888poker’s new podcast invites Nik Airball into the 888Ride, and he opens up about Garett Adelstein, live streams and playing $1,000,000 pots!

Known for being a somewhat polarising character, Nik Airball regularly plays in the highest-stakes cash game streams online with millions-dollar swings.

In this episode, Tuck takes us inside Airball’s mind as they discuss hot topics such as tanking, stream games and the infamous jack-four hand!

Check out the full-length Nik Airball 888Ride podcast HERE.

Will the Real Nik Airball Please Stand Up?

Nik Airball is really Nikhil Arcot, who loves nose-bleed stakes poker games. His one true love has always been poker.

When he was a kid, he would watch his dad play Hold'em once a week with his buddies. It was like a tournament series, and they would play several weeks out of the year.

There were ten players, and each would put up a thousand-dollar ante.

For about eight weeks, Nik watched as his father and his father's friends batted on the felt in a series of sit-and-go's.

The player with the most points at the end of the series would win a $10,000 entry to the World Series of Poker Main Event.

“So, my dad got a go one year. And so, my first memory of poker was when he played the Main Event. And he came back, and he had, you know, a hat from Doyle Brunson signed, a hat from Chris Ferguson signed - and he had made day two of the Main Even. It was, you know, very exciting...”

Playing LIVE On Stream

Airball says he has made his money in poker, working, and from investments, but it's the live streams that get him excited.

“You're supposed to make it fun for the viewers, you know? So, there's definitely an element of trying to be entertaining for the stream, the viewers, and whatever.”

He does take issue with the criticisms of his actions at the table – especially when he’s trolling another player. He feels that the negative comments don’t account for the context, what might have happened earlier of off stream.

Although he loves live games, he has some criticism for the pros, who take an inordinate amount of time to make decisions.

“But I think the way I see tanking or whatever is, if you play fast all the time and then you get in a tough spot you want to take your time.

But if you play slow or medium or not fast all the time, then you get in a spot you want to take your time? Sorry, you already took my time”.

Garett, Robbi and the J4-Off Hand

For Nik, the call by Robbi Jade Lew heard around the world, has never been about cheating. It has always been about how the people involved handled the situation, in particular Garett.

If Nik had been in Garett’s shoes, he believes he would have thought something fishy was going on. It’s justifiable.

But it’s how Garett handled the aftermath that caught rubbed Nik the wrong way.

“…as like the winningest player on the stream, being basically spoon-fed fish and spoon-fed lineups and just printing money is, is not... like. You can't just act however you want.”

So, as ugly as the situation got, Nik feels it would have been best to let Ryan and Shaun handle it – let the Hustler Casino security team take the heat.

And regarding Garett taking their money back, Nik said, "I think that was like... I think taking that money is really bad.”

Winning/Losing Ginormous Pots

Nik wakes up to play huge poker pots. It gets him excited and motivated to play poker as much as he does.

Much of his persona centres around handling the swings and having fun at the table, whether you're winning or losing.

“When I'm losing a couple hundred thousand, I'm pretty fine at the table. And I just want people to be like that.”

Regarding the million-dollar pots, Nik is philosophical because it's not always about the money.

Of course, everyone wants to win in the long run, but the thrill of the win keeps him coming back.

It’s the entertainment factor…

"In my personal opinion, I'm the hero, but whatever. I bring the action, and I bring all these players. I make the streams entertaining, and I keep the game moving."

Check out the full-length Nik Airball podcast HERE.

Hyacinth Swanson is a part-time live and online poker player who enjoys writing and editing poker content. She currently runs marketing firm PurpleGob.com.