The initial reaction of the poker community to the settlement statement from Maurice “Mac” VerStandig was disbelief.
After fighting the good fight, here he was saying that Justin Kuraitis and Stones were lily-white clean. And in return, all he’d got for his clients was $40k to split amongst all 60 of them. That’s a little under 700 bucks each, before the check for VerStandig’s fees cleared.
Shaun Deeb event went as far as to Tweet that he hopes that “one thing poker players learn is to never use macs law firm again.”
In reality — of course — the situation is a little more complicated than that.
I hope one thing poker players learn is to never use macs law firm again I hope those poker players working under him also bail such a joke in every way
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) September 18, 2020
The prosecutor’s defense
VerStandig addressed the parts of the statement he was allowed to in a recent op-ed. The settlement agreement binds his tongue just as much as it binds the tongues of those who took the Stones payout, possibly more.
“First column I’ve ever written in a truck stop parking lot,” he wrote as he tweeted about the piece.
“I would be remiss to not offer some insight into how my name appeared beneath those well-circulated words and what has played out since,” he writes in the op-ed itself.
First he addressed the small size of the settlement.
He explains that although the court booted Postle out of the running, they took the unprecedented step of letting gambling-related litigation go forward. Though it would only be against Justin Kuraitis and Stones Gambling Hall.
Unfortunately, the court also decided that “the recovery for most claims would be capped at the rake collected. And the rake, despite familiar player groans about it being too high, did not add up to a particularly noteworthy sum.”
The op-ed also draws attention to the fact that Postle is not mentioned in the settlement statement.
“Was the statement carefully worded to ensure I would not be signing my name to a falsity? Yes […] The statement is notably silent as to Mr. Postle. This is neither coincidence nor drafting error.”
First column I’ve ever written in a truck stop parking lot. https://t.co/0FQGNGI54J
— Mac VerStandig (@mac_verstandig) September 19, 2020
With the qualifier, “carefully worded” VerStandig has also set people speculating about other things the statement doesn’t say. Many of the sentences from the statement are highly qualified.
For example, the statement uses phrasing like: “My co-counsel and I have found no forensic evidence that there was cheating […]”
“I think the “forensic evidence” part of that sentence is telling,” tweeted one player.
Exactly what it is the statement is telling us, remains hidden though.
I think the “forensic evidence” part of that sentence is telling. I’m assuming that every word is carefully selected!
— jonny brownleader (@jonnyenglish1) September 19, 2020
Alec Torelli on the other hand was quick to defend VerStandig.
“I’ve known and worked with @mac_verstandig for years,” he Tweeted. He’s not only the most competent lawyer I’ve ever come across, but genuine, trustworthy and a friend.”
I’ve known and worked with @mac_verstandig for years. He’s not only the most competent lawyer I’ve ever come across, but genuine, trustworthy and a friend.
— Alec Torelli (@AlecTorelli) September 18, 2020
Others, such as WPN CEO Phil Nagy, remain firmly in the Shaun Deeb camp. To them, VerStandig screwed up.
Nagy reminded VerStandig of his promises before the case. “Thought you say the case is a WIN for sure?” he Tweeted.
Thought you say the case is a WIN for sure?
— Phillip Nagy (@WPN__CEO) September 19, 2020
This might mark the end of Mac’s involvement. But until Postle can be properly investigated and given a chance to prove his innocence, the rest of the poker world is unlikely to let this issue drop.
Featured image source: Twitter