ESPN, The Ringer Take Mike Postle Cheating Allegations Mainstream

0
ESPN's Scott Van Pelt brought national media attention to the Mike Postle cheating allegations.

The cheating allegations against California professional poker player Mike Postle while playing on the Stones Gambling Hall live-streamed cash game is attracting the attention of news outlets outside of the poker world.

Last Update: Sunday, October 6, 2019

On Thursday night, Scott Van Pelt, one of ESPN’s most popular personalities, highlighted the story during the midnight (ET) edition of SportsCenter on his ‘1 Big Thing’ segment.

“If a guy were able to cheat his way to six-figure gains playing cards and it goes solved by a bunch of poker sleuths on the internet, is that a story that interests you? Because it did me,” Van Pelt said.

Start Playing Poker In North America!
1
5,000 Gold Coins For FREE!
  • Play Poker In The USA
  • No Download Required
  • Unique Platform

Over the next three minutes, Van Pelt masterfully summarized the current state of the Mike Postle controversy. He starts from the very beginning of the initial suspicions by Veronica Brill and into Joey Ingram’s in-depth hand breakdowns on his YouTube channel.

“Accusations of cheating are taken very seriously in the poker community, and I credit Ingram for taking great caution to give a guy, who is apparently very well-liked, the benefit of the doubt. But the more than Ingram and others combed through the video, the harder that has become to do.”

Van Pelt hits all the major points of the story from theories about Postle having a man-on-the-inside partnership with someone who runs the stream, a possible listening device being stuffed into Postle’s hat, and Stones, after issuing a statement that they had already investigated, being forced to re-investigate as the story got bigger.

Van Pelt wrapped up the segment with this analogy.

“If you’re the equivalent of a guy who shows up to play pick-up basketball and you never, ever missed a shot for a couple of years…wouldn’t you go play in the NBA? If you’re some kind of poker god who almost never lost, who made the right call or fold virtually every single time – if you were this good – why would you be playing in games only with a video feed and a 1-3 table at Stones Poker Room. Why wouldn’t you be in Vegas winning all the money in the world?”

The Ringer Finds Fascination In Postle Controversy

Bill Simmons’ sport/pop culture website The Ringer published a headline story on Friday entitled ‘The Cheating Scandal Rocking the Poker World’ as writer David Hill not only breaks down the fundamentals of the story but finds himself “trapped in the wormhole this week, unable to focus on anything else.”

The article summarizes the facts but while capturing the feelings of a poker community gripped with the biggest story of 2019. Hill injects himself into the story wondering how so many missed the signs for so long.

“But then I start to see things that seem so obvious, but I wonder whether they aren’t just paranoia after hours and hours of digging into the mystery, Like the fact that he starts wearing a hat that has a strange bulge around the brim – one that vanishes after the game when he’s doing an interview in the booth. Is it a bone-conducting headset, as some online have suggested, sending him messages directly into his inner ear by vibrating on his skull? Of course it is! How could it be anything else? It’s so obvious!”

CNBC Reaches Out For Comment

On October 5, financial news network CNBC published a story on their website which also summarized the entire situation. The story was updated after Postle appeared on Mike Matusow’s podcast where he voiced his side of the argument.

“Postle has not yet responded to CNBC’s request for comment. He has defended himself on Twitter as well as on a poker podcast, ‘The Mouthpiece with Mike Matusow,’ saying ‘it is absolutely impossible for me to be doing what they’re claiming. It is 1000% impossible.'”

The article also pulled from information provided by Matt Berkey on the nature of RFID playing cards.

“Berkey said Postle made plays no pro would ever make, and he did them often, and they worked. Poker is a game of incomplete information. Berkey said Postle played ‘as if he had perfect information.’”

Local Television Jumps On Story

While Joey Ingram was name-checked on the ESPN national broadcast, Doug Polk’s investigation of the allegations was highlighted in Sacramento’s FOX40 televised coverage of the incident.

“It’s really hypothetical at this point, it’s just the most logical conclusion,” Polk told Fox40 reporter Eric Rucker.” Somebody in the back was working with one of the players to transmit that information in the middle of the hand to a player at the table so that he knew the exact two cards you would have.”

Another local news broadcast, KCRA3 (NBC affiliate) also touched on the news giving a broad overview of the current state of the situation without going into too much detail. The report mentioned that the station had reached out to the California Bureau of Gambling Control for comment, but had not heard back by airtime.