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Found 11 results

  1. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land poker players were playing, getting in one last hand. The bad-regs were grinding at the tables with care in hopes that some run good soon would be theirs. The locals were nestled, all snug in their seats, with visions of jackpots brought on by bad beats. Playing live on the strip, no PokerBros app. Is that Mike Postle with his phone in his lap? When out in the lobby, someone backed up a truck. I sprang from my seat to see what the f**k. There was Doug Polk celebrating a win, and Joey beside him, a shit-eating grin. The scene was electric, a buzz filled the air. Like Galfond’s big comeback, I’m glad I was there. When what to my bloodshot eyes should appear? A high-stakes affair, the big game was here! With cameras, lights, and high society stacks, a commentary team of Schulman and Platt. As if from a chimney, the great Mori came and he whistled and shouted and called them by name: “It’s Ivey, and Dwan! There’s Doyle and Gus Hansen! Daniel and Bellande! That’s Dan Bilzerian!” They all took a seat Stacking chips with a grin “Splash away! Splash away! Let’s go all-in!” They got ready to play, the rail became deep. I was pushed to the back, it was hard just to see. But then the crowd parted, Daniel stood on his seat, he said “We need one more!” and he pointed at me. Nervous but ready I knew this was my chance. A seat with the best, a trip to the dance. A Perkins-sized buy-in, it’s all on the line. Like Mike versus Teddy, it’s my time to shine. They shuffled and dealt, chips and cards flew. I was tight, I was snug, it was all I could do. The pros were relentless, betting and raising. The pots quickly grew, these guys were amazing. Finally the time to play a hand had arrived. With joy I looked down, I spied Pocket Fives I opened with a raise, but Ivey three-bet. Folded back to me, should I mine for a set? I looked in his eyes, not a read to be had. The poker world will see this, will math nerds be mad? I called and I gulped and awaited the flop. Ivey laughed, turned to Doyle, and said “We’re on for props!” An ace and a queen with a five in the door. Ivey didn’t slow down, he bet even more. Just what I wanted, I set the trap. “Let’s play for it all”, I pushed in my stack. Ivey snap-called, like I hoped he would do. He flipped over his cards, he flopped top two. We just had to hold, I showed down my set. The turn was a deuce, we’re not safe just yet. I used my ”one time”, I prayed to St. Nick The river was dealt, “It’s a brick, it’s a brick!” With the pot pushed my way, Ivey vanished from sight “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
  2. You can say you hate poker’s petty drama all you want, but numbers don’t lie. When something in the poker community sparks a heated debate, the clicks go up as people are eager to read all about the latest scandal and have their say. Even here in 2020, a year fraught with incredibly real drama that affected millions of people around the world, the game of poker managed to have a few stories of its own which scratched that drama itch for the poker community. From temper tantrums to TOC's, here are some of the stories that kept the conversation going in 2020. Daniel Does Drama When you are the biggest name in the game, you don’t need to court drama - drama comes to you. Then again, perhaps you do bring it on yourself when you threaten to knock out someone’s teeth and feed it back to them somewhere other than their mouth. This is the defining moment of Daniel Negreanu's year. Negreanu, like all of the poker community, was looking to make the best of a bad situation by streaming some online poker for the fans from his Las Vegas home during the 2020 WSOP Online series. When someone in the chat said something regrettable to the six-time bracelet winner, ‘DNegs’ went supernova on them. “Come f***ing step to me and say that and I will knock you the f**k out. How about that? I’m not f**king around. I will break your f**king teeth if you step to me and I will feed them to you anally. How about that?” Negreanu said (off the top of his head.) Perhaps for any other regular streamer or player, this would blow over pretty quickly. But as one of the most recognizable faces in the game of poker, members of the poker community were quick to take sides. As the clip made the rounds on social media, those who hold a grudge against the GGPoker ambassador were quick to attack, while his defenders were in support of him being himself and defending his family. In the end, Twitch banned Negreanu from the platform stating, “Acts of threats of violence will be taken seriously and are considered zero-tolerance violations.” The Twitch ban turned out to be temporary, but the ripple effects from Negreanu’s rant will have a longer-lasting effect on poker. In the aftermath of this particular rant (Negreanu’s had a few this year, like this one, or this), Negreanu’s biggest rival of the past 10 years, Doug Polk, peaked his head back into poker. Polk, who had recently entered poker retirement reemerged and used the rant to take a couple of shots at his old foe. It was just days later that Polk issued the high-stakes, heads-up challenge that, to the surprise of nearly everyone, Negreanu accepted. Still very much underway, the challenge has turned into one of the most entertaining and engaging grudge matches in recent poker history. Fans are getting nearly everything that could have hoped for including massive six-figure swings, a regular playing schedule, and candid conversations after the sessions with both Negreanu and Polk. Love him or hate him, Negreanu knows how to keep people talking about him. And when it comes to dealing and creating poker drama, perhaps no one in the