When it comes to cheating, the poker community has a best interest to police itself. We all want poker to be safe and legit, which means getting rid of the cheaters as soon as they've been exposed. In the Mike Postle situation, who has been accused of cheating while playing cash games on Stones Live Poker stream at Stones Gambling Hall in Northern California, there's too much damaging evidence in plain view for everyone to see.
Once word got out about these baffling moves, the poker community jumped into action and began combing through older streams.
Everything doesn't add up right. Good look for yourself at the numerous streams and come to your conclusions.
All of the videos and livestreams have been posted for a while now, but after crowdsourced analysis from the poker community, the consensus thought is Mike Postle was involved in some sort of shenanigans even though he's denied any wrongdoing.
Either Mike Postle is cheating or he's a member of the X-Men or some mutant with special powers that allows him to have X-ray vision.
Or maybe he's innocent and just that good at reading players, but then why would he be playing such low stakes and never above $5/$5?
Veronica Brill (aka @Angry_Polak) initially tipped off Twitter over the weekend after she was unable to get a proper response from casino officials. She played low-stakes $1-3 NL with Postle on the stream during a segment she hosted called Veronica and Friends.
Brill posted clips of the session where she felt something was off but wasn't sure if he was cheating or not. She asked others what they thought. She got a ton of guff first, but as more people took a look at the video she posted, the story got more traction on social media and on forums as notable pros chimed in.
A couple of other players and locals came forward with stories about Postle having a close relationship with one of the commentators and the person who installed the RIFD chips that are utilized for live streaming. Apparently, there had been multiple accusations by players, commentators and staff, but the nothing ever happened.
Joey Ingram from the Poker Life Podcast went for a true deep dive. If you have time check out his commentary and analysis that included a five-hour video. Ingram tweeted out his initial impressions, “Stones seems like a very fun place to play. Mike is a God at Texas Hold'em. This entire situation is shitty. Some of these hands are suspect.”
"Its a shame I need to dig thru my 16 year past to prove that I've played this style of poker the entire 16 years. Anyone who's played more than a cpl sessions with me knows it too. Along with that is nothing but people/accounts who can verify me winning that entire time," tweeted @Mike_Postle.
Many other pros like Timex and Scott Seiver gave their two cents and they all think he's cheating.
A small group felt of players like it was wrong to publicly accuse someone without proof, but no one has out right defended the guy aside from Mike Matusow, his family and couple of friends. Chris Moneymaker was one of the few pros who stood up for Postle and wanted definitive proof. Moneymaker said he knew Postle from back in Tunica, but they played PLO those days.
These streams are not exact proof, but it's suspicious enough to warrant a full investigation. A real one.
While sifting through live streams a couple of graphics glitches occurred. The announcers explained they had wrong hole cards for Postle on several occasions. Experts in RIFD, like pro Matt Berkey, stated that couldn't be the case.
"The graphics are wrong? For a third time? This is fucking bullshit," said Joey Ingram.
Once again, there's lots of evidence, but no precise proof. Occam's Razor would tell you it's some sort of inside job. It doesn't take an expert to tell you that he's getting some sort of intel on his phone and using that information to his advantage. Players run hot, but it's hard to run that good all the time while pulling off insane plays while rarely making mistakes.
It's ironic that a guy who bragged about crushing poker on live streams is being accused of cheating on said live streams and will have those streams used against him. With numerous super sleuths and detectives looking over every hand on the streams, more evidence will be collected. A wide range of poker players gave their initial impressions (consensus guilty) and now a legal fraud expert will be taking a look at the data.
I saw one graph that suggested Postle ran better than Potripper from the Absolute Poker superuser scandal. I mean, if that's not proof, I don't know what is. Postle still stands firm with his assertion that he did not cheat. Even Postle humorously said he also hired a third party to get their analysis of his winning sessions.
On Sunday, @StonesLivePoker tweeted that they addressed a cheating accusation earlier in the year. "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."
That only fired up everyone even more and they dug deeper.
Doug Polk posted a video and picked out some of the most incriminating hands.
"You can't find plays where he made a bad river play," added Polk. "Absolute soul reads that I have never seen before in my life!"
On Wednesday, Stones finally did the right thing by suspending the live stream and stopped using RFID cards. They also announced launching a new investigation by a third-party team headed up Michael Lipman, a former assistant US Attorney who worked fraud for the Sothern District to California.
"So you've hired an attorney who previously represented one of the Stones owners (Ryan Stone) in 2016, to do this investigation? Sounds very independent," tweeted @ToddWitteles.
Sounds like a dog and pony show of an investigation is coming in an obvious conflict of interest case, but this is just another shit sandwich everyone has to eat and another fecal bomb that the community is going to have to clean up themselves.
For now, the poker community continues to collect evidence and investigate the matter independently. And word to the wise… if you are going to cheat at poker, make sure there's no video evidence that makes you look totally guilty.