An alleged cheating scandal on Stones Live, a cash game live-stream show at Stones Gambling Hall in Northern California, has rocked the poker community. The discussion has been so heavily debated that Joey Ingram even devoted a five-hour YouTube video to analyze the situation.
Ingram showed recorded footage of numerous hands played by local pro Mike Postle. In many of the hands, Postle’s decisions were questioned by some viewers, including Joey. He almost never made an incorrect decision, at times folding monster hands when he was beat in situations where it would be tough for the best players in the world to fold.
Veronica Brill, aka “Angry Polak,” first made the cheating allegations in a lengthy Twitter thread. Brill is a regular at the casino, and has commentated and played on the Stones Live show.
You take that player off the stream while you launch a proper, objective, investigation done by a third-party. Once it's shown that the player has not been cheating you make your investigation public and let the player back onto the stream.
— Veronica 2.0 (@Angry_Polak) September 28, 2019
Cheating or No on Stones Live Show?
Brill’s accusations certainly raise some concerns. At the very least, they have open-minded poker players questioning if Postle cheats. But even Brill admits she doesn’t have definitive proof.
The evidence she presents is based on what she considers oddly played hands, and the fact that Postle rarely, if ever, loses on the Stones Live streams. Many viewers have noted that Postle has competed in around 30 streams, where its difficult to never lose in a game with such high variance.
In one hand, for example, Postle folded with A-K on a K-8-4 flop to an all-in open shove. His fold was correct as his opponent had pocket eights, giving him a set. But Ingram, and many of his viewers, were amazed anyone could possibly lay down such a monster hand. How could he have possibly known his hand was beat? That is the question Joey’s followers asked.
Stones Live denied the accusations, and said they have “conducted a full investigation.”
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 denied the allegations to CardsChat News. He told us he is having “third parties already examining” his play so that he can prove his innocence to the poker community. He also defended the quality of his play.
“Go to Tunica. Find anyone who played or worked there from 2003-2008,” he told CardsChat News. “Ask any of them who the most winning and most feared poker player there was.”
Mixed Reactions from Poker Community
The alleged Stones Live cheating scandal has divided poker Twitter. Many are confident he is cheating, while others have taken Postle’s side.
Scott Seiver is convinced Postle is cheating somehow.
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
Haralabos Voulgaris, another high-stakes player, is on Seiver’s side. He questions Postle’s ability to make the correct play so frequently.
But there are also some players who have come forward and defended Postle. That includes some individuals who claim they’ve played with him, and can vouch for the quality of his play.
“Mike isn’t a cheater. I’ve played with him for years, and he’s an ethical gambler. Just a sicko at reading situations balanced by gambling in obscure, high-variance spots. He’s consistently played like that for at least a decade… It’s not a live stream charade at all,” wrote @DarrelDier.
Thus far, we don’t have definitive evidence in favor of or against Mike Postle. But his questionable play certainly has the poker community’s attention.