People News: Deeb in hospital with Covid-19; Sexton celebration of life; Isai Scheinberg walks free; Mike Postle Update; Man gets bluffed, complains

In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting news and gossip from our favourite poker people.

Deeb in hospital with Covid-19

The American poker pro Shaun Deeb had travelled to Mexico to successfully grind the WCOOP from there. Last week he revealed that he had been infected with Covid-19 and has since been hospitalized.

In a tweet he announced his infection and that he was hoping not to have to go to a Mexican hospital.

Deeb is physically not in good shape and it is likely he belongs to the risk group. He followed up with a tweet saying how scary the thought was having to tell his kids in case he gets intubated and won’t have a chance to speak to them again for a while.

Since then he has been writing regular Twitter updates on the development of the infection and his experience in a Mexican hospital, not just with health updates but also with updates on trying to keep the grind going.

Shaun has been released on Thursday, hoping that his recovery will quickly progress in his temporary Mexican home while he is trying to get back to the States.

All the best, Shaun!

Mike Sexton celebration of life

On 22nd September the World Poker Tour called for a ‘Celebration of Life’ for Mike Sexton. The event was live streamed on several channels and included a ‘Moments with Mike’ presentation with Matt Savage.

The poker legend had passed away on 6th September after losing the battle against prostate cancer.

On what would have been his 73rd birthday friends and family talked about Mike and his life and told a few stories over the course of an about 90-minute live stream.

The celebration was hosted by the angelic Lynn Gilmartin doing a remarkable job of sharing the joy and positivity Sexton was known for.

WPT CEO Adam Pliska talked about his memories of Mike and read a passage from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, that he felt were words Mike could have spoken himself:

“You alone will have the stars as no one else has them. In one of them, I will be living. In one of them, I will be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars are laughing. When you look at the sky at night, you – you alone – will have the stars that can laugh.”

Other speakers were Mike’s son Jeff, Neil Barrett of partypoker, WPT Founder Steve Lipscomb, Doyle Brunson and others.

You can watch the full video celebration here:

Isai Scheinberg walks free

The drama around Isai Scheinberg’s legal fate has finally come to a conclusion after almost 10 years. This was the last chapter of the Black Friday saga to close and is now ready to be eternalized into a movie script. We are not aware that this is going to happen, but wouldn’t it be cool?

On Wednesday, 23rd September, Scheinberg was sentenced to time served and a $30k fine for operating an illegal gambling business. He had pleaded guilty to that charge in March after he had surrendered to the U.S. government in January this year.

Scheinberg is one of 11 people and four companies that were indicted on charges of illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering by the US Department of Justice on April 15, 2011.

Since then Scheinberg had been residing in the Isle of Man, handed over the business to his son Mark and in 2014. PokerStars was sold to AMAYA Gaming for $4.9 billion. PokerStars is the only company that survived Black Friday as it always had been focussed on serving the whole world with online poker, while others limited most of their efforts to the U.S. market.

There were different reasons why Isai Scheinberg did not have to serve any more time in prison. And one was the deal the DOJ reached with PokerStars in 2012 under which the company assumed debts of $304m owed by Full Tilt Poker and paid out its players.

“I am pleased that Judge Kaplan has determined today not to impose a prison sentence in my case,” Scheinberg said in a statement to iGB North America.

“PokerStars played an important role in creating today’s global regulated online poker industry by running an honest and transparent business that always treated its players fairly,” he said. “I am particularly proud that in 2011, when PokerStars exited the United States, all of its American players were made whole immediately.

Indeed, PokerStars reimbursed millions of players who were owed funds from other online companies that could not or did not repay those players.”

It is a long and complex story to tell around Black Friday and everything that happened before and after. We will probably never know all of it, but we can all be glad that this dark period of poker’s history has now been concluded.

The never ending story of Mike Postle

Speaking about dark periods… It is tiring still having to write about the Mike Postle cheating case, but there have been further developments and we would like to update you on these.

Postle has finally broken his silence, declaring innocence. As his case had been dismissed this summer, this had already been the official deceleration. The judge had not been able to really understand the underlying poker-related nuances and so simply dismissed the case pointing at missing evidence.

Postle hinted in a text message that there might be a documentary about this case in the making. Apparently, the text messages read:

“As much as I’d like to say, all I can really say right now is that I have my side of this entire fiasco to tell. It won’t just shock the poker and gambling industries, but the entire world.

This all goes way beyond just my innocence but includes an entire incredible 17+ year story along with it, and what’s happened since the allegations. In fact, it’s such a mind-blowing story, that it’s being told to Dave Broome at 25/7 Productions who will be producing a wild documentary for the world to see on it!

I’ve been waiting for many, many months on this and I’m anxious for it to finally come out. So, to all the detractors and accusers who have asked, ‘Why hasn’t he spoken or provided his evidence of innocence and explanations?’

Well guess what? … Now you know.”

In addition to this strange statement, Stones Gambling Hall employee Justin Kuraitis, who has been part of the cheating allegations, put out the following tweet, tagging many poker personalities, that led to a four-page document.

Once again we’ll probably never know the whole truth, with or without a documentary, but things seem to have come to a near conclusion. The more surprising was a tweet by Phil Galfond who announced that he wanted to go into a depth analysis of the played hands to provide proof of the wrong-doings of Mike Postle and Stones Gambling Hall.

Galfond is planning to build a team that will put every second of footage together to build every stat that could be of any use. This will create a more thorough picture than what Doug Polk and Joey Ingram had been doing through their YouTube videos.

If Galfond succeeds to build more comprehensible proof that a standard judge will be able to understand the delicate details of poker, this could be a superhero story come true.

Man falls for a bluff, complains

A surreal and somewhat comical video popped up on Reddit. A man fell for a bluff and called over the floorman to complain. Watch the clip here:

Man calls over pit boss because he fell for a bluff from poker

Poker is certainly not dead.