The California-based cardroom Stones Gambling Hall is facing a US$10 million lawsuit by 24 players. They allege that the cardroom is at the center of a poker cheating scandal in which the plaintiffs claim they have been financially ruined by the scam. Furthermore, it names fellow player Mike Postle as the player who was relaying information about their hole cards. This is believed to have happened during a series of Stones Live Poker cash game streams.
If the allegations are true, the person who is Postle’s accomplice must be a part of the Stones Live Poker technical staff. Either that, or it’s someone who had access to the back end of the radio frequency identification (RFID) system that reads players’ cards for broadcast.
The plaintiffs have yet to publicly name the accomplice but they believe they know who he is. The suspect is currently referred to as “John Doe 1” in the lawsuit. They are “cognizantly refraining from making such an allegation against this particular Defendant…until further information can be gleaned through the discovery process,” the plaintiffs said.
Stones Gambling Hall Not Directly Implicated
However, Stones Gambling Hall isn’t being accused of being directly accused of being complicit in the scam. The lawsuit does claim that Stones “continually sought to downplay” complaints while “promoting Mr. Postle as an idiosyncratically gifted individual imbued with poker skills so immense as to be incomprehensible to the average person.”
The lawsuit accuses Stones Gambling Hall of negligence. Furthermore, it accuses the manager of the poker room, Justin Kuraitis, for allegedly hiding the situation which allowed the scam to go on longer than it should have. They are seeking US$10 million from Stones Gambling Hall and Kuraitis.
Internet Sleuthing Exposes Possible Cheating
The scam was discovered largely by people online in numerous public forums, including well-known poker bloggers like Matt Berkey, Joey Ingram, and Doug Polk. Suspicions of the cheating emerged in late September after the poker show’s commentator Veronica Brill expressed her concerns on Twitter. Then, forum members analyzed footage of hands and the statistical implausibility of Postle’s play and win-rates. He may not have won every session he played but this correlates with the absence of John Doe 1 from Stones Gambling Hall.
And when Postle did win, those wins were “exponential outliers”, the lawsuit claims. “In short, Mr. Postle’s poker winnings – considered in the prism of both metrics and hand-for-hand decision making – on Stones Live Poker have been… representing a quality of play multiple degrees higher than that achieved by the best poker players in the world.”
It’s estimated that he has won roughly US$250,000 during the sessions. The plaintiffs are seeking US$10 million from Postle in damages.
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Jesse is a journalism major who decided to turn his love of casino games into a career. He is a fan of poker and watching the WSOP (if he wasn't that bad at it he probably would be a pro poker player).