Accused Poker Cheat’s Defamation Suit Caves in Face of Anti-SLAPP Motion
Posted on: April 7, 2021, 04:21h.
Last updated on: April 8, 2021, 01:58h.
The poker player at the center of the Stones Live Cash Game cheating scandal has withdrawn a $330 million defamation suit against his former accusers.
Last October, Mike Postle sensationally sued numerous high-profile figures within the poker community. They had publicly accused him of receiving information about his opponents’ hole cards during live-streamed broadcasts.
These included well-known players like Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, and Joey Ingram. Also named was Veronica Brill, the former Stones employee who, in September 2019, first voiced her suspicions about Postle’s unbelievable winning streak at Stones, a Sacramento-area card room.
But Postle quietly asked the case to be dismissed last week. This after Brill and another defendant, poker player and owner of the PokerFraudAlert forums, Todd Witteles, filed anti-SLAPP motions against Postle.
A SLAPP, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, is a case which the plaintiff does not necessarily expect to win. Instead, they are litigating in a bid to silence, intimidate, or censor their critics.
Around the time these motions were filed, Postle’s lawyer, Steven T. Lowe, asked to be dismissed from the case.
Postle is a low-stakes grinder of average ability who began to crush the cash games on the Stones Live Poker feed with such unerring proficiency that Brill – an occasional player in the games and commentator on the broadcast – began to realize something was not right.
Internet sleuths pored over hours of footage online, analyzing hands, and discussing the statistical implausibility of Postle’s sudden godlike win rates.
They concluded he was working with an accomplice who had access to the backend of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system that read players’ cards for broadcast purposes.
Postle Stats ‘Unfathomable’
The case was set out in a civil lawsuit that alleged information was relayed to Postle via his cell phone, which he peeked at habitually under the table during hands.
The suit was brought by almost 90 players who believed they had been defrauded in the games by Postle. It noted he declined to play in any other game other than the Stones Live Cash Game. Meanwhile, his supernatural poker prowess appeared to elude him during the occasional session when his suspected accomplice happened to be out of town.
The rest of the time, analysis of his play revealed “statistics not only unfathomable in the world of professional poker, but, too, situation decision-making in which almost every so-called guess to be made by Mr. Postle is done so in a manner that optimally benefits his monetary interest.”
Postle is believed to have won around $250,000 in less than a year playing $1/$3 and $5/$5 stakes.
The claims against Postle were dismissed in June 2020, largely on a technicality. According to a quirky nineteenth century statute, gambling disputes are “not cognizable under California law, because California public policy bars judicial intervention in gambling disputes, in part because the asserted damages are inherently speculative.”
Postle’s decision to later sue his accusers was met with incredulity in the poker world.
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