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Social Media Gloating Triggers Poker Pro Phil Galfond Into Re-Opening Mike Postle Cheating Case

"Victory Lap" By Stones Gambling Hall's Justin Kuraitis Spurs Poker Champ To Investigate Hands Postle Played On The Livestream


High-stakes poker pro Phil Galfond plans to compile every hand played by alleged poker cheater Mike Postle and give a detailed analysis of his play. He hopes that his findings will help definitively prove whether Postle cheated a low-stakes cash game out of a reported six figures.

The Maryland native, high-stakes cash game crusher and owner of three World Series of Poker bracelets tweeted Saturday that he is taking up the cause after watching the casino’s tournament director, and Postle’s alleged accomplice, Justin Kuraitis, take a “victory” lap on social media.

Last week, after most of the 88 plaintiffs accepted a settlement, and their lawyer signed a statement saying that there was no evidence to prove that Postle was cheating or that Kuraitis was involved, Kuraitis released a four-page statement that lambasted his accusers and reasserted his innocence.

Kuraitis then spent the next several days breaking a year-long silence on Twitter by arguing with anyone who still believed that Postle cheated, which is the vast majority of the poker community. He also goaded Veronica Brill, the former employee of Stones that brought the accusations to the public nearly a year ago. Brill was one of the plaintiffs who refused to sign the settlement and has continued to stay outspoken in her beliefs that Postle cheated.

One of the focal points of Kuraitis’ argument was that the win-rate alleged by the plaintiffs, accusing Postle of winning between $250,000 and $300,000 in mostly $1-$3 and $2-$5 no-limit hold’em cash games, was inflated. That the actual money won by Mike Postle was off by six-figures.

While Galfond’s efforts will result in an accurate win rate for Postle, Galfond believes it isn’t the optimal statistic to find evidence. Instead of win rate, Galfond will be looking at the percentage of time that certain plays worked for Postle.

Galfond will look at 17 different scenarios that should have close to an even distribution between success and failure for anyone that is playing without the knowledge of their opponent’s hole cards. Someone that has access to that information, like Postle is being accused of, will have much closer to perfect results.

Those scenarios are as follows:

1. River bluff success rate (bet)
2. River bluff success rate (raise)
3. River call efficiency (i.e. how often Postle makes the correct river decision)
4. Preflop four-bet frequency when nobody has pocket aces or kings
5. Preflop four-bet frequency when someone has pocket aces or kings (and Postle doesn’t have pocket aces)
6. Preflop five-bet frequency when nobody has pocket aces or kings
7. Preflop five-bet frequency when nobody has pocket aces or kings (and Postle doesn’t have pocket aces)
8. Fold to flop raise when raiser is unpaired
9. Fold to flop raise when raiser is paired or better
10. Fold to turn raise when raiser is unpaired
11. Fold to turn raise when raiser is paired or better
12. Fold to river bet with the best hand
13. Fold to river bet with the worst hand
14. Fold to river raise with the best hand
15. Fold to river raise with the worst hand
16. Bet percentage on river with hands that chop
17. Raise percentage on river with hands that chop

It appears that Galfond wasn’t the only person who was annoyed by Kuraitis’ gloating. Several poker players responded to Galfond’s tweet offering their help with the project. The group of volunteers will work to put every hand that Postle played on camera into a hand history format that can be uploaded to poker software that will allow Galfond to quickly break down the data.

Poker pro and former Card Player columnist Bart Hanson recently took the time to evaluate several hands played on the live stream, offering his opinion that Postle could somehow see the other player’s hole cards.

Postle himself has not been active on Twitter, but did tell the Sacramento Bee that he is participating in a documentary to tell his side of the story that “won’t just shock the poker and gambling industries, but the entire world.”



9 months ago

The gloating of Kuraitis and his negative comments made toward respected members of the poker community, and the fact that he is still employed by Stones (where he was at worst complicit with the cheating if it occurred or... at best, too ignorant to know it was going on), should be enough to convince ANY poker players to NOT play at that casino until proper steps have been taken to eliminate this from ever occurring again at that location. Including the termination of any employees directly, indirectly, or remotely involved in this scandal, or those whom were responsible in knowing that this was going on (or at least should have done something more to insure it wasn't happening).


9 months ago