In this week’s Twittertainment, we ask the question: has Hustler Casino Live jumped the shark? Prompting this question is a viral video of Sashimi Poker exposing what appeared to be her left breast during Hustler’s recent live stream.
Before we get into the reactions on Twitter, let’s quickly outline what happened. Hustler Casino Live invited another group of poker players and social media stars to participate in one of its cash games. This week, the stakes were $10/$20 with a $40 straddle.
Among those invited to ‘Max Pain Monday’ was Sashimi Poker who, according to Reddit users, is actually called Yuuki Kaida. Names aside, Sashimi is a Japanese poker player with a budding social media profile.
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Sashimi Poker Exposed During Hand at Hustler Casino
The game was fairly innocuous early on until, partway through the session, things began to slip, quite literally. Sashimi Poker’s left nipple appeared to pop out of her top during a hand against Nick Austin. Seemingly unaware, she remained stoic as the hand played out.
No one at the table said anything during the hand, but everything was caught on camera. That’s when the fun started. Images and video clips soon made it online and, within hours, Sashimi Poker, her nipple, and Hustler Casino Live were the hottest topics in Twitter’s digital town.
One thing we learned from the tweets is that it wasn’t her nipple. Sashimi Poker was wearing a bodysuit and it was a well-timed stunt. We say stunt because it just so happened that she exposed the fake breast during a hand against Austin.
Why is that important? Austin is a social media star with over 4.5 million followers on Instagram and Twitter. Add millions more fans from TikTok and it’s fair to say Austin’s profile has a wide reach. Therefore, whether it was planned or not, pulling off a fake nip slip next to Austin was always going to get some hype online.
Poker Twitter Erupts After Nip Slip
Well, depending on your perspective, it certainly got a good amount of attention. However, as is often the case on Twitter, not all of it was positive. Some poker players were outraged, others loved the stunt.
Hustler Casino Live co-owner Ryan Feldman was quick to clarify that the prank wasn’t orchestrated by anyone on the show.
“In hindsight, I wish I knew what Sashimi was doing & that THAT might happen. Didn’t know til it happened. I wish I vetoed it,” Feldman tweeted.
Despite not loving what happened, Feldman did defend a player’s right to show off their personality. He believes Hustler Casino Live is as much about characters and stories as it is about poker. In his view, creating an entertaining show is what will help poker grow.
Also, we stream 5 days a week. Everyone is free to pick the shows they like and ignore the ones they don’t like. High stakes, low stakes, different formats, pros, recs, influencers, nipples; plenty to pick from if you don’t like certain shows and like others.
Feldman’s defense came after strong criticism from Kenneth “KL” Cleeton. The co-founder of Range Trainer Pro made his feelings clear on Twitter, calling Hustler Casino Live a “joke” and “objectively awful.”
Poker Community Divided on Sashimi Stunt
That’s Cleeton’s opinion and, looking through the many threads covering Sashimi Poker’s nipple, a lot of people agree.
No one gives an F that you had a Tik Tok star… people want to watch a good poker game. not people doing a nipslip because they're dying for attention.
Those against the nip slip are mainly concerned with the type of attention it attracts and the impact it could have on poker.
“People seem to be missing the reality that the Sashimi Poker stunt would not be acceptable at any poker room outside of HCLPokerShow. It’s childish and a bad representation of why people play poker,” Joshuadgrant wrote on Twitter.
@HCLPokerShow, if you were a person, I’d call you classless (and a few other choice words). Do better. Pick female players for their poker savvy, not their breasts. And all you guys commenting on this – classless.
For every person that criticized the stunt, there was an equal number (and possibly slightly greater number) of people who found it funny. Joey Ingram has invited Sashimi to his next home game, while Steven Tindle said there’s a “seat open in Maryland.”
From the small blind, it’s easy to understand how she might think she’s raising with the breast hand. I’d argue her odds of flopping top pair are pretty high though.
Beyond finding it funny, Todd Witteles made it his job to remind people of the show’s name. Hustler Casino Live cash games take place at Hustler Casino in L.A. For those who don’t know, Hustler Casino was created by Larry Flynt, the now deceased owner of publications such as the adult magazine, Hustler.
“This is much ado about nothing. The casino itself is named after a hardcore porn magazine. This isn’t a church function. Yeah, the prank was a bit crass but who cares? This incident should be the least of poker’s concerns right now,” Witteles tweeted.
Flop out the other one show the full set on the showdown !!! 👀
Has Hustler Casino Live Jumped the Shark?
Popular TV shows that run for too long and cross some sort of decency barrier are often said to have “jumped the shark.” The idiom was coined by Jon Hein 1985 when he reviewed the 1977 episode of Happy Days where Fonzie jumped a shark wearing his trademark leather jacket. Let’s just say it wasn’t a positive review and the phrase stuck.
Looking at the evidence, Hustler Casino Live first aired in August 2021, so it hasn’t been running for very long. In this regard, it hasn’t jumped any aquatic predators. However, the Sashimi Poker stunt is the second time the show has divided opinion. The first was in October when Robbi Jade Lew was accused of cheating during a $269,000 pot against Garrett Adelstein.
There’s an old saying in business that no news is bad news. In other words, if people haven’t heard about you for a while, it’s bad for business. Therefore, any exposure is good exposure. Being at the center of two controversies in as many months could be seen as a positive for Hustler Casino Live. People are certainly talking about the show.
However, too much of a bad thing could be bad. That’s why some people may feel the show is getting too far away from high-stakes cash games and too close to pre-scripted reality TV. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s a matter of opinion. One thing that’s for certain is that Hustler Casino Live and Sashimi Poker have given us some fantastic Twittertainment this week.
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