game does it better. Postle Seeks A Payday The biggest story of 2019 continued to play out in the courts as the Mike Postle cheating scandal had its day in court. The lawsuit, which alleged that Postle cheated during the live-streamed cash games at Stones Gambling Hall was, essentially, dismissed by Judge William B. Shubb shuddering the prospects of the plaintiffs to find any real relief in the scandal that rocked 2019. Rather than proceed with an appeal, based on the initial judgment, plaintiffs’ lawyer Mac VerStandig negotiated a settlement with Stones Gambling Hall and tournament director Justin Kuraitis. Sixty-two of the plaintiffs allegedly received a one-time joint payment of $40,000, which, if true, broke down to roughly $645 per player. In addition, those who accepted the deal were also restricted from talking about the settlement. Read: Behind the Scenes of WIRED Magazine’s Mike Postle Scandal Deep Dive Soon after, an emboldened Kuraitis took an ugly victory lap on Twitter, calling out nearly everyone who had believed him to be a potential conspirator with Postle. While Postle himself was excluded from anything having to do with the settlement, he tried to turn the tables. In the wake of the case being dismissed, Postle filed a $330 million defamation lawsuit against nearly a dozen defendants including Veronica Brill, Daniel Negreanu, and Joey Ingram. As the year draws to a close, it looks like Postle’s lawsuit also nearing an end as it has been reported that his lawyers are seeking to be taken off the from the case after nearly all communication between their firm and Postle have ceased. Matusow Opens His Mouth Again When four-time gold bracelet winner Mike "The Mouth" Matusow entered Event #5 of the 2020 WSOP on WSOP.com he likely thought he was in for a long day of grinding. However, when he busted just two hands into the freezeout event, Matusow, who was streaming live on YouTube at the time, had a full-on on-air meltdown. “This motherf**ker, ‘wolverine17’…I’m going to f**k him right in his f**king ass man, right in his f**king ass. Mark that name down, ‘wolverine17’,” Matusow said. ”I’ve got this guy’s name written down. I’m going to find out who he is. I’ll see him in person, I’ll f**king knock him the f**k out. Think I won’t? Watch,” he continued.”I am going to find out who this motherf**ker is and I swear to you I’m going to throw him up against the f**king wall and tell him, ‘you f**king ever slow roll me again, I’m going to beat your f**king ass.'” Matusow then offered his fans in his chat some extra money if they could supply him the identity of ’wolverine17’. Someone in the chat supplied Matusow the player’s real name, Megan Milburn, who he promptly tweeted at and stating “do you enjoy acting like a fucking c*** by slowrolling people online where nobody can see you?” Milburn took it all in stride, and even though there was some pressure put on the World Series of Poker to issue some kind of penalty, they opted not to as they determined a YouTube live stream was not under their purview. Respect The TOCs After a lengthy investigation from PokerStars, the 2018 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event champion ‘wann2play’ was removed as the winner, and the $1.35 million first-place prize he won was redistributed to the rest of the player pool. Shortly after ‘wann2play’s victory suspicions arose about their play. PokerStars quickly froze the account to take a closer look and after a year and a half long investigation, it was announced in March that ‘wann2play’ violated their terms of service and was disqualified. “Our players deserve a safe place to play online poker, said Rebecca McAdam, Associate Director, Group Public Relations for PokerStars. “That’s why we invest millions of dollars every year and have a large Game Integrity team working round the clock.” Argentina’s ‘Eze88888’ was officially installed in the history books as the winner and had their earnings credited with the original first-place prize of $1.529 million. GGPoker also clawed back some money that was earned by breaking the rules this year when German cash game pro Fedor Kruse was outed by his roommates as using Real-Time Assistance software in some of the online operator's high-stakes cash games. This led to GGPoker banning 40 different accounts and confiscating more than $1.175 million in funds that were reimbursed to the affected players. “While there will always be deceitful individuals trying to cheat the game and steal from their fellow players, our Security Team continues to be on the cutting edge with regards to detection and protection and maintains a zero-tolerance policy to Real-Time Assistance.” He Took It Like A Champ When the World Series of Poker announced that the successor to Hossein Ensan as the WSOP World Champion would be crowned this December, many in the poker community were left asking - Um, but what about Stoyan Madanzhiev? Just three months earlier, the 29-year old Madanzhiev battled through a field of 5,802 entrants to capture the $3.9 million first-place prize of the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event. An event that turned into a Guinness World Record-setting tournament. Madanzhiev received a certificate and a special WSOP bracelet and, at least for a little bit, the perceived title of WSOP Main Event winner. And he was...kind of. He was the ONLINE Main Event winner and in the eyes of the WSOP itself, not the same banner-worthy achievement as the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, or Jerry Yang. While many advocated for Madanzhiev to be recognized as the 2020 Main Event champion, the plan to crown a more official Main Event champion moved forward and Madanzhiev was left to be called A Main Event champion rather than THE Main Event Champion.
