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There’s a really interesting cheating scandal that has hit poker. To briefly summarize, Mike Postle is a poker player who played at the Stones Casino in Sacramento, but only played on their livestream. It appears that he and at least one employee from the casino rigged the livestream so Postle would have access to it during the game. (Normally, these streams air on a 30 minute delay to prevent cheating, but Postle had access to the livestream as it was happening, so he could see everyone’s cards live). He played a variety of no-limit holdem games, mostly $1/$3, but sometimes played $5/$10 as well.
He obtained an unconscionably high win rate and won an unprecedented amount of money at these stakes. He posted 62/67 winning sessions since July 2018, a win rate of 92.5%, and was up anywhere from a range of $250k-$300k. To put in perspective how good he was, the average really good poker player will win approximately 10 big blinds per hour. So if you are playing $1/$3, with a $3 big blind, a really good player at these stakes would win $30 per hour. Postle was winning anywhere from 70-80 big blinds per hour over these streams.
There’s been a ton of internet sleuthing that has already occurred with Postle to investigate this by the poker community. Joe Ingram, a famous PLO player, appeared on the Ryen Russillo podcast to talk about the scandal too.
I don’t understand all the livestream stuff, but it looks like a classic case of a scam that worked so well, he just sucked money out so fast he couldn’t help but get caught. SOMEONE was going to notice.
When the whistle blower came forward, she was very much ridiculed by Stones employees and other local pro poker players in the Sacramento area. However, people started digging and figured out Postle’s win rate, which is really what caused more people to look into this. The whistle blower came forward because she had noticed that his play was very suspicious over time and he made a particularly absurd fold with top pair in one hand given the spot.
He just kept making the correct decision, whether it was bluffing to win a lot of money or calling light to win a lot of money. Even when he lost hands, he would still lose as small as he could (for instance there was a hand where he called with a rivered full house but his opponent had a better one, so he just called).
As far as the livestream stuff, it’s a bit more complicated and tough to share on here. Especially if you have no exposure to poker on TV, there’s a lot of factors at play in a stream. The general jist though is he somehow had access to the livestream as it was being recorded instead of when it was being aired, which gave him a huge advantage.
Some people theorized that he was too greedy, but I think it’s nearly impossible to optimize cheating in a spot like this. It basically requires him to make bad decisions while he’s cheating, which kinda defeats the whole point of cheating anyway.
IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News:
Ion the Prize: The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The story of the lithium-ion battery tells much about the increasingly global nature of innovation
Just an FYI in case there’s someone here who doesn’t realize it, that video was made in State College, obviously some time this past week.
Very powerful video. For anyone who has experienced “Diagnosis Day” it truly is life-altering.
Very powerful and shows you how things like that stay fresh in your mind forever. Having been through a similar situation as a parent that (knock on wood) turned out ok, the best advice I got was to be honest with your kids, adjust the amount of info you give based on their ages and, most importantly, even though you want to, don’t say “Mom/Dad is going to be alright.”
Maybe it comes with getting older but I feel cancer is as prevalent as ever. The other point I liked that Chris made was about “beating” cancer. There is a restaurant near where I live that is featuring people on signs during October that “beat” cancer and is describing them as “tougher than cancer”. I know their heart is in the right place but I don’t like the thought of people driving by who lost loved ones thinking that somehow they were less tough because they didn’t beat it. Everyone who fights this horrible disease should be championed. Just a pet peeve.
Amen. That is a huge pet peeve of mine.
Another amen. My wife couldn’t beat her cancer, but she definitely wasn’t defeated. She was the strongest, most courageous person I have ever seen, never giving up the fight or losing hope, and she continues to inspire me every day.