Last week, the world of poker was rocked by probably the biggest cheating scandal in the history of livestreaming poker involving Mike Postle and Stones Gambling Hall. The shocking expose quickly made the rounds online which began in a series of tweets from poker player and former Stones Live commentator Veronica Brill.
Postle, Stone Faces $10M Lawsuit
Earlier this week, it came to light that a lawsuit was filed by a total of 25 plaintiffs who are demanding $10 million each from Stones Gambling Hall and Mike Postle. The lawsuit alleges that Postle cheated during livestreamed cash games at the Northern California poker room, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from his opponents. The act was committed allegedly with the knowledge of key executives at Stones, and with the aid of some co-conspirators.
Now, it seems like the scandal won’t go away anytime soon as the spotlight slowly moves towards other major poker operators who are also hosting livestreams.
If Postle was able to pull off such an act in a major venue like Stones, it’s possible that more players could also be unknowingly cheated on by culprits at livestreamed sessions sponsored by other huge venues and operators. A lot of this boils down to the security measures implemented during games, and whether the people running the production are credible enough to protect players and not put the game in total jeopardy.
As PokerGFX founder Andrew Milner puts it, the question of how secure the games are, ¬†depends on the individuals running the show. In the wake of the scandal, some of the world’s major operators have spoken about the protocols they’ve been putting in place during livestreams to ensure the integrity of the game.
World Series of Poker (WSOP)
The WSOP hosts the longest-running poker tournament in the world. It provides home viewers the chance to be part of the action by hosting livestreams in partnership with PokerGO, not only during events held in Vegas, but also during numerous tournaments around the world, including the WSOP Circuit and WSOP Europe.
Unlike Stones, the WSOP does not and has no plans to livestream cash games. It only livestreams tournaments, which the company says makes it much more difficult to commit cheating.
During WSOP livestreams, the company said they implement a specific set of protocols and strictly comply with requirements laid out by the Nevada Gaming Commission in relation to the chain of command for RFID cards, the set up of servers, internet access restrictions, segregation of hole card graphics, security and location of peeker room, as well as protocols for mobile phone use among players and production staff.
The Nevada Gaming Commission also serves as their independent watchdog, monitoring all activities during livestreamed tournaments. The company said game integrity is paramount to their operations, and that they are confident that they are able to successfully put the right balance between growing the game and banning any misconduct that poses a risk to tournament operations.
World Poker Tour (WPT)
The WPT is the leading poker tour in America. The tour broadcasts some of its events via YouTube, while other events are also taped for viewers at home. In light of the scandal, the WPT has declined to publicly share the protocols employed by its partner livestream providers and casinos for security reasons. However, the WPT has assured everyone they are taking security as a paramount priority.
PokerStars
PokerStars prides itself on using the latest technology to safeguard the integrity of their live events which are made available via Twitch, PokerStars.tv, and YouTube. The company’s top priority is the protection of sensitive data, which it said is inaccessible by individuals who are outside of the event itself. Their system protects against human error through in-built features. The company further said that every person working on the livestreams is carefully screened, and only a few are given access to really sensitive data.
To make sure security is not compromised, PokerStars does not allow players to use their mobile phones during a hand. Players at the final table are also required to deposit their phones in a safe box. The cards-up area is closely monitored by security teams and CCTV. Everyone on the feature table, such as celebrities and ambassadors is carefully picked, and the company does not interfere with breaking order of movement of players.
PokerStars also makes it a point to review existing protocols in accordance with player feedback, new technology, and the ever-evolving world of poker.
Poker operators will do well to review their live streaming protocols and the executives who are in charge to ensure they do not face similar allegations in the future like Stones Gambling Hall.

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