Just when you thought that the Mike Postle Saga couldn’t take another strange turn, it does.
In a motion filed last week, the attorneys representing disgraced poker seat-holder Mike Postle have filed in court to be removed from representing him. The reason for the motion? Postle hasn’t paid his counsel, allegedly, and they have given him more than enough opportunity to rectify the situation before taking this extreme action.
“Failed to Comply with Written Agreement…”
According to a motion filed on December 8, the motion for removal of counsel was filed by attorney Steven T. Lowe of Lowe & Associates in Beverly Hills, CA. In that document, Lowe states that the “client has failed to comply with the written agreement between the firm and the client, and communication has otherwise ceased between client and attorney.” Postle can respond to this motion and attempt to force Lowe into continuing the defense, but that is highly irregular in a court of law. Postle has until January 14, 2021, to respond to the attorney’s motion, otherwise Judge Richard K. Sueyoshi will render a decision, more than likely in the attorney’s favor.
The reason this is important is that, without legal representation, Postle would then be left to his own devices in his prosecution of the $330 million defamation suit that he has filed (more on this in a moment). Postle has threatened at various times to serve as his own attorney and has filed motions on his own behalf. One of those motions was a piggyback in the class action suit from earlier this year in which Postle basically used the “what they said” defense after Stones Gambling Hall filed for dismissal of that class action litigation.
Another Odd Twist in a Convoluted Case
To say that this would be out of the ordinary in the Postle case wouldn’t be correct; it would be more appropriate to say that it is the continuation of what has been a bizarre incident that has tied up way too much of the court’s time and, simultaneously, transfixed the poker community.\
The case dates to 2019 when Postle, who was appearing on a streaming program called Stones Live (a small stakes version of The Bicycle Casino’s extraordinarily successful Live at the Bike program), amazed the poker world with his prowess. At a $1/$3 game, Postle allegedly made around $300,000 through a variety of amazingly timed moves, tremendously astute folds and monstrous bluffs that made it through. His wizardry amazed many, but it also brought questions.
The level of play was so “optimum” that many began to question the veracity of Postle’s skills. One of the commentators on the Stones Live program, Veronica Brill, began to question the proceedings after analyzing the videotape from the games. In Brill’s conclusion, Postle was receiving information during the play at the tables that aided him in making his amazing moves, and many others agreed with her, including podcaster Joey Ingram and players Phil Galfond and Todd Witteles, who examined the videos themselves.
Then the Courts Got Involved…
After Brill’s accusations, noted attorney Mac VerStandig acted for approximately 80 players (including Brill), filing a class action lawsuit seeking damages from Stones Gambling Hall but, surprisingly, not Postle. In that suit, VerStandig alleged that Stones was party to the alleged cheating and did nothing to prevent it. The case, and a subsequent one in Nevada, was eventually dismissed because California law does not allow for people to recoup gambling losses through the court (the Nevada case was dismissed on jurisdictional issues). Eventually, Stones would settle for a chunk of money with a large contingent of VerStandig’s clients.
This wasn’t the end of the legal challenges, however. Postle, somewhat cleared in the Stones case without ever actually having to face a court, decided to sue the people who came at him. Naming not only Brill, Witteles and Galfond but also ESPN, PokerNews.com, Upswing Poker, Jonathan Little, Doug Polk and a few others, Postle sued for $330 million, saying that his character had been defamed.
That is where the case is at now, although without legal representation, Postle is going to see his case dismissed rather than proceed. January 14 will be the date when these questions will be answered.