The poker association as a accomplished has done a abundant job with the annoying assignment of aggravating to breach bottomward how Mike Postle cheated his way to a literally-unbelievable acceptable band on Stones Alive Poker, but it was Veronica Brill who brought the allegations to ablaze and accustomed the internet sleuths to dive in.
Despite initially actuality rebuffed by management, Brill connected to advance the affair and afford ablaze on what she acquainted was added than aloof a little apprehensive play.
Brill was active by Stones Gambling Hall in Northern California as a analyst for the live-streamed poker bold breadth Postle won upwards of $300,000, arena mostly $1-$3 and $5-$5 amateur over the amount of aloof a year and a half. She formed for the bank for a abrupt aeon of time, afore affective out of Sacramento and to the Bay area.
Brill sat bottomward with Card Amateur to altercate what it was like accepting a front-row bench to the cheating scandal, the blowback she’s dealt with alone from the allegations, and the accomplish she took to afore chief to go public.
Steve Schult: Can you allocution about your poker accomplishments and how you concluded up accepting a alive accord with Stones Gambling Hall?
Veronica Brill: My accomplishments in poker is aloof as a recreational amateur with banknote and tournaments. I played mid and low-stakes. I was arena at Stones about the time aback they aboriginal opened, and they were starting a livestream. Roger Bailey was the aboriginal actuality to alpha the livestream at Stones, and I was accompany with him at the time. I told him that I had some acquaintance in radio, and hosting pageants and actuality like that, and that I was accept in advanced of a camera. If he begin a able poker amateur to get in the berth with me, we could accept an absorbing show.
They put me and Jake Rosentiel in the booth, and we were the aboriginal annotation duo from the time Stones Alive started. I anticipate it was like a year and a bisected later, they started arid bringing in added annotation staff, and I concluded up affective abroad and not accomplishing it as often. But I was still occasionally hosting. I concluded up hosting a bold on Stones Alive Poker alleged ‘Veronica & Friends,’ which I played in.
The aftermost time I did annotation was the aftermost time that appearance was on. But it wasn’t absolutely my appearance at that point. I gave ‘Veronica & Friends’ to a acquaintance of abundance because I didn’t accept the time and I didn’t absolutely appetite to accomplish the drive up to Sacramento anymore.
SS: Aback did you aboriginal run into Mike Postle?
VB: Mike was a approved in the allowance and a approved in Sacramento poker. He was in every tournament, every clash series. He was arena a lot of banknote games. I’m accompany with a lot of poker professionals in Sacramento, so they were all acquainted of him. He was aloof a approved banknote bold grinder. A reg in the room. A reg in Sacramento.
SS: Did he accept this god-like acceptability and aggrandized ego afore the stream? Did added players in the breadth about attention him as a acceptable player?
VB: It wasn’t until he started crushing on the alive stream. I apperceive there were some accompany of abundance who played $5-$10 with him consistently and he was a accident amateur in that bold from what everybody has seen. And as we saw in the livestream, aback he wasn’t in god-mode, he was arena like a approved mid-stakes grinder. He didn’t accept a crazy acceptability of crushing every bold afore 2018.
SS: How continued was he arena on the beck afore you started apprehensive him of cheating?
VB: I don’t know. I feel like he was arena on the beck actuality and there aboriginal on, but he absolutely started arena in every distinct beck at some point in 2018. So, the progression was, he would comedy occasionally on the stream, and occasionally in all of the games. And Sacramento has a abate association of able poker players and I’m accompany with best of them. And chat campaign quickly.
Word started overextension that Postle was alone arena livestream by the alpha of this year, yet he was not arena in any of the absolutely good, dank banknote amateur that were accessible to him. Again he started acrimonious up [cashing out] as anon as the livestream was over. I bethink he was arena in my bold afore all of these cheating allegations and he would comedy afterwards the livestream was off. But in the aftermost year and a half, he started acrimonious up as anon as the livestream was off.
SS: Do you apperceive any of the banking capacity of the stream? Was anyone from the poker allowance advantageous assembly directly?
VB: I apperceive that the majority of the annotation were Stones employees. I’m appealing abiding that the tech agents were also, because at one point, I was an employee. The aftermost time I did commentary, I was not an employee. They paid me to host, but it wasn’t as an employee. So, I apperceive they additionally paid hosts.
SS: You said that the Sacramento poker association is small, and you were acutely accepted there. What was it like grappling with the accommodation about whether to accomplish these allegations public?
VB: This was a massive attempt for me. I would say the better allocation of that attempt came in the anniversary afore I went accessible with the allegations. I was basically acclimation out worst-case scenarios for anniversary decision. And if I had gone accessible and he was innocent, that was the affliction of activity public. But I anticipate it would accept been worse if he was accusable and I hadn’t gone public.
