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It looks like October of 2022 will be remembered as a month of poker-cheating controversies. In the latest blow-up, former poker player and commentator Kane Kalas tweeted a series of allegations, charging Ian O’Hara of cheating him and Jonathan Jaffe of six figures. According to Kalas, the duo had backed O’Hara for entering different tournaments in 2020, but he pocketed the money instead of using them for playing the intended MTTs.
The backing scam allegations come less than a week after high stakes cash games pro Garrett Adelstein charged Bobbi Jade Lew of cheating during a hand during the Hustler Live Casino (HCL) show. Speaking of which, Adelstein has now come out with a lengthy statement on the Two-Plus-Two forums, furnishing bits of circumstantial evidence to imply Lew was most likely backed by someone and likely “part of a cheating ring” that involved tainted HCL staffer Bryan Sagbigsal and a player Jacob “RIP” Chavez.
Kane Kalas Charges Ian O’Hara of Scamming Him & Jonathan Jaffe
Clouds of disrepute are hanging heavy over Ian O’Hara, a poker player based out of Florida who boasts over $4.3 Million in live tournament winnings.
On October 4, Kane Kalas posted a tweet calling O’Hara a scammer. According to Kalas, in 2020, he agreed to a 50/50 stake to back O’Hara in tournaments and cash games. Still, after months of being shown consistent losses, he found out that Jonathan Jaffe was also backing O’Hara, which was not informed to him by O’Hara.
Concerned about this, Kalas contacted Jaffe, and they exchanged information on the data provided by O’Hara, only to discover he had reported conflicting information on his wins and losses to them both. However, he had never sold over 100% action for tournaments.
As Kalas put it, “The discrepancies were far too numerous and egregious to be typos or errors. In fact, there were frequent instances of Ian reporting a game to one of us that was never even reported to the other. Further, there were instances of Ian reporting losses that were later verified to be wins. It was clear that Ian was fabricating data on the stake in order to finance his lifestyle.”
— Kane Kalas (@KaneKalas) October 5, 2022
Kalas further revealed that when he and Jaffe confronted O’Hara with this information, he admitted his folly. He assured them that he had never done anything like this before and promised to repay their debts that amounted to six figures.
Both Jaffe and Kalas immediately terminated the backing arrangement. They initially agreed not to disclose the incident publicly. However, the details were shared as O’Hara did not abide by his assurance to provide them with records of all poker-related transactions.
He further pointed out that O ‘Hara recently competed in the Poker Masters and sold action without keeping the duo in the know.
“Ian recently sold action for the Poker Masters series, which he never disclosed to John and me. Ian did not actually even play in the Poker Masters events; he sold action, sent screenshots of old tournament ticket receipts along with pictures of a random stack in the tournament, then claimed he had busted. He lied about playing the tournament in order to pocket the action.”
Meanwhile, Jaffe called out O’Hara for displaying a pattern of “untruthful, manipulative, and destructive behavior.”
Ian O’ Hara Apologizes
Ian O’Hara responded to Kalas’ tweet with an apology. He said – “I’m very sorry to all I have affected with my decisions. I made these choices on my own, and I must now face the consequences. I will do everything in my power to rectify the situation as much as possible. I will do better in every aspect of life moving forward. Thank you.”
I’m very sorry to all I have effected with my decisions. I made these choices on my own and I must now face the consequences. I will do everything in my power to rectify the situation as much as possible. I will do better in every aspect of life moving forward. Thank you
— Ian G. O’Hara (@ianohara2) October 5, 2022
While his reply evoked varying reactions, O’Hara has since kept away from making further statements on social media.
Garrett Adelstein Charges Robbi Jade Lew Was Not the Only One Involved in Cheating in the Controversial HCL Cash Game Stream
The Garrett Adelstein vs. Robbi Jade Lew cheating controversy gets murkier day by day. After Lew firmly announced she had univocally “not cheated” and adopted a generous stance in the light of a staffer being caught stealing $15,000 in poker chips from her, Adelstein has come out with more details to substantiate his “cheating” allegation against Lew.
In a statement made on the Two-Plus-Two forum last Friday, Adelstein furnished over a dozen pieces of circumstantial evidence, carefully crafted with the help of his attorney. While he firmly backed his original claim that he had been cheated in the contentious hand where Lew made an insane call with jack-high, he shifted the focus from Lew to suggest she was not alone, as she was “likely part of a cheating ring.”
Adelstein even shared the post on Twitter.
Garrett Adelstein Report on Likely Cheating on Hustler Casino Live: https://t.co/nGPgDuSqdx
As an aside, @DGAFPokerPlayer has been a friend for over a decade and I have never questioned his integrity. From the evidence I have seen, the accusations against him are baseless.
— Garrett Adelstein (@GmanPoker) October 8, 2022
Referring to the recent findings by the HCL team that one of their production members, Bryan Sagbigsal, had stolen $15K in poker chips from Lew, Adelstein even suspected that the young Sagbiscal, along with a player, Jacob “RIP” Chavez, had helped Lew to cheat.
Adelstein, a frequent fixture at the HCL live-streamed cash game sessions, said, “Based on the evidence presented below, what I can say about the methodology is that it is highly likely there were instances when Bryan had access to the hole cards, signaled information about those hole cards to RIP, Robbi, or potentially both, and Robbi likely used this information to cheat in several hands over her three sessions playing on HCL.”
Adelstein added – “video evidence will show several instances of them using verbal and nonverbal communication to accomplish this goal.”
Most of his talk centered around the contradictory statements made by Lew in her interview with Joey Ingram and Chad Holloway, including her claim that she had misread her hand as jack-three instead of jack-four.
Adelstein went on to list a series of evidential pointers, some of which were backed by Joey Ingram in his Friday stream the same night, which you can watch below.
Adelstein pointed out that Hollywood producer and HCL regular Julie Yorn told him that she had first met Lew last month when the latter entered a mid-stakes game claiming to have bought in for $5,000. Before handing over the money for the chips, Lew won a flip and doubled up without chips. Shortly afterward, Yorn realized Lew had not even bought in for the game and was sitting with the stack she had won in the flip.
Adelstein emphasized that while this doesn’t prove Lew cheated in the HCL cash game show, it does cast doubt over her credibility as a player. He further claimed that apart from Lew and “RIP,” HCL regular Darren “Beanz” Attebery, who helped Lew join the show, has given “suspicious, contradictory or seemingly false stories on several media outlets.”
Attebery had joined Ingram on the Friday stream, denying involvement in the alleged cheating scandal and discounted Adelstein’s claim that he was a “scammer and a thief.”
He said: “Garrett needs to get his facts together before he puts some s**t out there.”
Robbi Jade Lew Responds
Reacting to Adelstein’s fresh statements, Robbi Jade Lew took to Twitter on Saturday morning and stuck to denying the cheating allegations. Lew repeated – “Regarding the theft, I will say one more time, and only ONE MORE TIME. I have no relationship with this now-former employee Bryan, and I would challenge anybody reviewing the security footage to show otherwise.”
— Robbi Jade Lew (@RobbiJadeLew) October 8, 2022
Even as Twitter talk is rife about how Lew followed Sagbiscal on Twitter before the controversy broke out, Sagbiscal has deleted his account since.
With all the evidence put together by Adelstein, there is no direct evidence that proves Lew cheated in the hand in question. HCL and High Stakes Productions, in the meantime, declined to comment on the latest developments, stating that their investigations are still ongoing.