8 minutes

Last Updated: December 4, 2023

It was one epic week of poker over at LA’s Hustler Casino, as the Hustler Casino Live (HCL) show threw a full week of nosebleed cash games, including the world’s first ever 24-hour stream.

The first three days of action went by quite smoothly, with huge swings for some of the players involved marking the days, but Thursday’s stream got derailed by quite a bit of drama caused by poker politics and perhaps a slightly overpowered lineup of pro players brought together by the show’s producers.

Despite Thursday’s stream being somewhat controversial, this didn’t stop HCL from moving forward with the 24-hour stream on Friday, which saw players trade blows, new players come into the game, and a few of the most stoic players make it to the very end of the game.

We already took a look at the action on the first two days of the HCL Super High Stakes week earlier, a recap of which you can find here, so let’s take a look at how the rest of the week went and what exactly happened on that epic Thursday stream.

Another Day in the Office on Wednesday

It was business on usual at Hustler Casino when Wednesday rolled in, with a few of the players who took part in the earlier streams coming back for more blood.

This included Santosh Suvarna, the Indian businessman who has been making quite a few headlines recently, as well as the likes of Brandon Steven, Nik Airball, and Charles.

Both Charles and Santosh were looking to win back some of the money they dropped on the previous two days, but both ended up losing once more, with Charles only dropping $48k, but Suvarna digging himself a $318k hole by the end of the night.

Doordash owner Stanley Tang ended up as the big winner in the game with $201k in profits, followed by Penzoil Don’s $184k and Pepe’s $109k wins.

Nik Airball had another rough night at the table, as he continued to run into better hands and found it hard to get anything going right the whole session.

Tang’s win came mostly from a single hand he played against Charles late in the day, with his 95 making a straight on the 4263 board against Charles’ K10 flush draw.

The two got it in for a pot of $321k, ran it twice, and the board bricked both times giving Stanley Tang the big win for the day.

Big Pots Change Hands on Thursday

Thousands of poker fans around the world eagerly anticipated the Thursday stream, with the likes of Rampage, Jungleman, and Andy Stacks all featured in the lineup.

Returning to the stream was also the Czech poker pro Martin Kabrhel, along with Nik Airball and Santosh, setting up all the makings of a truly epic poker game.

Indeed, the group brought plenty of action and big pots, as 3-bets and 4-bets were flying around, with Suvarna jumping into the mix flat-calling the vast majority of them.

Things started off badly for Andy, who got his stack in holding AK against another AK of Raymond and pocket Tens of the Professor. The $294k pot went Professor’s way, marking a start of Andy’s meltdown.

Raymond then won a massive pot with pocket Aces against Jungleman’s pocket Tens, with all the money again going in before the flop, demonstrating the extremely aggressive way in which the game was played on the day.

Suvarna was on the brink of winning a huge pot of his own when he trapped Professor’s KQ with his pocket Kings, just flat-calling Airball’s $67k shove before the flop.

Professor stuck in there, flopped a flush draw, and called off his remaining $130k right there. Once again, the three went once and Professor could proudly say “That’s ME” on the river if only he wasn’t too flustered by the size of the pot.

The true hand of the night was played between Santosh and Jungleman some three and a half hours into the stream.

With Jungle holding 8c7s and Suvarna with KQ, the board ran 49105 to the turn and Jungle kept on pushing with big bets, giving himself every chance to win the pot.

On most river cards, the pot would have gone Cates’ way, but the brutal Jd on the river made for the ultimate coolers, as both players made a straight on the river.

There truly was no getting away from this situation for Jungleman as the pot went up to over half a million dollars on the river, punishing the pro for playing some of the best poker we have seen on the stream.

Drama Unfolds on Live TV

Some five hours into the stream, the game had gotten wild, Andy was stuck hundreds of thousands after playing uncharacteristically wild and loose, and Jungle hand gone to the bank and come back with more money.