  3. With people around the world quarantined in their own homes in the early throes of the global coronavirus pandemic in mid-April, Phil Galfond put the finishing touches on his back-from-the-dead victory against the mysterious ‘Venividi1993’ in the first of the Galfond Challenges. The poker world was tuned in and engrossed in the final moments. Galfond ended up ahead of ‘Venividi1993’ by €9,843.25 to win the challenge and the €100,000 side bet that accompanied it. Poker media outlets spent the days following it going in-depth on how Galfond, long considered one of the best heads-up Pot Limit Omaha players ever, went from being down more than €900,000 to his opponent to emerging victorious. The mainstream media ignored it entirely. At a time when majors sports were all on hold, the sports media companies that previously turned to poker during pro sports work stoppages couldn’t be bothered to give Galfond’s amazing comeback the time of day. Enter David Hill and The Ringer. Having grown up in a small town in Arkansas where gambling was commonplace, Hill was introduced to most forms of gambling before he was old enough to legally drive a car. A childhood spent in what was once a "big illegal gambling town" combined with a flare for storytelling led Hill to a career as a freelance writer known for finding the best stories from the world of gambling. After writing a story about a professional sports bettor for The Ringer in 2019, his editor there wondered if there were more stories like that that could be told via a podcast. "Definitely, yeah, I've thought about that a lot. I think that this could definitely be a show," Hill told his editor. And from that conversation, Gamblers was born. A narrative-style podcast that takes the listener straight into the action with the people making their living by winning by gambling. When Hill started vetting topics for the show, he knew there had to be a poker story in the first batch. He zeroed in on Bryn Kenney. “I was going to fly to Korea for one of the Triton events and tag along with Bryn and just see if maybe there was something there, and he's invited me to do it. But then of course it all got shut down,” Hill said. The worldwide COVID shutdown didn’t just put an end to the Kenney episode, it almost ended Hill’s chances of getting the podcast to air. He had some of the interviews done for a few of the episodes, but being unable to travel to interview subjects and grab audio to use on the show almost killed the show entirely. When the Galfond Challenge began, Hill realized he wouldn’t have to travel to cover the action. “We ended up doing Phil because the story happened at a moment where we weren't even sure if the show was going to continue. When I started watching all this, I was like, ‘Man, this is great. This is such a good story’,” Hill said. “Suddenly I had a great story right in front of us on our computer screens. So, that really saved us. Had it not been for that, I'm not sure that we would've done poker in the first season.” That episode, titled Phil Galfond, the Poker Player Who Couldn’t Be Solved, debuted Wednesday as the fifth of six episodes of Gamblers. The episode is focused on Galfond vs. 'Venividi1993' and features interviews with Galfond, David Tuchman, Joey Ingram, and a few others that poker fans will recognize, but Galfond is undoubtedly the star of the show. The more time Hill spent talking with Galfond, the more he felt he had stumbled across a player who might have been the best of his generation while failing to live up to the stereotype of what a poker player of his generation looks like. "The stereotype about this generation is that they're all computer nerds, they were all Magic the Gathering nerds. And to learn that Galfond really didn't fit that stereotype, that he studied philosophy as an undergraduate in college and he was a football player in high school," Hill said. "He had an aptitude for math, but it wasn't like he was studying math in college or pursuing it in any kind of serious way. Just that the way he found himself where he found himself in the game was just by a dogged pursuit of it." Three of the four episodes of Gamblers that preceded the one about Galfond focused on other professional gamblers including a card counter, a