Poker Players Sue Stones Gambling Hall, Mike Postle for $30 Million in Alleged Cheating Case

Posted on: October 9, 2019, 12:32h. 

Last updated on: October 9, 2019, 04:31h.

Stones Gambling Hall, the California cardroom at the center of a possible poker cheating scandal, has been named in a $30 million lawsuit brought by 24 players who believe they have been financially harmed by the alleged scam. Also named is Mike Postle, the player who plaintiffs believe was relayed information about their hole cards during a series of Stone Live Poker cash game streams by person or persons unnamed.

Mike Postle
Analysis of Mike Postle’s poker hands on Stones Live Poker revealed a quality of play that was “multiple degrees higher than that achieved by the best poker players in the world,” states the lawsuit. (Image: Stones Live Poker)

If the cheating allegations are true — and they are yet to be proven categorically — Postle’s accomplice must have been a member of the Stones Live Poker technical staff, or at least had access to the back end of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system that reads players cards for broadcast.

According to the lawsuit, the players claim they believe they know who this might have been, but are “cognizantly refraining from making such an allegation against this particular Defendant … until further information can be gleaned through the discovery process.”

The suspected accomplice is referred to as “John Doe 1” in the lawsuit.

The cardroom itself is not accused of complicity in the alleged cheating. But the lawsuit claims Stones “continually sought to downplay” complaints that cheating had occurred, while simultaneously “promoting Mr. Postle as an idiosyncratically gifted individual imbued with poker skills so immense as to be incomprehensible to the average person.”

Internet Sleuths

The “discovery process” is largely being conducted online in numerous public forums, as well as by well-known poker bloggers like Joey Ingram, Doug Polk and Matt Berkey.

Since the allegations surfaced in late September, when former commentator on the show Veronica Brill took to Twitter to air her concerns, forum members have pored over footage to analyze hands and discuss the statistical implausibility of Postle’s play and win-rates.

Postle did not win every session he played on the streams during a period of more than a year. But according to the lawsuit, “plaintiffs have information and a belief that such sessions correlate to the absence of Mr. Postle’s chief confederate, John Doe 1.”

On those occasions, Postle played sub-optimally, the lawsuits states. 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.

“In short, Mr. Postle’s poker winnings – considered in the prism of both metrics and hand-for-hand decision making – on Stones Live Poker have been not merely outliers but, in fact, exponential outliers, representing a quality of play multiple degrees higher than that achieved by the best poker players in the world,” it continues.

Postle is estimated to have won roughly $250,000 during the sessions.

Keep It Under Your Hat

The suit also notes that Postle only ever played the Stones Live Poker stream sessions, despite many other similar streams being available elsewhere in California, and rarely hung around afterwards to play in normal games once the stream had finished.

The plaintiffs allege Postle either received information about hole cards via his cell phone, which was habitually held in his left hand concealed under the poker table, or via a communications device embedded in his baseball cap, or both.

The complaint alleges racketeering, fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment against Postle and his unnamed accomplice or accomplices, and negligence on behalf of the cardroom. It brings a further accusation of fraud against Stone’s poker room manager, Justin Kuraitis, for allegedly covering up the situation, which allowed the purported scam to go on longer than it should have.

Plaintiffs are seeking damages of $10 million from Postle, $10 million from Stones Gambling Hall, and $10 million from Kuraitis.