At this point, major drama started to unfold in front of our eyes, as Nik Airball got away from the table, and according to some opinions agreed to take Santosh away as well to play in a different private game, presumably one with fewer pros.

With an hour and a half left to go in the stream, it was unclear what exactly happened, as it was speculated that Suvarna was set to leave at 5 PM in either case.

Andy lost his cool for a moment and was visibly tilted at the situation, as table began to fall apart in front of his eyes and the one amateur player who was bringing all the action had gone out the door.

Kabrehl, who was busy walking around the poker room after more or less locking up his $300k win came back to the table briefly, but explained he too had a meeting he had to attend shortly.

The three super-pros, all of whom were stuck money, ended up playing three handed and heads-up for parts of the show, as chips went back and forth between Jungleman’s, Andy’s, and Rampage’s stack.

To keep the game alive, Rampage even played Jungleman heads-up for a while, which also caused some controversy as the streamer had sold a part of his action for the game on poker staking platform StakeKings.

Once the stream was done, Andy took to social media and vented about the situation, stating he would never come back to HCL if players were allowed to take others away from the game and into other private games again.

Whether this is what happened or not remains unclear, but what is clear that the game likely fell apart due to too much pure aggression coming from the direction of the three high stakes professionals at the table.

Andy even ended up getting into a bit of a spat over the whole situation with show’s co-owner Nick Vertucci, while hundreds of fans came to the defense of one of the biggest fan-favorites out there.

Fresh Day Brings the Longest Poker Stream Ever

Despite all the drama that unfolded on HCL on Thursday, the show was back on track the very next day, with the much-anticipated 24-hour stream with Alan Keating finally up and running.

The initial lineup included the likes of Santosh, Airball, Hanks, Pepe, and Jibrael, and the $100/200 stakes quickly went up to as high as $100/200/400/1000, with straddles often in play.

Unfortunately for all the fans of Mr. Keating, the classy high stakes regular had a plane to catch and ended up leaving the stream about half way through the game.

By the time the stream went into its second half, many of the players at the table had changed, with Andy, JR, and Charles all joining the game, and even Sashimin jumping in for the biggest game of her life late into the day.

Despite many speculations that the stream would not reach the 24-hour mark, four players were still left sitting at the table when all was said and done.

Charles, who had a difficult week leading up to the big game, came out as the big winner, taking home $689k in profit and recovering much of the losses he incurred on Monday’s stream.

Professor was the other big winner with over $335k in the green, while JBoogs, JR, and Andy all booked wins as well. After quite a few swings up and down, Alan Keating uncharacteristically ended the session basically break-even, with a loss of $6,300 to his name.

Nik Airball was once again on the losers list with a $345k loss next to his name, while Hanks also dropped $392k in the game and left the building early.

Yet, the biggest tragedy befell Santosh Suvarna who lost $1.139 million in the game before quitting, one of the biggest losses recorded in TV poker history.

With this final loss, Santosh recorded a loss of nearly $1.5 million throughout HCL Super High Stakes Week 3, some of which came as result of bad beats, and some as a direct consequence of his eagerness to play for every pot.

We will definitely be seeing more of Santosh quite soon, as the Indian businessman has already announced his participation in the upcoming Big One for One Drop event at the Wynn later this month, with a cool million dollars on the line in that one.

As for Hustler Casino Live, the show ends the year in a big way with one of the most successful weeks of poker games ever thrown, although Thursday’s drama throws a bit of a shadow over an otherwise extremely well-run show.

Disclaimer: content on may contain affiliate links to online gambling operators and other sites. When you use our affiliate links, we may earn a commission based on our terms of service, but that does not influence the content on the site since we strictly follow our editorial guidelines. Learn more about how we make money and why we always stick to unbiased content. All content on this site is intended for those 21 or older or of legal gambling age in their jurisdiction.

Copyright © iBetMedia UAB. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.