pool hustler, and a gin rummy pro yet each of those episodes includes ties to poker players that have spent some part of their career in the poker spotlight. This was intentional on Hill's part to give a wider audience something - or somebody - they can connect with. "Poker has broken into the mainstream. Poker is something that is a part of the broader popular culture in a way that other forms of gambling aren't," Hill said. "If I can compare things to poker or frame things in poker terms or show how things are relevant to that world, I know that most of the audience will have poker as a touchstone or whatever that will help them maybe understand things a little bit." While the poker world decries the lack of attention that mainstream media outlets have offered poker over the last decade, Hill believes that poker actually gets it right. While sports betting, which has enjoyed the full heat of the spotlight as legalization and regulation have pushed it forward, has a lot to learn. "Poker really is the example for sports, and not the other way around. Because poker has been willing to really celebrate and make stars out of their best players, rather than hiding them away and kicking them out and shunning them from the universe," Hill said. "I would say that poker should continue to do what they're doing, which is take people like Phil Galfond, take stars in that game who are such fascinating people. Even if you're not a poker player, I think you would like this episode just learning about Phil Galfond's life." With only one unreleased episode of Season 1 still to come, Hill is hoping that the downloads, likes, and subscribes are strong enough with the first season so The Ringer decides to greenlight a second season. If that turns out to be the case, you can bet there will be another episode that jumps into the world of poker. "It's just something that I don't think that I could avoid it even if I wanted to, but why would I want to? Why would I want to avoid poker when so many of the best stories and the best characters, the most interesting people, the most fascinating people exist in the world of poker?," Hill said. "(Poker) is just a magnet for brilliant people. It is a magnet for creative thinkers. I'd be a fool to ignore the world of professional poker if I want to tell a story about the minds of the most interesting and brilliant gamblers."
  4. Poker vloggers let their audiences ride shotgun on their journey but keeping up to date on them can be a bit of a challenge. Each week, PocketFives brings you a selection of the very best so you can watch them all in a single session. Andrew Neeme is Looking for Some Horses to Back You don't become the Godfather of Poker Vlogs by standing still. This week Andrew Neeme took off for Louisville, Kentucky to check out the Kentucky Derby but don't worry, this episode isn't all about horses. Neeme also breaks down some hands from a recent session at the Horsehoe Southern Indiana. The Almighty Matthew Vaughan Takes You to the Borgata While Las Vegas is often the locale for some of the best poker vloggers, Matthew Vaughan has become one of the hottest poker vloggers on the East Coast. In this episode, Vaughan heads to the Borgata to play the Almighty and ends with quite the cliffhanger. Putting Solve For Why to Work and Getting It Back We've already introduced you to 'MTL MAK', now he's back from Las Vegas and going to work in his hometown of Montreal. After a bit of a rough stretch, he's back on the winning side and takes you through a number of the key hands. Ben Deach Gets a Very GTO Guest at Run It Up Reno Run It Up Reno is one of poker's "must attend" events each time it comes up. Reno's own Ben Deach, a news anchor and reporter for KOLO8, showcased the event on his vlog this week and even managed to corner Joey Ingram for a guest spot. When a Run at the Crown Goes Poorly We love to find different vloggers to showcase, especially ones from other corners of the globe. That's where we found "Britt", a 23-year-old vlogger from Melbourne, Australia. She's a recreational poker player and recently started dabbling in the vlogging side of the game. She takes you to the Crown Casino in her hometown in this episode, but it doesn't exactly have a fairy tale ending.