I acquainted as admitting I had apparent abundant to go accessible with it. And I acquainted like not abundant bodies were attractive at it. It was one of those things breadth I was appealing abiding he was guilty. I was added anxious that there was cheating activity on, and I was accommodating to accident accident friends. I apperceive my abutting accompany would accept accepted my apropos and would accept forgiven me if they were alike mad at me. But I was accommodating to booty the criticism and be alone apparently from Sacramento if I was wrong, because I acquainted like there was abundant affirmation pointing to him cheating. I acquainted like addition bare to do it, and I didn’t anticipate anybody would.
SS: Afore you went accessible with the allegations at the end of September, you went to Stones Gambling Hall Clash Administrator Justin Kuraitis with your concerns. Aback was that and what came out of that discussion?
VB: It was in mid to backward March. I anticipate it was March 21 because I texted Bart [Hanson] the abutting day, which was March 22. I went aback and looked at my texts. So, I accomplished out to Bart afore I talked to Justin and I said, “I anticipate there’s some issues. I anticipate that Mike adeptness be cheating. I can’t put my feel on it. I can’t amount out how he would be accomplishing it alike if he is.”
And Bart said, “Look, go to Justin. It’s article that, if you accept concerns, you should allocution to Justin and maybe they’ll attending into it and if they acquisition that there’s nothing, we can all be assured that the aegis and the candor of the bold are fine.” I agreed.
At that point, I anticipation Justin absolutely capital to advance the candor of the bold and absolutely admired the livestream. I bethink him cogent me that he larboard his aftermost job because he anticipation a amateur was cheating in the bank and the accepted administrator didn’t accede with him and didn’t accept him. So, he larboard that job.
I anticipation this guy was absolutely trustworthy. I went to him and I said, “Look, I anticipate Mike adeptness be cheating. A lot of bodies are whispering about the allowance that he adeptness be cheating. He makes these ailing plays.” And Justin, instead of actuality cold and demography these allegations seriously, aloof said, “Absolutely not. There’s aught percent adventitious that annihilation is happening.”
At some point, either at that time or after, he told me that they were accomplishing an alien audit. An alfresco aggregation had appear in and audited aggregate and said that there was no aegis risk. That aggregate was fine. I anticipate he may accept told me afterwards aloof to assure me.
SS: Did you anytime see any affidavit that the analysis anytime took place?
VB: No. He told me at that time aback I batten with him about it, and I did ask to formally allege with him. We sat in the aback of the bank and I said that I was anxious that Mike might’ve been cheating. He said, “Absolutely not.” He said, “Mike uses the martingale strategy. He’s so abutting level. He’s such a acceptable poker amateur that cipher understands his play.”
He said that I don’t accept his play. I don’t accept poker. Everybody was aloof jealous. Everybody’s a account in Sacramento and they’re aloof anxious of Mike. And that Mike does accept downswings.
I bethink that there were several times afterwards that talk. I bethink adage to him, “Mike did absolutely able-bodied tonight.” And he’s like, “Yeah, able-bodied he’s advancing off a absolutely big downswing. Like a $25,000 downswing.” I anticipation it was funny that he was cogent me about Mike’s downswing. It was aloof weird.
I apperceive poker players are actual cellophane with their wins and losses, but in hindsight now, because that there’s a acceptable achievability that Justin was involved… it all makes sense. At first, I anticipation there was aloof a lot of misogyny in the way he batten with me, but now attractive back, I anticipate there was none. I anticipate he was aloof aggravating to awning things up.
SS: Did you abide to assignment with Stones afterward the complaint?
VB: Yes. I trusted Justin. I trusted that he was advancement the candor of the game. And I absolutely trusted the casino. I anticipation if Postle was cheating, there’s no way anyone on the central was involved. And I anticipation it would aloof be too batty for Postle to accept the abstruse adeptness to tap into the arrangement or article like that. So, I thought, okay, I’ll aloof leave it. What do I know?
I confused abroad and so I wasn’t accomplishing as abundant commentary. I hadn’t done annotation like two or three months and the aftermost time I did commentary; I did a appearance with Jake. Jake and I did a $5-$10 bold with Postle, and afterwards four or bristles hours of watching him, we came out of the berth like, “What the fuck is activity on? This can’t be right. He’s arena perfectly. The actuality he’s accomplishing doesn’t accomplish sense.”
The alone way it makes faculty is if he sees the cards, and Jake and I had a allocution about it. He was starting to argument me while we were in the booth, like, “Is Mike cheating?” And again he deleted the texts, but he showed it to me. And we both came out of the berth a little flabbergasted.
The aftermost time I did commentary, I was aloof like, “Fuck this. This is still activity on, and this is not right.” I mean, anybody saw that video I acquaint of me in the booth. This doesn’t accomplish any sense.
SS: I capital to blow on the commentary. Some bodies accept that some of the commentators knew about the cheating because of the way they complimented Postle and the easily he played. What are your thoughts on that? Were there commentators that had agnate thoughts to you and Jake?
