It was thought that the case would not go anywhere, but now it is official. After filing a massive $330 million defamation suit against several top professional poker players, noted training sites, investigative personnel and even the media, disgraced citizen Mike Postle has dropped the lawsuit that he had filed. By doing so, he has also opened another legal can of worms as two anti-SLAPP lawsuits will be adjudged against him, with the punishment unknown.
A Simple Motion Ends Postle’s Legal Case…
In the end, it went out with a whimper more than a bang.
Postle quietly filed a motion with Sacramento County Superior Court last week, stating that he no longer wanted to pursue the legal action. In that $330 million lawsuit, Postle had accused the sports network ESPN, several poker news sites, and other noted personnel in the poker community of defaming his character. That case, filed in October of last year, stated that he had been the subject of slander, “trade libel” (his professional reputation had been damaged), and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
The wheels on the lawsuit came off almost from the start. In December, the legal team Postle had assembled for the case dropped him as a client and filed a motion to be removed from the case. That motion was granted in January and, for the past two-plus months, Postle had been acting as his own attorney, filing motions for continuances as he alleged that he sought other representation.
…But the Dismissal Does Not End the Story
If Postle thinks that the withdrawal of the case is going to end the story, he is in for a rude awakening.
Two of the defendants in his defamation suit, poker podcast host/occasional poker player Todd Witteles and commentator/poker player Veronica Brill, did not take to being named in Postle’s lawsuit. Almost as soon as Postle put his case on record, Witteles and Brill (through different attorneys) filed what is called an anti-SLAPP case. SLAPP is an acronym for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” or a legal method used to intimidate people from speaking out through useless and expensive legal procedures.
The anti-SLAPP lawsuit looks to defang those who would use the legal system as a method of quieting someone such as a whistleblower or an analyst. Through that legal method, those who can prove that they have been victim of a SLAPP lawsuit can sue (through the anti-SLAPP) to have the person who filed suit against them pay for their legal fees. By the reading of the law, once Postle withdrew his case from the docket, he immediately lost those anti-SLAPP cases filed by Witteles and Brill and will be on the hook for whatever legal fees they racked up defending themselves in the case.
The attorney for Brill, Marc Randazza, stated this in a Tweet:
Does Postle Have Anything Left?
The problem with the anti-SLAPP cases is whether Postle has anything left to be able to pay the fees of his opponents.
Postle allegedly won upwards of $300,000 during his run in 2019 on Stones Live, the low stakes streaming program that was the brainchild of Stones Gambling Hall in Northern California. It was this program in which Postle made simply amazing plays and stunning laydowns on his way to racking up huge wins. Brill and many of the others who were facing the defamation lawsuit that questioned how Postle was making these plays, with many determining that he was receiving, in some manner, live information regarding his opponents’ hole cards while in action.
The accusations of some sort of involvement between Postle and an employee of Stones Gambling Hall brought an initial lawsuit that was rightfully tossed from court due to California laws on gambling losses. Stones Gambling Hall would later settle with a contingent of those who brought the lawsuit without admitting any guilt, but Brill was one who did not settle. She may now get that payday out of Postle’s pocket over the anti-SLAPP suit.