  5. 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:
  6. Less than 10 days after allegations that Mike Postle had been cheating on the Stones Live Poker stream first came to light, the California poker pro is being named in a lawsuit requesting more than $30 million in restitution from his victims. In addition to Postle, King's Casino, the owner of the Stones Gambling Hall, and Justin Kuraitis, the Stones Tournament Director who was also responsible for the management of the streaming operation, have also been named in the suit that alleges Postle, Kuraitis, and Stones were involved in racketeering, fraud, negligence, and libel. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court's Eastern District of California by Maurice B. VerStandig of The VerStandig Law Firm, alleges that Postle, along with an as-yet identified number of co-conspirators used "one or more electronic devices for the purposes of cheating, while playing in broadcast games of poker, to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from fellow player." [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] [ptable zone="GG Poker"] The lawsuit names Veronica Brill, the former Stones employee who was the first to make the allegations public, as one of 25 total plaintiffs seeking damages from Postle, Kuraitis, Stones Gambling Hall and, any unidentified parties labeled in the lawsuit as John Does 1-10 and Jane Does 1-10. "As extrapolated upon infra, this case represents the single largest known cheating scandal in the history of broadcast poker, emanates from a series of events that have rocked the poker community…" The complaint then details much of the information that was uncovered by Joey Ingram, Matt Berkey, posters on the Two Plus Two forums, and the poker community at large. Allegations of cheating by Postle claims that he "has won more money than any other participant, in total, and has often times been the winningest player on the show on any given night which he is a participant." It proceeds to examine the manner in which Postle was treated by Stones and the commentary crew. "Mr. Postle's winnings on the Stones Live Poker broadcast, and his correlative play of poker, have been so exceptionally outstanding as to lead the Commentator to note his seemingly musical abilities on numerous occasions, and to lead Stones Live Poker to produce various graphics portraying Mr. Postle as a deity-like individual imbued with omniscient powers (with one such graphic conflating an image of Mr. Postle and an image of Jesus Christ)." The document continues to allege that Postle committed acts of wire fraud by using mechanisms, including Postle’s own cell phone, that helped him generate winnings that would represent "a quality of play multiple degrees higher than that achieved by the best poker players in the world." The complaint alleges that when notified of suspicions of cheating, Stones Tournament Director Justin Kuraitis and Stones began a cover-up, one that started with the initial statement that a "full investigation" had already been conducted and concluding with the current fact that the current "independent investigation team" is being headed up by Michael Lipman, an attorney who has represented Stones in the past. In total, the lawsuit alleges that the cheating and fraud took place on no fewer than 69 different days, dating back to July 18, 2018. The plaintiffs are asking for restitution on nine different counts including racketeering, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. In addition to the funds lost by the players to Postle in the game, they are seeking damages of $10,000,000 against Postle and his a yet unnamed ‘confederates’ for fraud based on the allegations of cheating. The plaintiffs are also seeking damages of $10,000,000 against Stones Gambling Hall as an entity for constructive fraud as "Stones has a legal duty to monitor the Stones Live Poker game for cheating and take reasonable steps and measure to prevent the occurrence of cheating therein." They claim that Stones did not meet the industry standard for security. The complaint is seeking another punitive $10,000,000 sum against Stones and Kuraitis on a count of fraud based on Kuraitis' alleged dismissing of the initial allegations and potential cover-up. Finally, there is a request for the sum of $1,000 sought by Veronica Brill for libel against Stones for when they tweeted that her initial concern was "completely fabricated."
  7. 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. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] 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.
  8. As the evidence against Mike Postle, the California poker pro accused of cheating on the Stones Poker Live live-streamed cash games continues to mount, the host casino has suspended all of their live-streaming and are promising a new independent investigation. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] In a statement, released over the course of four tweets on the live-stream Twitter account @StonesLivePoker on Thursday, Stones Gambling Hall promised the poker community that the allegations of wrongdoing are being taken seriously. "(Stones Gambling) is committed to the integrity of our games. We have been alarmed by allegations of unfair play occurring during the streamed broadcasts of our “Stones Live” games and have acted quickly to investigate. Yesterday, we temporarily halted all broadcasts from Stones. We have also, as a result, halted the use of RFID playing cards. We have taken these steps proactively while we conduct a multifaceted and thorough investigation into every element of these games. To that end, we are today announcing the creation of an independent investigation team. The team will be led by Michael Lipman, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, and Chief of that office’s fraud unit. He is assembling other members who will be announced in due course. Stones intends to conduct this investigation and share outcomes with transparency. We will provide updates as appropriate." This statement represents an about-face by the company just five days after the same Twitter account attempted to assure the poker community that an investigation had already been completed and that there was nothing to the allegations first raised by Veronica Brill. VerStandig represents Brill and is working to put together a much larger class action lawsuit.
  9. American online poker players who have been patiently waiting for a presidential candidate to support the legalization and regulation of online poker in their country had their patience rewarded on Saturday afternoon. Andrew Yang, one of the Democratic presidential candidates, took to Twitter to offer his thoughts on the issue and showed a broader understanding of the issue than candidates on either sides of the aisle have shown over the past eight years while coming out in favor of federal regulation.
