The ‘Mike Postle’ cheating saga began in September last year with Veronica Brill accusing him of cheating during live-streamed cash games at Stones Gambling Hall. Troubles further increased for Postle in October 2019 as a poker player and lawyer, Maurice VerStandig and 24 other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against him. Justin Kuraitis and Stones Gambling Hall were also named in the lawsuit. The saga continued and the number of plaintiffs accusing Postle, Kuraitis, and Stones finally reached 88.
The plaintiffs filed the case in October 2019, seeking $10 million in damages each from all three defendants. However, the saga eventually concluded yesterday as the $30 million lawsuit brought against Postle, Stones Gambling Hall and its poker room manager Justin Kuraitis by Veronica Brill and 87 other players was dismissed. The lawsuit alleged that Postle profited by cheating in poker games at Stones. It also alleged claims of fraud, negligence, and libel against the three defendants.
On Wednesday, June 3, the California Judge William B. Shubb dismissed the case against Postle, the Stones Gambling Hall and Justin Kuraitis. However, Shubb’s order also gives all the plaintiffs in the case a chance to file an amended complaint against the Hall and its poker room manager, Kuraitis.
“Cards used for the games contained RFID chips to allow the cardroom to post the players’ hole cards on the screen for the online broadcast, which was shown on a delayed basis. The suit alleges Postle received hole card information, possibly on his cell phone. Armed with that information, plaintiffs alleged it allowed him to win at a rate considerably higher than the world’s top poker players.”
Postle is alleged to have won $250K in the games. Plaintiffs claimed Postle only played the games streamed at Stones and cheated by receiving card information from one or more accomplices.
Citing California law, Shubb dismissed the case against Postle saying that poker losses are not recoverable.
“Unlike damages stemming from the rake, these damages are quintessential gambling losses that are barred for recovery by California public policy… Accordingly, California’s strong public policy against judicial resolution of civil claims arising out of gambling disputes mandates the dismissal with prejudice,” the judge ordered.
Reacting to the news, Brill took to social media to express her anger at the judge’s ruling.
Stones and Kuraitis in their argument said they did not have a duty to protect the other players from losses and that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate fraud by the cardroom and the manager. While Shubb dismissed the charges against both of them, he gave plaintiffs 20 days to refile an amended claim against them as the judge believes the rake is a fee paid to ensure that a fair game is played.
Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Is Disappointed And Refiling Expected!
Maurice Mac VerStandig, the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer, expressed disappointment with the dismissal.
The Judge Shubb did indicate to the possibility of hearing an amended complaint on several of the charges, including fraud and negligent misrepresentation by Stones and negligence by Kuraitis. More importantly, the judge also indicated that the rake can be specified and potentially recovered.
VerStandig said his office was still reviewing the ruling that came on Wednesday afternoon. He also added it was “reasonable” to refile based on the judge’s guidelines in Wednesday’s order.