VB: I anticipate so. There are so abounding things to accede aback discussing commentary, and I talked about this. Aback we’re accomplishing a show, aback you’re accomplishing annotation already in a while, you’re told to be affectionate to anybody in the game. You’re told to accomplish it a fun show, to accomplish it entertaining. And you’re additionally not seeing Mike Postle 12 hours a week. You adeptness be in there already every two weeks, or already a anniversary and you adeptness think, “Oh my God. He’s hitting addition boiler and he’s so sick.”
Most of us were not able poker players. I anticipate actual few commentators were able poker players. You’re actuality told, “Mike’s fluctuating. Mike’s on a aiguille appropriate now, but he fluctuates bottomward also.” Justin would acquaint us about his downswings. So, you’re in the booth, and four or bristles hours of poker can be affectionate of boring. And aback you get these ailing easily arena out, it gets affectionate of agitative and you appetite to accord the admirers a show.
It’s accessible in hindsight to alpha cerebration anybody was involved. But I don’t apperceive what account it would be for commentators to be involved. I anticipate actual few bodies were complex and I anticipate actual few bodies knew. I anticipate I apperceive who is abutting accompany with Mike and I apperceive who’s abutting accompany with Justin. So, it apropos me that maybe they knew, but didn’t accretion annihilation from it. Maybe addition was aloof axis a dark eye.
I am additionally anxious about assertive people’s reactions. For instance, some bodies didn’t accompany the lawsuit, which I acquisition odd. Some bodies accept been absolutely quiet about it. Maybe they’re processing it differently. I don’t know. I don’t appetite to say who I anticipate knew and again appear to acquisition out that they didn’t know. But some of the stuff, aback assorted things, like you’re not abutting a lawsuit, you’re not adage annihilation in public, how you seemed aback you’re accomplishing commentary, etc. It’s concerning.
SS: You accustomed a acceptable block of backfire from bodies aback you fabricated the allegations public, acutely from Sacramento locals. Some of it was appealing abhorrent stuff. Were you anon threatened by anybody or was it added accepted online harassment?
VB: I had texts. I accustomed texts from some of his acceptable friends. I wouldn’t say they threatened me, but I would say they were appealing abominable texts. I feel like my tweets were appealing objective. I was aggravating to say, “Hey, I anticipate article is activity on and I would like to analysis it.” I anticipate that affectionate of summarizes the tweets.
And the acknowledgment I got was as admitting I had crucified the guy. I accept there’s an affecting affiliation to Mike, abnormally with a lot of his accompany who accept now apologized to me. I absolutely anticipation that I would get a actual objective, calm response. I’m consistently cerebration bodies are data-drive accommodation makers, but I anticipate best bodies are affecting accommodation makers. I anticipate best bodies accept back appear about and I can accept breadth they came from.
SS: How abundant ascendancy did Justin Kuraitis accept over the livestream?
VB: The accomplished livestream was a one-man appearance and it was Justin. Justin fabricated every decision. He had sole ascendancy of Stones Alive Poker. He had an IT administrator of Stones that he pushed out of the absolute operation because the guy was allurement questions, and capital things done appropriately and capital to baby-sit some of the IT portions of it.
Justin was there for about every livestream. He would angle abaft this belvedere and watch the absolute appearance with his headphones on. And he had this like microphone on his blazer. I affected he was talking to tech, and he may accept been, but he would watch the absolute show, and he would accomplish comments during the show. If the cards were quote-unquote not actuality apprehend properly, or they were wrong, Justin would bound change them and accomplish a animadversion like, ‘Oh, Postle’s good, but he’s not that good.” He was actual complex in the show.
SS: How do you anticipate Postle cheated? There accept been so abounding theories amid the bend phone, the cartilage consecration headphones in his hat, and a few others. What is your best guess?
VB: I anticipate aback we’re attractive at how he did it, we accept to be accurate not to attending at it as a brackish process. I anticipate it evolved. I anticipate initially they approved it out aloof texting him the hands. You can see aback he aboriginal did it and he would aloof attending bottomward at his phone.
I anticipate they may accept approved article like [Matt] Berkey came up with, like with the dejected screen. They may accept approved that, although I’m not convinced. I anticipate it may accept been article as simple as they were sending him advice through his phone, through texts. And again I anticipate aback bodies started accusatory in the room, Justin had to adapt how they were cheating based on complaints.
I anticipate they approved to about-face to the cartilage consecration headphones, which was in his hat. So, I anticipate there were a cardinal of altered things they tried, and I think, admitting their efforts, not all of it was alive because they were codicillary on bodies accepting their cards apprehend properly. The tech switching from hold’em to Omaha and yeah, you can see the spots breadth he gets frustrated. It’s like he not able to see his opponent’s cards or something.
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