  10. As 2019 draws to a close, PocketFives takes a look back at the year that was in poker news, going month-by-month through the biggest and most important stories of the year. October brought us one of the biggest stories of 2019 when allegations of cheating by Californian poker pro Mike Postle captured the attention of the entire poker world. Poker Pro Mike Postle Accused Of Cheating California poker pro Mike Postle found himself at the center of one of the biggest poker stories of the year after he was accused of cheating in the live-streamed cash games of Stones Poker Live. Accusations of cheating first came to light when Veronica Brill, a one-time player and commentator for Stones Poker Live, took to Twitter to voice her concerns. Soon after, clips of Postle playing in the game showed him routinely making correct river decisions in spots where it would be difficult to always be correct. Stones Live Poker social media quickly attempted to shut down the concern, dismissing Brill’s allegations as ‘fabricated’ and also claimed that an internal investigation proved no wrongdoing. That’s when popular podcaster Joey Ingram stepped in. He began pouring over hours and hours of Postle’s hands, providing hand-by-hand reviews of his play. The deeper Ingram looked, the more suspicious the play became and top-tier pros weighed in with their thoughts that there was indeed something to the allegations. Postle was not without his defenders and Stones Gambling Hall Tournament Director Justin Kuraitis insisted there that the game was on the up-and-up. But in the end, pressure from the community and the uncovered evidence forced Stones to re-open an investigation and cease all streaming activities. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zgone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Postle Story Goes Mainstream The details behind the Mike Postle cheating allegations story became so incredible that mainstream media picked up the story, including some of the biggest media outlets in the world. Perhaps the biggest exposure the story received was from ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt who highlighted the story on his ‘1 Big Thing’ segment during an episode of SportsCenter that took place right after Monday Night Football. The three-minute national segment had Van Pelt breaking down the complicated story into an easy-to-understand narrative for his viewers. “If a guy were able to cheat his way to six-figure gains playing cards and it gets solved by a bunch of poker sleuths on the interest, is that a story that interests you? Because it did me,” Van Pelt teased before hitting on all the major points of the story. Van Pelt wasn’t the only news outlet to run with the Postle story as local news covered it extensively as did a feature article on The Ringer and CNBC. Postle Gets Hit With Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit It didn’t take long before the Mike Postle cheating allegations turned into a full-blown court case. Poker playing lawyer Maurice VerStandig of The VerStandig Law Firm, representing 25 total plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit requesting more than $30 million in restitution from the victims of the Stones Live cash games. It seeks $10 million from Stones Gambling Hall for contrastive fraud for not monitoring the games to prevent cheating, another $10 million from Stones and Tournament Director Justin Kuritis for fraud for the potential cover-up and $10 million against Postle himself, as well as other as-yet-unnamed associates for fraud on the allegations of cheating. This matter has not yet been resolved. PokerStars Acquired By Flutter While everyone was waiting for news of PokerStars to launch in Pennsylvania, news of another sort dropped in October as it was announced that The Stars Group, parent company to PokerStars, had been acquired by Flutter Entertainment, the owner of gaming brands Paddy Power, BetFair and FanDuel. The merger created the world’s largest online gaming company with a total 2018 combined revenue of $4.66 billion. “This exciting combination will allow us to enhance and accelerate our existing strategy. In recent years, we have transformed TSG from aa single product operator in poker to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings across poker, gaming, and sports betting," said The Stars Group CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi. PokerStars Prepares To Go Live In Pennsylvania At the very end of October the news came down that finally, after two years of waiting, online poker players in Pennsylvania were finally going to get to return to their online grind. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that PokerStars would be the first online operator to launch in PA and that the required two-day soft launch would happen on November 4. “We are very excited to be bringing our most popular brands to Pennsylvania in the next week,” a PokerStars representative said just ahead of the launch. At the time, the two-day launch was subject to regulatory approval and potential delays should there have been issues. However, the soft launch period was a resounding success with players flooding the lobbies and proving that not only was the PokerStars client ready for Pennsylvania, but the players were ready for PokerStars. Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar Wins October PLB Sweden’s Johannes ‘Greenstone25’ Korsar has already had a prolific online poker career, currently sitting at #6 on the PocketFives All-Time Online Money List. However, at the end of 2019, he began to achieve things he’d never done in the over four years since joining PocketFives. The first of those achievements was taking down the October 2019 PLB title. He racked up 80 cashes and over $237,000 en route to earning the October honor. On top of that, Korsar used that momentum to become the #1-ranked player in the world for the first time in his career just weeks later.
  11. Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC
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