Mike Postle Fails to Persuade Judge to Let Him off the Hook for Todd Witteles Attorney Fees

  • Mike Postle represented himself in a Wednesday court hearing
  • The judge upheld an earlier ruling requiring him to pay Todd Witteles’ attorney’s fees
  • Witteles incurred costs filing an anti-SLAPP motion against Postle’s $330m defamation suit
  • Postle voluntarily dropped the suit, giving validity to the anti-SLAPP motion
  • Postle was accused of cheating in “Stones Live” games, but nothing was ever proven
Gavel breaking a piggy bank
A judge ruled on Wednesday that Mike Postle must still pay Todd Witteles’ attorney’s fees from Witteles’ anti-SLAPP motion against Postle. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Postle was his own counsel

The Mike Postle poker cheating saga is, for all intents and purposes, over, but a few loose ends still need tying. The latest: Postle represented himself in court (via Zoom chat) to argue against a previous ruling that required him to pay $26,982 of Todd Witteles’ attorney’s fees stemming from Witteles’ anti-SLAPP motion.

As initially reported by Todd Witteles himself, the judge wasn’t buying much of what Postle was selling, leaving the ruling as is:

For his part, Postle did not put up much of a fight. He was clearly unprepared, as many would be without an attorney representing them. His lack of legal counsel dates back to December 2020, when Steven Lowe filed a motion to be relieved as Postle’s lawyer. He wrote: “Client has failed to comply with the written agreement between the firm and the client, and communication has otherwise ceased between client and attorney.”

A judge granted the motion on January 14. Postle has been unable to find representation since, something he lamented during Wednesday’s hearing.

Postle did himself in

As mentioned, the hearing was ultimately born from the anti-SLAPP motion Witteles filed against Postle in January. Witteles was one of a dozen named defendants in a $330m defamation lawsuit filed by Postle. SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” a type of lawsuit used to intimidate people into staying silent.

by dropping such a big-money case, Postle was saying that there was nothing behind it

Postle dropped his lawsuit in early April, which not only benefited Witteles (and Veronica Brill, who also filed an anti-SLAPP motion) from the standpoint of not having to mount a legal defense, but it also validated the anti-SLAPP motion. Essentially, by dropping such a big-money case, Postle was saying that there was nothing behind it, that it was just for show.

As such, Witteles filed a motion to have Postle pay his $43,314.50 in court and attorney’s fees for the anti-SLAPP motion, a motion which never would have happened without the original $330m defamation suit. Judge Shama H. Mesiwala eventually decided to grant Witteles $26,982.

Played like the best ever

Veronica Brill still has a hearing coming up next week, but it looks like we are about to finally be done with the Postle adventure that goes back to September 2019. It was then that Brill posited that someone may be cheating in live streamed games at Stones Gambling Hall near Sacramento. She did not offer up Postle’s name at first, but once some pros put Postle’s name out there, she confirmed it.

Postle played almost perfectly

As this was a serious accusation, the poker community started analyzing publicly available videos of the “Stones Live” streams. It turned out that Postle played almost perfectly, even making uncannily correct winning decisions with garbage hands. His win rate was off the charts.

Nobody was ever able to definitively prove that Postle cheated, but his near-perfect play over almost three dozen recorded sessions combined with what looked like odd behavior have earned him few supporters. Video sleuths noticed that there seemed to be a bulge in his baseball cap during the live streams and he frequently looked down into his lap, an unusual action at the poker table. Again, nothing was proven, but the theory was that he had access to RFID data or someone in production feeding him hole card info and that the bulge in his hat was a receiver and he was looking at his phone for information.