PokerFraudAlert Founder Wins Anti-SLAPP Case Against Mike Postle

Updated On May 12, 2021 by Natalie Whitehead

Todd Witteles and Mike PostleMike Postle has been ordered to pay almost $27,000 in attorney’s fees to Todd Witteles. The PokerFraudAlert founder was among prominent poker personalities listed as defendants in Postle’s $330 million defamation lawsuit in 2020.

Witteles fought back by filing an “anti-SLAPP” (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion against Postle, seeking to have his libel claims be declared as “frivolous” and the case be dismissed altogether. Now, the judgment has been handed down in favor of Witteles, leaving Postle on the hook for $26,982 in damages.

Presiding California Superior Court Judge Shama H. Mesiwala ruled that online posts and phrases in Witteles’ poker forum constituted free speech and were fully protected by the First Amendment. Furthermore, the subject discussed in the forum “concerned matters of public interest“.

Judge Mesiwala also noted that Postle’s act of voluntarily dropping his lawsuit means he automatically loses the anti-SLAPP motion.

Attorney’s Fees Reduced

While Witteles claimed victory in his anti-SLAPP motion against Postle, the total amount of legal costs he originally sought was reduced. Judge Mesiwala stated that some of the charges billed by Witteles’ camp were “excessive and unnecessary“. She deducted $16,332.50 from the original $43,314.50 indicated in the motion, meaning Postle now owes Witteles nearly $27,000.

Reacting to the ruling, Witteles’ lawyer Eric Bensamochan said that while they’re disappointed that the attorney fees were reduced, they accept and respect the judgment without additional argument. Bensamochan added that his client intends on vigorously pursuing Postle to force the alleged cheater pay the monies to his client.

Witteles and his legal team initially offered not to proceed with the anti-SLAPP motion if Postle would drop Witteles from the list of defendants in his defamation lawsuit, but Postle turned down the offer. Veronica Brill also filed a similar motion against Postle and she is also expected to be awarded attorney’s fees when the ruling is released on May 19.

In September 2019, Postle made headlines when he was implicated in a massive cheating scandal involving livestreamed cash games at Stones Gambling Hall. Poker player and former Stones commentator Brill dropped the bomb on Twitter, leading to a multi-million lawsuit filed by dozens of players affected by the alleged cheating.

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In June 2020, a US district judge dismissed the lawsuit against Postle, Stones, and tournament director Justin Kuraitis, citing California law.

Some of the plaintiffs subsequently agreed to a settlement with both Stones and Kuraitis, while Postle launched his own libel case against his accusers, which included some of poker’s top personalities and media entities, such as Joey Ingram, Daniel Negreanu, Haralabos Voulgaris, Doug Polk and Upswing Poker, the ESPN, Veronica Brill, Witteles and many more. Postle dropped the case in April.

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If there is one topic that really gets Natalie excited it has to be the mathematics of gambling, having worked for a major gaming company in the audit department she loves nothing more than revealing all manner of facts and figures. Many of her news stories relate to both online and bricks and mortar gaming and are always worth...

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Jackass Jay
11 days ago

Natalie, Here’s what I disagree with: 1. The judge said the presumption is that Witteles won the anti-slapp meaning that’s her basis for awarding atty fees…not that he actually won the anti-slapp motion. 2. Postle dropped the case which mean the argument of Anti-SLAPP is moot and therefore no such argument took place. 3. Witteles fees are awarded by default of Postle dropping the lawsuit. 4. Witteles motion to continue with the Anti-Slapp was denied as the judge cannot legally allow a motion to stand when the case has been dropped. 5. The reason they wanted to continue with the… Read more »

Jackass Jay
12 days ago

Hey Natalie, How about you write about the supposed data that was used to publicly convict Postle which is all made up BS. Phil Galfond and Matt Berkey were suppose to compile data a year later to prove that Postle cheated but that has yet to come out (bcuz the real data proves he didn’t cheat). Key point: a year later after social media and media outlets convicted Postle on lies and deceit. For someone who used to work in audit and your profile claims to be all about Math…ur article is shit. Just a lot of regurgitating the same… Read more »