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Stones TD Kuraitis Tries to Shame Poker Community, FAILS

Crook

It was in March of this year that we reported on a cheating scandal brought against professional poker player Mike Postle. Unlike many instances of alleged cheating, this one involved a live poker hall rather than online poker sites. Postle and the Stones Gambling Hall located in Citrus Heights, California were accused of cheating, and a $30 million lawsuit was filed against them. However, it was only last month that a judge dismissed the case, acquitting Postle and the venue of the accusations brought against them initially by Veronica “Angry_Polak” Brill.

It seems as though the case hasn’t completely disappeared, though, as new shots have been fired. A recent social media rampage has opened up new details regarding the scandal following news of a settlement that was brought to light last week. Justin Kuraitis, the Stones Gambling Hall tournament director, lashed out at the poker community, condemning them for believing in what he defined as a “propaganda machine.” This led to a whole new level of threats and raging via Twitter.

Justin Kuraitis Twitter War

Case Dismissed and Settlement Accepted

Courtroom Gavel

The original case that Ms. Brill participated in brought claims against Postle, the poker venue, and tournament director Justin Kuraitis. She presented certain evidence that suggested he had been cheating and said she had been warned by other professionals about his gameplay. A theory was brought about that someone on the inside had been helping Postle from within the broadcasting control room.

Veronica BrillVeronica Brill Was the Initial Whistleblower in the Mike Postle Saga

This led to 25 poker individuals who had played against Postle before, including Brill, coming together and obtaining the services of the VerStandig Law Firm. A “Complaint and Demand for Trial by Jury” was filed by the group through this law firm.

The lawsuit targeted Postle, King’s Casino (which is the company behind Stones Gambling Hall), and Kuraitis. Nine causes for action were listed in the lawsuit against one or more of the defendants.

Altogether, the plaintiffs sought out $30 million in monetary rewards. However, Judge William B. Shubb dismissed the majority of complaints brought against the defendants. According to Shubb, the various claims made by the 25 plaintiffs (a number that had increased to 88 by this time) were “not cognizable under California law” due to the state’s public policy barring judicial intervention when it comes to gambling disputes.

On Sept. 9 though, it was revealed through certain court documents that 60 of the 88 persons who joined in on the Mike Postle cheating lawsuit had agreed to a settlement. The details of that settlement were not revealed though, and none of the money involved came from Postle himself. This is due to the fact that he was cleared of all charges against him by the judge.

Instead, the agreement was reached between Stones, Kuraitis, and the litigants. Ms. Brill remained as one of the 28 plaintiffs who did not accept the settlement.

Kuraitis Takes Aim at Poker Community

Two Pistols

It seemed as though the settlement wasn’t enough for Kuraitis though. He took to Twitter on Sept. 15, sharing a four-page letter that he had written. In it, he primarily targeted both Brill and Joey Ingram whom he claimed had been spreading “false” information, which supposedly damaged Justin's reputation. In the days following, he would also take aim at the whole poker community, condemning them for believing the allegations by Brill and others.

Justin KuraitisJustin Kuraitis, Mike Postle's Alleged Accomplice

However, perhaps Kuraitis should have simply kept his mouth shut because his outburst led to numerous poker professionals taking aim at him. Some of them are potentially now looking to re-examine the original case against him with plans to launch their own investigations.

Phil Galfond, who was most recently in the news for seeking out opponents in his Heads-Up Challenge and who is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner, was one of the first to respond to Kuraitis. The Run It Once owner stated that he would compile all hand histories of the Postle cash game sessions that occurred at Stones. From this, he claimed he would come up with a detailed report in a bid to find out whether Postle actually was cheating or not.

While a large portion of the poker community already believes that Postle’s incredible win rate pretty much proves he was cheating, Galfond believes other data should be considered. He said he would focus much more on how frequently Postle won and lost in his plays, which he intends to do by analyzing different scenarios.

Bart Hanson Weighs In

Poker professional and podcaster Bart Hanson also spoke up through Twitter. He said he had investigated a selection of 20 hands that had previously been left unanalyzed. However, Kuraitis didn’t take long to dismiss this post as nonsense and “cherrypicking” by Hanson. Even so, Bart brought up a slew of suspicious hands in his analysis, resulting in even more evidence being weighed against Postle however minor.

Bart HansonPoker Player, Podcaster, and Training Site Founder Bart Hanson

Why did he involve himself? Hanson, who owns CrushLivePoker, stated that he was stirred into such action following the abusive Twitter antics of Kuraitis. After Veronica Brill and several others, including Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, Matt Berkey and Jason Somerville, were targeted in the four-page letter by the Stones tournament director, Hanson felt compelled to do his own research and investigation.

In the video that he posted, he spent an hour researching various hands played by Postle. It was from this that he managed to add the new, previously-unanalyzed hands to the collection already investigated.

When Hanson made his Twitter post, Kuraitis responded negatively, leading to a social media blowout between the two. Kuraitis would smugly post the definition of ‘cherry picking’ on his feed, directing that info at Hanson.

Others in the Poker Community Jump In

Bart Hanson and Phil Galfond weren’t by any means the only two to respond to Justin's letter. In fact, one of the first to tweet a response was Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian professional, who was recently banned from Twitch for his use of profanity while streaming, questioned who Kuraitis actually was. Yet, “KidPoker” proceeded on to say that after reading the four-page letter, he believes that Kuraitis knew Postle was cheating all along.

Daniel Negranu Tweet to Kuraitis

Veronica Brill also responded further down when poker fan Dan Klodowski commented that even if Kuraitis is denying his own involvement, he cannot continue to deny that Postle was cheating. Brill stated that Kuraitis was simply trying to gaslight her, and it’s most likely true that he helped with Postle’s cheating. She stated that she had never seen a poker room employee be so concerned with one specific player’s cards and cashouts.

Veronica Brill Tweet About Kuraitis

Amateur poker player Matt Vaughan made a statement regarding Kuraitis' dismissal of the entire poker community and calling anyone who publicly spoke about Postle a “wannabe celebrity.” Matt commented that this made him have “zero interest” in anything Kuraitis has to say:

Matt Vaughan Tweet About Kuraitis

The user, going by the name of “mEVpoker,” followed up with quite the tirade, targeting Kuraitis and highlighting various flaws in his argument.

In fact, the reaction from most people to the Twitter post by Kuraitis was a thorough condemnation of his actions. Various users said that he was digging himself a deep hole with his comments, and others brought up multiple queries over what he had written in the four-page letter. For the most part, Kuraitis could only retweet a statement from the plaintiffs' lawyer, drafted as part of the settlement agreement, that said he had found no evidence to support the claims of Ms. Brill and co.:

Justin Kuraitis Quoting Mac VerStandig

Playing Poker in the State of California Legally

Poker Cards + Chips

There may have been a lot of claims laid against Postle, Kuraitis, and the Stones Gambling Hall in Citrus Heights, California. However, you don’t need to visit a land-based establishment to engage in poker gaming. Various online sites exist that cater to poker players, and you can find a guide to the best Californian offshore poker sites to learn more about them.

If you live outside California, then you can still play online poker easily. A mass of sites provide their services to the rest of the United States. Why not check out our guide to playing online poker in America as an alternative? You’ll find a nice choice of the best platforms available.