Nik Airball has claimed that Garrett Adelstein caused him to give up his job with an investment bank in the wake of the Robbi Jade Lew cheating allegations – an accusation that many in the poker community find highly unlikely.
Hustler Casino Live reg ‘Nik Airball’, real name Nikhil Arcot, made the claim recently that being named by Adelstein as part of a cheating ring at the Hustler Casino in California forced him to choose between his career and poker.
Airball, who recently lost $1million to Matt Berkey in their Grudge Match, told DGAF on the HCL stream: “Out of school I got into investment banking. I worked at three firms.”
With the 28-year-old’s banking job apparently paying for his highstakes poker, Airball added that he was working as recently as late last year: “I had to work every single day, I was in the office for a lot of hours.”
He added: “Once a week I would slip out to come play the stream because I love poker. Then the J-4 thing happened … Garrett put my name in his manifesto, essentially said I was part of the cheating ring and that caused a lot of problems for me at work.
Airball continued: “People in the poker community are pretty nasty. People were reaching out to my office and saying pretty hateful things and causing problems.
“I was basically in a position where I had to pick: do I like my job more, or do I like playing poker and having my freedom? So, I decided to move on from the banking world.”
Doug Polk was among those who found Airball’s tale of where his wealth came from difficult to believe.
“Typically speaking, successful investment bankers tend to be much older and actually had time to build an equity stake in things they were involved in,” says Polk, giving billionaire investment banker and poker legend Andy Beal as an example.
Polk admits: “I can’t say for sure where Nik’s money came from, but this story does seem a little strange.”
Matt Berkey had an idea where some of Airball’s money may have come from back in March when the Grudge Match talks were in motion…
…while others have said he is likely a trust fund baby a la Dan Bilzerian.
However, others preferred to rely on evidence rather than speculation, one poker Twitter fan posting this entry from Apollo:
…which shows a resume for Nikhil Arcot of two internships and three posts in investment banking covering the last few years.
Whether he really left with enough money to fund his highstakes career is another matter entirely and the jury will remain out on Airball’s back story for a while yet.