Did Mike Postle Cheat at Live Poker?
If you have been following the world of poker over the last week, you know about the Mike Postle cheating scandal that has rocked live poker. Lower stakes poker pro Mike Postle has been called out by everyone from Joe Ingram to Doug Polk for what appears to be to some as clear instances of cheating.
As a former semi-professional player, I have looked at these videos and have my own views on this. Today, I will take a look at whether I think Postle cheated in the live-streamed games at Stones.
Something Appears Afoul With the Cell Phone
Looking at various videos, there does indeed appear to be many instances where Postle is looking at his cell phone during hands. Someone using their cell phone at the table to communicate with another player or staff member is nothing new.
Back in 2008, I personally witnessed a well-known poker celebrity conduct multiple conversations with another player at the table via text message during the WSOP Main Event. A couple of players complained, but nothing was ever really done to the players.
In this particular instance, there didn’t appear to be any cheating going on as it was two people trying to keep each other entertained during Day 1. They also didn’t hide the fact that they were texting each other. Also, this was not at a featured table and before the integration of RFID technology.
However, in the case involving Postle, there is a clear ban in place on cell phones at the table. It does not appear that the ban is adequately enforced as players have been known to step away from the table to use their phones or use them when not in a hand.
For Postle, there are many times that it appears that he is looking at something or interacting with something in his lap. He is simply too distracted in some of these instances to be anything else. Plus you can see times where he is fumbling with a device in his lap.
If he isn’t using his cell phone, then what the heck is he doing during these hands? Is he fiddling with himself similar to what Antonio Esfandiari did at the PCA a few years back? (If you don’t know what we mean, he used a water bottle to pee at the table.)
Regardless of what is going on, it looks awfully suspicious and it is amazing that it wasn’t discovered long before now.
Was the Hat Stuffed?
Some internet sleuths are claiming that Postle stuffed his hat during some of these cheating sessions, even providing what they claim is pictorial evidence. This one is a bit tougher to prove due to a couple of reasons.
First, the hat looks a bit too generic to be a radio transmitter like some accuse him of using. Sure, it is possible that he had a hat modified, but I seriously doubt it. As far as whether he has equipment stuffed in his hat, I am not going to side with those that say he did so.
The reason is that hats can be appeared stuffed for various reasons. While I completely see what some are trying to claim, it is a little too vague to prove.
How Much Did He Really Win?
Some have claimed that Postle has won as much as $250,000 during the last year in poker while Postle claims that number is a lot less. Something that Scott Van Pelt stated during his SportsCenter take on the matter sticks out.
If a player is really crushing live poker to the extent that Postle is, then why isn’t he trying to parlay that into bigger wins. Most live poker players will move up in stakes when it is clear they have the ability to do so. Why is Postle continuing to play at these lower stakes, and why hasn’t he been playing elsewhere.
The fact that he doesn’t play on other live streams also plays against him. If Postle was even a semi-regular on other shows and making these insane plays, then we would have some evidence to support his crazy win rate.
If you ever watched the old ESPN series Tilt, there’s a scene involving a live game where many of the players are cheating. Most only play at this game and are not trying to run it up elsewhere. Why? Because they are cheating. That’s why.
If Mike Postle really isn’t cheating, why not play in some other streamed avenue to prove his poker skill. The quickest way to shut up the poker public is to keep winning. If Postle goes elsewhere and keeps winning as he did at Stone, then players will have to back off.
Postle’s Reputation is Ruined Regardless of the Investigations Outcome
At this point, the outcome of Stone’s investigation doesn’t matter. Postle has been too exposed and has made all of the wrong moves to ever have a reasonable poker career. Even if Stones says that he is innocent, there will be many fans and pro players that will mark him as a cheat.
Sure, he will be able to still play, but his opportunities will be limited compared to before the scandal. If there is one thing to take away from this scandal, it is to come out swinging if you’re accused of cheating. Postle did not make the right moves to protect his rep and regardless of what happens, he will be lumped in with Potripper and Russ Hamilton for the rest of his poker career.
So did Mike Postle cheat? The evidence seems to lean that direction, but the court of public opinion has already deemed him guilty for life.