Over the last 72 hours, California poker room Stones Gambling Hall has found itself as the epicenter of cheating allegations based around the live-streamed cash game action hosted by the casino.
The allegations of cheating in the game first came to light after Veronica Brill, who has played in and worked as a commentator for the game, tweeted the following:
If someone is displaying a probability of cheating on a live stream you don’t make the entire room not be able to use their cellphones in an attempt to reduce everyone’s anxiety and then still promote the player as one of the best.
— Veronica 2.0 (@Angry_Polak) September 28, 2019
Brill later identified Stones regular Mike Postle as the alleged cheater and shared clips from the live stream that showed Postle seemingly making the correct decision on multiple rivers, including hands where he was able to bluff better hands out of the pot.
Stones Live runs up to three times each week and features local players playing stakes from $1/$3 up to $25/$50. Players such as Chris Moneymaker, Christian Soto, and Matt Berkey have at times played in the live-streamed game.
Following the social media postings from Brill, Stones Live Poker released a statement dismissing the allegations as “fabricated” and claimed an internal investigation showed no cheating.
Earlier this year an accusation was made that a player was cheating in our game
We conducted a full investigation & found no evidence that any cheating had occurred
Stones Live stream remains a secure poker streaming platform
The recent allegations are completely fabricated
— StonesLivePoker (@StonesLivePoker) September 29, 2019
Postle also took to Twitter in an attempt to defend himself against the allegations.
There is so much I want to say and now so much that I am forced to say which involves gloating about my 16 year poker career. One that involves me being so successful everywhere I’ve played including online, that I’ve been accused of having an unfair advantage by a handful of 1/2
— Mike Postle (@Mike_Postle) September 30, 2019
Popular podcaster Joey Ingram began posting numerous hands involving Postle from the Stones Live live stream over the past six months and even went as far as to live-stream his hand-by-hand review.
Impromptu livestream – I will go over every single hand that @Mike_Postle played during a session on @StonesLivePoker to take a look at his entire play vs various hand histories that have been posted. I’ll speed it up to move from hand to hand.https://t.co/gvhOjXmazx
— Joey Ingram 🤙🏻🤙🏻 (@Joeingram1) October 1, 2019
As more and more hands involving Postle came to light, prominent members of the poker community began sharing their thoughts on Postle’s playing style and the likelihood that he could have had some form of assistance.
Got alerted to this Stones cheater, watched hands from @Joeingram1 and @haralabob , Q isn’t if he cheats, it’s how you could possibly play at the casino that claims there was no cheating ever again. Anyone playing there deserves their fate.
— Scott Seiver (@scott_seiver) October 1, 2019
What I am witnessing is either a time traveling wizard, a cheat or the greatest poker player of all time that can’t seem to get his head above 1-3NL
— Haralabos Voulgaris (@haralabob) October 1, 2019
I know very little about the alleged Stones cheater, but would happily bet on “People who think he’s cheating” vs “People who think he’s not.” in any form of poker/prop bet/etc.
— Sam Greenwood (@SamGreenwoodRIO) October 1, 2019
Postle went as far as to claim that the RFID readers used by Stones Live displayed incorrect hole card information for him on a number of the hands Ingram and others were questioning. Matt Berkey, who uses RFID technology as part of his Solve For Why Academy, debunked the likelihood of Postle’s claim.
Watching some of this is distributing. I own RFID Tech & let me tell you graphics almost NEVER misread a hand, you’d have to have misregistered a card, meaning it would consistently be wrong. https://t.co/Hv2Nvn0Wlj
— Matt Berkey (@berkey11) October 1, 2019
While many players have come to their own conclusion that Postle has been potentially cheating, some who know the California poker pro have come to his defense and most mention his high variance playing style.
He plays all the time off steam and crushes consistently. 1/3 is normally the best game at stones, people keep questioning why he doesn’t play bigger. Only big games are streams
— guano (@DarrelDier) October 1, 2019
As the conversation continues across social media, no conclusive proof of cheating has been produced. However, Justin Kuralitis, Stones Gambling Hall TD and organizer of the game, insists that there was no wrongdoing in the game.
It is unfortunate that these allegations were made public w/ absolutely no evidence
The reputation of my team & an exciting/fun player are now being publicly mobbed
We have taken every step to ensure game integrity including consulting w/ respected streamers & I.T. firms https://t.co/kZjXs1be6E
— Justin Kuraitis (@JFKPokerTD) September 29, 2019