The rollercoaster that became known as ‘PostleGate’ started off with a band but ended with a whimper. After seeing the courts (justifiably) rule that they could not hold either disgraced poker player Mike Postle, disgraced floor manager Justin Kuraitis nor Kuraitis’ employer, Stones Gambling Hall, responsible for the travesty that became Stones Live, 62 of the roughly 80 people who had filed a class action suit decided that their best course of action was to take a settlement with Stones Gambling Hall. How much did they settle for, in exchange for their silence on the matter? You might be surprised how low the price was.
More Than the Rake?
According to several reports, the 62 settlers (the other 18 retain their rights to pursue further legal actions against Stones, Kuraitis or Postle) decided to take around a $40,000 settlement offered by Stones. In that settlement, those that accepted the offer were bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), basically gagging these participants from being able to speak on the case. If the above is true, the money that these plaintiffs will get is less than the rake they paid, but not by much.
In the $40,000 settlement, there is going to be a payment for the attorney who did the legwork in the case, Mac VerStandig. The typical rate for such actions by an attorney in a case like this is usually in the neighborhood of 30%; that would multiply out to roughly $12,000 for VerStandig in the case (unless he was doing the case pro bono, in which case he received nothing). That means there was around $28,000 left for those 62 people who settled their side of the case.
PokerNews.com’s Chad Holloway figured out that the rake for the hands that were affected by Postle calculated out to $29,920, meaning that the 62 plaintiffs that settled took less than the rake that was taken. On average, the plaintiffs in the case accepted roughly $451. If the rake would have been the price, then the plaintiffs would have received roughly $482.
Final Chapters Not Written Yet
The case was filed in the ‘PostleGate’ situation, in which Postle was alleged to have conspired to win nearly $300,000 on the internet streaming program Stones Live (think Live At the Bike, just a cheaper version). Postle, over the span of nearly a year, became almost legendary because of the simply unfathomable moves that he would make on the program. He also never seemed to lose when he should and would always win when there was no rhyme or reason to his course at the table.
This all became suspicious to Veronica Brill, who was a commentator on the Stones Live broadcasts and played in the $1/$3 game that was being run over by Postle. Brill, after reviewing her own personal notes, finally called out Postle, Kuraitis (who served as floor manager for the show) and Stones Gaming Hall, alleging that there were some shenanigans going on. After review from people such as Joey Ingram, who agreed with Brill, the show was shut down and Postle went into hiding.
The class action suit filed by VerStandig attempted to go through the California courts to recoup the gambling losses of the players involved. Unfortunately, in the state of California it is nearly impossible to use the legal system to redress player grievances and monetary losses and the courts correctly dismissed the cases against Postle, Kuraitis and Stones (a second case, for some reason filed in Nevada, was dismissed on jurisdictional issues). After that, settlement discussions were conducted with 62 people accepting those terms.
Just because the settlement has been made doesn’t mean the final chapters have been written just yet, however. Brill is still contending that an independent investigator needs to look into the situation. In a display of either contempt or stupidity, both Postle and Kuraitis continue to spout about their innocence (remember, the courts DID NOT judge them on their innocence, just on the legalities of recouping gaming losses through the court system) on social media. Additionally, people such as Phil Galfond are now reviewing the tapes in full, which should provide more excellent information. Thus, there’s probably much more to come on this case.