The deception used by discredited poker “player” Mike Postle in order to get entry to a poker event has been one of the major headlines of the last week. Last week, the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, hosted its wildly famous Million Dollar Heater, attracting poker players from over the South. Mike Postle, a renowned player who not only joined the tournament but also won a substantial amount of money, was also in the running.
Postle reportedly joined the competition using his first and middle names, Mike Lawrence, to conceal his identity, and he frequently wore apparel that concealed his face. Not until the final table was established did it become clear that “Postle” was really “Lawrence.” He earned little more than $32,000 for finishing in seventh place. The administration of Beau Rivage was immediately urged to withhold the funds since Postle had not paid his obligations.
Postle, as you may remember, filed a $330 million defamation lawsuit against various companies in the poker game, including Poker Fraud Alert presenter Todd Witteles and Postle’s former co-host on Stones Live, analyst Veronica Brill. Postle’s legal counsel abandoned him after recognizing he had no case to present, and the court finally dismissed the case altogether.
This is when things get interesting.
Witteles and Brill both filed anti-SLAPP cases, arguing that Postle was attempting to muzzle their free expression via the judicial system (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). While they requested far more, the court ruled in favor of Witteles and Brill, awarding each a five-figure settlement, which their lawyers would undoubtedly collect. Postle has not even sought to pay the judgment to date.
Initially Reported Payment Withholding
Initial reports from those on the case’s periphery claimed that the Beau Rivage had withheld Postle’s payment. However, Jon Sofen of PokerNews discovered that the payment had been made in full. This is not the Beau Rivage’s responsibility, but we will soon discuss what should have been their worry.
Because there were no liens against Postle in the state of Mississippi prior to his seventh-place performance in the Million Dollar Heater, the Beau Rivage was legally required to give him his winnings, according to Brill’s legal counsel. Despite attempts to electronically file for the blockade, an original request must be submitted in person; Brill’s legal counsel was unable to meet the deadline.
Since then, the appropriate documentation has been submitted, and Postle will no longer receive tournament wins if he returns to Mississippi. This restriction will be in effect for the next seven years. It is also reasonable to anticipate that Brill’s legal team (and, by extension, Witteles’ legal eagles) will take similar actions wherever Postle or “Lawrence” goes next.
Why Did Postle Get Permission to Play?
The Beau Rivage should not escape this predicament without being investigated. Typically, poker tournaments require participants to produce identification that verifies their identity. Why did they not prohibit Postle’s effort to attend the poker tournament if they were aware of his intentions? They should have realized that the player is not welcome in the poker scene; what did they gain by allowing him to play?
Second, they obviously agreed with Postle’s deception of adopting an identity to participate in the event. Is this a frequent occurrence at the Beau Rivage? Do they typically let players to use aliases and conceal their identities from their opponents? Why didn’t they act after they realized who was seated at their tables? In any case, we’re not discussing a pair of sunglasses here. Postle needed to reveal his identity at some time, didn’t he?
(For the record, Poker News Daily has submitted inquiries to the management of the Beau Rivage Poker Room. We’ll adjust appropriately.)
If Beau Rivage permitted this to occur, then they have some explaining to do. I am certain that the Mississippi Gaming Commission would be very interested in the processes followed by Beau Rivage when players enter their business. And if the Beau Rivage let players to use aliases, what does it say about individuals who participate in their square events?
It is merely the most recent black eye Postle has put on the poker industry. That this…and we shall be gracious here… A person who enters a poker room KNOWINGLY and attempts to get away with without revealing his name is utterly dishonest. However, this would be consistent with his earlier accusations of flagrant dishonesty and cheating. Perhaps this is the final time this creature will emerge from his rock.