Former ‘Hustler Casino Live’ employee escapes arrest for theft

Gardena Police Department officials attempted to arrest a former “Hustler Casino Live” employee accused of stealing $15,000 in chips from a poker player last month, but they were unable to locate them after a full-day search Wednesday He, Chief Detective Hugo Gualotuna said.

Gualotuna said the department had been planning to arrest Bryan Sagbigsal, 24, on suspicion of theft.

Officers began searching for Sagbigsal in Long Beach at 7 a.m. At his last known address – the home of his then girlfriend’s father – they were told that Sagbigsal had been kicked out two weeks ago and had not given the family a forwarding address. Calls to Sagbigsal’s cell phone went unanswered, Gualotuna said.

The alleged theft of three $5,000 chips has been uncovered in an internal investigation launched by the popular YouTube poker show following top poker pros Garrett Adelstein Accusing another player of cheating in the September tournament. 29 broadcast.

On the show that day, Adelstein lost $269,000 Robbie Jade Lou, a newcomer to the high-stakes poker world. Lew’s unusual play — she called Adelstein all-in with the jack of clubs and four of hearts — resulted in an unlikely victory that has sparked intense dissection and debate in the poker world. video Hands has been viewed millions of times.

High Stakes Poker Productions, which owns “Hustler Casino Live” and streams games from the Gardena casino five days a week, will soon announce an investigation. Adelstein claimed that Lew’s behavior and behavior in the J4 hand indicated that she was receiving information from one or more of her associates. Lou has repeatedly denied Adelstein’s cheating allegations, saying she outplayed her opponent despite misreading her cards.

Side-by-side screenshots of Garrett Adelstein and Robbie Jade Lew

Garrett Adelstein (left) and Robbi Jade Lew in the now infamous $269,000 poker hand.

(High Stakes Poker Production)

On October 6, the company released its first Findsaid a review of its video of the match revealed that Sagbigsal — a production employee who was in the control room during filming, where he had access to players’ hole-card information — took $15,000 from Lew’s chips after the broadcast. , and she left the table.

It said Lou declined to press charges when told of the missing chips. “In the absence of victims, Gardena police have told us that they are not currently planning to file criminal charges,” said High Stakes Poker Productions, which fired Sagbigsal.

Lew’s decision not to file a police report — and her return of half of Adelstein’s pot after the infamous hand — led some to suspect that Lew and Sagbigsal were working together, which she denied.

“I have nothing to do with this current ex-employee, Brian, and I will challenge anyone viewing the security footage to show that’s not the case,” Lu said on Twitter. October 8She denounced those who accused her of “conspiring with someone I didn’t know…in fact, this person stole from me”.

in follow-up tweetshe said she had changed her mind and would “continue to prosecute the theft committed against me.”

Robbi Jade Lew stands outside Hustler Casino.

Robbi Jade Lew has repeatedly denied allegations that she cheated on “Hustler Casino Live.”

(Alan J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

On October 10, Lew texted a Times reporter to confirm that she had lodged a complaint against Sagbigsal that day. She provided a police report number and offered to share her phone records “to prove I never communicated with him.”

Later that week, she invited The Times to meet her, Gualotuna and Nick Vertucci, co-owner of High Stakes Poker Productions, at Hustler to discuss the Sagbigsal case. Afterwards, she said on Twitter and podcasts that she had turned over a transcript of the call to the newspaper; despite multiple follow-up requests over the past two weeks, the New York Times had not heard anything.

Late Thursday afternoon, after this story was originally published, Lew sent an email to a New York Times reporter that included her AT&T login information.

For weeks, it was unclear what happened to Sagbigsal, adding to the growing mystery surrounding the poker scandal.

The day after “Hustler Casino Live” released the preliminary findings, Lew posted a screenshot on Twitter showing a direct message she received from Sagbigsal apologizing for stealing her chips. A poker podcaster announced he had booked guest Sagbigsal for the night, but he didn’t show up.

Approached outside his girlfriend’s house in Long Beach in October. On September 9, Sagbigsal declined to answer questions and threatened to follow The Times reporter. That same day, Sagbigsal — or whoever claimed to be him — denied on a poker forum that he had colluded with Lew or anyone else.

Garrett Adelstein at home.

Garrett Adelstein was the face of “Hustler Casino Live” before his cheating allegations shocked the poker world.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

The case is now being sent to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors could take months to decide whether to press charges, Gualotuna said.

In an interview Wednesday, Gualotuna also said he found no connection between Sagbigsal and Lew during his review of evidence, including a video of the show’s Sagbigsal taking chips from the table.

“I have nothing to bind Mr. Brian with Ms. Lou, not just that he happened to be at work that day,” the detective said, adding that the department is not investigating Adelstein’s cheating allegations. “For all that, it’s probably out of our hands. We’re just here for the thieves.”

Meanwhile, the investigation by High Stakes Poker Productions continues, with a final report not expected until next month at the earliest. The company hired a team of outside experts to assist, including a cybersecurity firm and a private investigator.

“We are doing our best to conduct a thorough investigation and provide the most thorough report possible at the end,” co-owner Ryan Feldman said in an interview Tuesday. “We don’t know how long it will take. Everyone expects it to be done overnight, but we really want to dig deeper.”

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