Hustler Casino Live has banned a player nicknamed “Skillsrocks” from both the live-streamed poker game and its casino in its entirety following the player’s actions in a February 2 live-streamed game. The player, whose full name has not been revealed but has been referred to as “Julio” in various online chats and forums, repeatedly glanced at the not-well-concealed cards of another player, then not only used that knowledge to make profitable plays, but on at least one occasion, tried to communicate the strength of the hand to another player as well.
One of numerous moments in a Hustler Casino Live streamed game where “Skillsrocks” (at left) sneaks a peek at Barry Wallace’s hole cards.
Skillsrocks also conducted himself in other ways not beneficial to poker’s image, including extensive use of foul and abusive language toward some other players. After one hand in which the player whose cards Skillsrocks repeatedly sought to view, well-known L.A. cash-game player Barry Wallace, had made a straight, Skillsrocks appears to have attempted his other adjacent player, named Antonio, to the strength of Wallace’s made hand by kicking Antonion under the table.
In that hand, Antonio ended up calling Wallace’s river bet and shipping a huge pot Wallace’s way anyway. Wallace stepped away from the stream following the hand, but in another strange moment, Skillsrocks then searched the much for the two cards Wallace or Antonio held, then pursued Wallace off the set with the cards in hand. While one of the show’s directors redirected Skillsrocks back on-set, the deck from which he took the cards was, inexplicably, seemingly allowed to remain in play.
Rubber-necking unethical but not specifically against rules
Skillsrocks’ unethical behavior in attempting to peer at Wallace’s hole cards isn’t technically against the rules, but is a well-known angle shot called rubber-necking, and directly violates the spirit of poker. In the hand where he appeared to kick his supposed friend under the table, however, that is a direct form of rules-breaking, as a form of collusion.
For his part, Wallace received significant criticism from viewers of the controversial stream for not properly shielding his cards. Wallace tacitly acknowledged on Twitter that he could have done more to shield his cards from Skillsrocks’ view, which still doesn’t excuse Skillsrocks’ unethical behavior.
The entire five-and-a-half hour live-streamed game can be viewed on Hustler Casino Live’s YouTube channel. Some of the worst of Skillsrocks’ unethical behavior was repacked in a much shorter video and posted, with commentary, by Alex Duvall.
Hustler initially banned player from streamed game, then expanded ban to entire property
Hustler Casino Live officials reacted to Skillsrocks’ antics by banning him from future streams. In a comment made on Duvall’s commentary video, the show’s producer, Nick Vertucci, wrote:
“Our official comment is as follows.
“Our announcers and production team is not focused on watching if players are looking over at other players cards (especially if very subtle ) they are producing and commentating. And all players are responsible to protect their cards.
“With that said, considering the review of the game and the accusations and all the other off color antics, he will not be invited back to our show.”
Last night, perhaps upon review of the situation by higher-ranking casino executives, Skillsrocks’ ban was expanded to include the entire Los Angeles Hustler Casino property. That explanation went public via Hustler Casino Live’s Twitter account:
“‘Skillsrocks’ has acknowledged that what he did is unethical, and he accepts our decision to not welcome him back,” the post explains at its core. Hustler Casino Live also declared that the show is produced on a “long delay,” and that the show’s producers and editors were not immediately aware of Skillsrocks’ unethical behavior.
Skillsrocks ended up with a small five-figure, ill-gotten “profit” for what will be his final appearance on the stream.
Featured image source: YouTube / Hustler Casino Live