Stones Gambling Hall Settles Poker Cheating Suit, Kuraitis and Postle Speak Out

  • Most of the 88 plaintiffs have agreed to a settlement with Stones Gambling Hall
  • The plaintiffs’ lawyer said Stones and Justin Kuraitis were not involved in cheating
  • Kuraitis issued a statement, expressing disappointment in the poker community
  • Mike Postle said his story is being made into a documentary feature
Ace up a businessman's sleeve
The Stones Gambling Hall and 61 of 88 plaintiffs have agreed to a settlement deal in the lawsuit over alleged cheating by Mike Postle in Stones Live cash games. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Dollar amounts were “nominal”

Stones Gambling Hall has agreed to a settlement with 61 of the 88 plaintiffs in the lawsuit revolving around charges of alleged cheating by poker player Mike Postle. In June, a judge dismissed charges against Postle, Stones, and Stones Live livestream production manager Justin Kuraitis, though some complaints could have been amended and brought back to court. The settlement was originally announced in August, but it was not until this week that terms were finalized.

It’s an amicable settlement that we’re happy to enter into.”

Maurice “Mac” VerStandig, attorney for the 88 plaintiffs, told The Sacramento Bee Monday that “It’s an amicable settlement that we’re happy to enter into.”

Financial terms have not been made public, but a Stones source told the Bee that the payouts were “nominal” and were really just a way to “show good will.” Richard Pachter, Kuraitis’s attorney, called the settlement “a complete vindication.”

Interestingly, Mac VerStandig issued a statement as part of the settlement, saying that neither Stones nor Kuraitis were involved in any alleged cheating. “My co-counsel and I have found no forensic evidence that there was cheating at Stones or that Stones, Mr Kuraitis, the Stones Live team, or any dealers were involved in any cheating scheme,” VerStandig said.

“…we are satisfied that Stones and Mr Kuraitis were not involved in any cheating that may have occurred,” he added, noticeably leaving out Mike Postle’s name.

Justin Kuraitis relieved, but furious

Kuraitis spoke out for the first time on Monday, expressing his happiness with the settlement. He also lashed out at the poker community and poker media outlets who “falsely accused me of being a knowing participant in what was allegedly the ‘biggest poker cheating scandal in history.’”

He added that, although the allegations against him were untrue, he willingly cooperated with the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Gambling Control. Kuraitis said that not only was he innocent, but that Mike Postle did not cheat either.

Among others, Kuraitis specifically pointed out popular poker vlogger Joey Ingram, claiming he “was peddling false statistics, cherry-picking hands to fit his theories and ignoring data that did not fit his version of the story.”

Kuraitis explained that the “propaganda machine” was so effective that he actually started wondering if he really did miss signs of cheating.

Those close to me know that I would never stand for or be involved in anything close to what I was accused of.”

“In the last year I have seen a community that I considered family turn against me,” wrote Kuraitis in his three and a half page statement. “Those close to me know that I would never stand for or be involved in anything close to what I was accused of. Many of the people that joined the lawsuit and spoke out against me were people that I once called friends. Some of them, I even considered family.”

Postle will tell his story

The Postle case dates back a year, when Veronica Brill tweeted that she suspected someone of cheating in Stones Live games, low-stakes cash games streamed live from Stones Gambling Hall. The poker community proceeded to comb through Postle’s stats and videos from his streamed sessions, concluding that he profited about $130,000 in 34 streamed cash game sessions of $1/$3 and $5/$5 No-Limit Hold’em.

In addition to the fantastic profit, two other things aroused suspicion. Postle often won pots with very bad hole cards or played from behind and still won in hands from which most players would have bailed. His combination of reading ability and luck seemed off the charts. Secondly, many believed it looked like Postle was looking at a device in his lap whenever he had to think things over. That, in addition to what viewers thought was an odd bulge in his baseball cap, made people speculate that he either had a device to receive card RFID data or to watch the unfiltered live stream of the game.

Postle texted the Bee on Monday, saying: “As much as I’d like to say, all I can really say right now is that I have my side of this entire fiasco to tell. It won’t just shock the poker and gambling industries, but the entire world.”

He added that he is telling “an entire incredible 17-year story”, which includes this saga, to a production team who is putting together a documentary film.