It’s time again for the latest from the Mike Postle saga, where the accused poker cheat and failed libel-case litigant has finally filed a motion to dismiss the involuntary-bankruptcy petition filed against his a couple of months back by Veronica Brill and Todd Witteles.
Brill and Witteles were the only two of the 12 defendants in Postle’s ridiculous $330 million defamation lawsuit who actually defended themselves. The whole thing was a publicity stunt, concocted by Postle and a couple of his friends, and Postle never even served notice of his defamation claims against those 12 defendants. You’d think if you really wanted that $330 million in damages you’ve claimed, sending the proper legal notice to the people you’re suing would be at the top of the to-do list.
Except it wasn’t, meaning the lawsuit was a publicity stunt. And when it fell apart, when Postle’s first attorney quit and no one else in the U.S. wanted to take the case, Postle was ruled to owe Brill and Witteles over $27,000 each, to compensate them for their legal fees.
To no one’s surprise, Postle hasn’t been too keen on paying what he owes. The attorneys for Brill and Witteles claim that Postle wouldn’t respond to their demands for payment. That led Witteles’ attorney, Eric Bensamochan, to file the involuntary-bankruptcy petition in California Bankruptcy Court in July. Postle — who’s well on his way to becoming one of poker’s all-time cartoon villains — stalled again, this time claiming he hadn’t been properly served notice about the forced-bankruptcy filing. So the judge gave him an extra month, because judges tend to be generous in such matters.
As his extension neared its expiration, Postle (who represents himself) finally got around to filing his own motion to dismiss the involuntary-bankruptcy petition. And, in this writer’s opinion, it’s a moment of high comedy.
Instead of addressing the matter at hand, which is whether the involuntary-bankruptcy petition is justified, nearly all of Postle’s motion is a pointless attack on Brill and her very-high-profile attorney, Marc Randazza. Postle’s now playing the victim card, alleging that Randazza has committed “witness intimidation”.
Postle claims that Randazza has been abusive in the occasional direct contacts between the two sides. Maybe, maybe not; that’s for a judge to decide. But Postle buttresses that with an outlandish claim. “I parted ways with my attorney and was unable to secure new counsel in part,” wrote Postle, “because of Mr. Randazza’ s behavior. He has a lengthy history of intimidating and defaming not only the opposition, but also other attorneys on social media. Several attorneys said that it just wasn’t worth the hassle.” Sorry, but that’s bullshit. With a possible $330 million payday, if the case had any merit at all, another attorney would’ve grabbed it. No one did, and besides, Postle wanted one to work for free. He could have paid an attorney at any time, and he chose not to.
I have no doubt that Randazza is a very aggressive attorney, but in our litigious society, that’s more an asset than a flaw. He’s had some legal admonishments, including in a very famous case, detailed in the next paragraph.
The situation between Randazza and Postle actually comes out of pre-existing bad blood between Randazza and Alexandrea Merrell, a publicist for the HONR Network, which inexplicably came to Postle’s unofficial legal aid. Merrell and the HONR Network are litigants against Randazza’s most notable client, Alex Jones of InfoWars infamy, and it was through searching for all things connected to Randazza that they discovered the Postle saga. Now, let’s segue to a tasty excerpt from Postle’s filing:
“I started working with the HONR Network, a non-profit organization founded by Lenny Pozner
whose 6-year-old son Noah was the youngest victim of the Sandy Hook School Shooting,” wrote Postle. “His organization helps to remove harassing and defamatory content online and to find legal counsel for people who are being abused online. I had no idea that Mr. Randazza had a vendetta against the HONR Network.”
Not so fast there, Mikey. That’s exactly the opposite of what happened. It was the HONR Network with the vendetta against Randazza, though the bad blood flows both ways. In communications I received from Ms. Merrell for a story I wrote last year, she confirmed that it was people working for and with the HONR Network who conducted research into Randazza, and thus uncovered his connection to the Postle saga. Randazza had nothing at all to do with the HONR Network getting involved and befriending Postle; that was done by HONR merely to cause additional difficulties for Randazza, and by extension, to offer some tertiary support for their own cases against Alex Jones.
79% a “reasonable” win rate
There’s always a hidden bonus in Postle’s self-representing filings, if one takes the time to dig. Out of the blue, midway in the seven-page motion to dismiss, there’s a rough-cut gem. Amid Postle’s attacks against Brill, and her alleged motivations for claiming Postle cheated, there’s this:
“Eventually however, [Brill] was compelled to prove that I had cheated. During the dates where she
claimed that I cheated, my win rate across all hands played was a respectable 79%. However, Ms
Brill and supporters of her claim, cherry-picked hands, rejected dozens of hands where I had lost and
instead fabricated a 94% win rate.”
A 79% win rate? Over dozens of sessions? I don’t find that very reasonable at all, even if that is a correct number. Also, Postle has offered zero statistical analyses to support this claim. And remember, before Postle became Mudd, and no poker room wants his presence, he was playing virtually only at Stones. If one could profit at a 79% rate in one room, surely one would move up in stakes, no? And play in more rooms? The deception involved in this claim is, to me, staggering.
The seven-page filing contains many other examples as well. The truth remains the same, however: Postle still owes legal fees to Brill and Witteles, and this writer doesn’t see anything in Postle’s latest filing that’s likely to change that.