‘Skillsrocks’ may not be the next Mike Postle, but his alleged unethical behavior on a recent Hustler Casino Live cash game stream has him banned from returning to the casino and being branded a cheater by many in the poker community.
The incidents in question took place during the February 2 Hustler Casino Live $10/20/40 stream when a player who went by the name ‘Skillsrocks’ was caught positioning himself to look at the cards of the player to his left, a well-respected cash game regular named Barry.
Over the course of the five-hour stream, it appeared that ’Skillsrocks’ proceeded to use the knowledge of Barry’s hole cards to pull off a series of increasingly brazen bluffs against him and celebrate as if he had made the moves all on his own.
As the show went on, observant viewers in the chat began to notice that ‘Skillsrocks’ likely had some inside knowledge as to what Barry was holding. In the following video clip, ‘Skillsrock’ flopped bottom two pair holding on an flop. Barry flopped an open-ended straight draw and a third player in the hand, ‘SoFlo Antonio’ had flopped top pair. When checked to him, Antonio threw out a $1K bet on the flop, ‘Skillsrocks’ and Barry made the call. When the hit the turn, it was checked over to ‘Antonio’ and it appears to some viewers that ‘Skillsrocks’ tried to kick him under the table – an old-school, well-known sign of collusion. Perhaps it a warning that ‘Skillsrocks’ knew that Barry had turned a straight and wanted Antonio not to bet.
Antonio addressed it, saying “you keep hitting my foot”.
Barry, hearing this, says, “Please don’t tell me that.”
Antonio proceeds to bet $2,400 anyway. At this point, the commentators discuss how ‘Skillsrocks’ may even “rip it in”. Barry inquires again “ya’ll, kicking each other?” noting that something seemed off.
“Wow, this is so sick, I can’t believe I’m going to fold this,” ‘Skillsrocks’ said. Right before letting it go to the astonishment of the broadcasters.
However, an unusual fold wasn’t the only evidence. For some of the viewers, it was just the beginning. Onlookers began to timestamp instances of ‘Skillsrocks’ peering over in Barry’s direction when Barry would go to look at his cards. In back-to-back hands, ‘Skillsrocks’ pulled off big-time bluffs in a scenario when a better, but still weak hand, would end up the winner.
Even that may not constitute sufficient evidence, however, in this next hand, the camera caught a good look at ‘Skillsrock’…taking a good look of his own. A look that likely helped intensify the scrutiny on the player.
By the end of the broadcast, the commentators in the booth – who were watching on a delay – caught wind of the accusations and indicated that Hustler Live would look into it.
The next day, Hustler Casino Live and its co-founders Nick Vertucci and Ryan Feldman released a statement, one that indicated that they spoke with ‘Skillsrocks’, he didn’t deny it, and that he wouldn’t be returning to the Hustler Casino.
“The player known as ‘Skillsrocks’ will not be welcome back to HCL or Hustler Casino,” the statement read. “It is certainly each player’s own responsibility to protect their cards at all times. But with that said, it is highly unethical to ever look at another player’s cards and use that as an advantage.”
“‘Skillsrocks’ has acknowledged that what he did was unethical, and he accepts our decision not to welcome him back.”
Our statement on last night’s show pic.twitter.com/FzpZz8M7Ul
— Hustler Casino Live (@HCLPokerShow) February 3, 2022
To view more of the stream, watch the entire show on YouTube right here with timestamps to the activity laid out in the comments. Plus, poker vlogger Alex Duvall breaks down his thoughts on all of the hands in question on his YouTube channel.