Poker pro Mike Postle has been accused of cheating. Postle has denied that any cheating has taken place but several individuals have insisted that there is some substance to the allegations.
Circumstantial evidence said to exist
Several former players have come forward to suggest that there is circumstantial evidence which suggests that Postle’s successes may not be legitimate. This evidence includes the high win rate that he has achieved, the hands that he has played and the way that he has used RFID (radio-frequency identification) cards.
One of the former pros who have come forward is Dominic K. Albino. He is now involved with the teaching of economics but has still voiced his concerns. Although, Albino has said that the seemingly high win rate, and unusual use of certain hands, are not definitive proof that there is an issue.
Denial from Postle
Postle has been quick to defend his position. He has stated that “it is absolutely impossible for me to be doing what they’re claiming. It is 1000% impossible,” according to reports by CNBC.
However, there have been other experts who have queried the legitimacy of Postle’s win rate. Duncan Palamourdas is a maths professor and specialises in poker education. He has spoken about the fact that Postle booked approximately $60k across around 11 sessions, without suffering a loss. According to Palamourdas this is a highly unlikely scenario as even highly effective players usually only have approximately a 70% chance of winning in these games.
Again according to Palamous, the chance of one of these exceptional players achieving 11 wins is around 11%. This certainly puts Postle’s success into context.
Further comments by Palamourdas
In addition to commenting on Postle’s win rate, Palamourdas has also made reference to the allegations that Postle knew “the hole-cards of his opponents”. It’s not clear how this could happen and there has been no solid proof.
Another topic that has been mentioned by Palamourdas is the conversation started by Joey Ingram concerning Postle’s near perfect river play. Palamourdas asserts that the odds are 33,333 to 1 against a player playing perfectly across 100 rivers.
According to Palamourdas, Joey Ingram and Polk noticed that Postle paid close attention to his phone on several occasions, and appeared to be distracted. There is no firm evidence as to what he was looking at but it seemed suspicious to them. As a reaction to this, Palamourdas has suggested that Stones should ban the use of electronic devices during play.
The allegations against Postle are certainly gaining attention. Former player, IJay Palansky, has spoken of how Postle’s alleged cheating, “seems to be the consensus in the poker community.” Polanksy, who is now a lawyer, has also said that it will be interesting to see whether anything will be definitively proven and whether any other individuals will be implicated for having assisted Postle.
Action taken by Stones
As a result of the allegations made against Postle, Stones has put a stop to the use of streams and RFID cards. An independent enquiry has also begun, under the leadership of Michael Lipman who used to be a federal prosecutor.
The team at Stones has spoken out about being concerned by the allegations and about launching an investigation. The California Attorney General’s office which oversees the California Bureau of Gambling Control (CBGC) has declined to comment on the situation. It remains to be seen what the result of any investigation will be.