A poker player and commentator from the Stones Gambling Hall in Northern California has accused one of her colleagues of cheating on numerous livestreams on Stones Live. And now the poker community has gathered to hit the accused scammer.
Veronica Brill - also known as "The Angry Pole" - was a commentator and regular poker player on the "Stones Live" streams, which are mostly low stakes games. She publicly accused fellow player Mike Postle of cheating and has since been applauded by the poker community.
What is the basis of the allegations of cheating?
Mike Postle is a local professional poker player based in Sacramento. He is a solid player for the most part, but far from being world-class. But somehow he found a way to win at ridiculously high rates on "Stones Live" broadcasts for over a year.
Postle not only won big. He consistently made the right decisions in difficult situations. Brill has seen enough and accused Postle of cheating on Twitter.
The poker community began investigating the situation by watching countless hours of Stones Live broadcasts and concluded that Postle must have cheated.
Many top pros such as Scott Seiver and Doug Polk have watched Postle play crazy games and never lose a key hand. The popular poker podcaster Joe Ingram has shared tens of hours of Postle play on his YouTube channel.
Mike Postle hires a lawyer
When Brill made the allegations and the poker community began an investigation, they were pressured on Postle to prove his innocence. Things got even worse when Mac VerStandig, a poker lawyer, announced that Brill and other victims had filed a $ 10 million suit against the Postle and Stones Gambling Hall.
To fight the civil lawsuit, Postle hired attorney William J. Portanova. His lawyer quickly outlined a potential defense strategy.
“I think he wins a lot of poker hands. I don't gamble because I lose so many hands. But we don't know what the facts are. I can just say: When I play poker I lose almost all the hands so I know streaks like this are possible ”Said Portanova.
Portanova has not disclosed the specific strategy she plans to use to defend her client. But it is clear that he will try to convince the jury that if a poker player can have a long losing streak, he is also able to survive long streaks.
The reason for this defense is to show the jury that Postle was not cheating and that he was just on the heater. It may seem hard to believe, but that's not the point. The purpose of the dispute is to create doubt in the jury's mind to dismiss the lawsuit.
VerStandig and his team of talented lawyers, including talented professional poker player Kelly Minkin, will have a difficult team to prove Postle was cheated without generating hard evidence. At this point, most of the evidence centers around Postle's overall performance and questionable plays that have paid off, and these are circumstantial.
Is there any hard evidence against Postle?
In a civil court, proving the accused's liability takes much less time than in a criminal court. But VerStandig and his team may still need hard evidence to win the case and force Postle to pay off his alleged victims.
Although it is clear to most poker pros that Postle cheated, it will not be easy to prove it in court, at least not from the evidence that has been presented here.
VerStandig may need to prove that he used physical devices to see his opponent's hole cards during the Stones Live broadcast. If he can't do this, winning a case against Postle won't be easy, but it won't be impossible either.
If VerStandig cannot find physical evidence, it does not necessarily mean that it will not be able to present hard evidence to the jury. It is possible that one of Postle's associates, if any, might have confessed to the crime. But it can be a stretch of expectation that someone else will perform.
Postle denies the allegations
Mike Postle was recently interviewed by the podcast "The Mouthpiece" hosted by popular poker player Mike Matusow. He has denied cheating but has not really proven his innocence.
He claims his winnings have been exaggerated by the Stones Live team to make him look almost like the god of poker. But all streams are available on YouTube in full and viewers can see him consistently winning as of July 2018.
Postle also denies that she always makes the right decisions on the river. He claims there are many films that will show him that he was wrong in making decisions on the river. However, in the countless hours of play that Ingram has made available on his YouTube channel, there are no such examples. Each move he made was a correct game based on the hands and cards of the opponent.
Chances are not high that he has not been able to see his opponent's cards on broadcast in the past year. Nevertheless, VerStandig may have difficulty proving in a civil court. But the poker community certainly hopes the jury will be convinced that Mike Postle is cheating.