Veronica Brill’s recent interview with Sabina Johnson, Mike Postle’s ex-wife, had a lot of interesting tidbits about Postle’s past, his character, and his faintly Oedipal relationship with his mother.
It also tied off one of the threads that still hung loose from the otherwise mostly sewn-up case of Postlegate. Johnson told Brill that Postle was using Twitter sock-puppets to attack people online, as much of the poker world already suspected, but had been unable to confirm.
At the height of the Postlegate scandal, there were a handful of Twitter handles that devoted all of their time to defending Mike Postle. Most notable of these were Poker Derelict (@poker_thug) and PokerHeroes (@PokerHeroes1).
PokerHeroes tweeted sarcastically about people who should be considered poker heroes. Mostly it used the platform (and occasional videos) to suggest that people like Joey Ingram and Veronica Brill (key critics of Postle) were ethically unsound.
Poker Derelict started out writing bad poetry about Postle’s critics. Later posts on the account tend to be vaguely misogynist talk about Veronica Brill.
Several of the pro-Postle accounts even targeted Poker.org’s own Jon Sofen for a while.
These pro-Postle accounts all suddenly went quiet at the same time, just as Postle was gearing up for his lawsuit. The timing and other similarities between the accounts made many assume that these were sock puppets of Postle’s.
While few people doubted that Postle either had his friends operating these accounts or was actively operating them himself, there was nothing until now to confirm if that was the case.
Johnson provided the confirmation. Although she was unable to name the specific accounts Postle used, she did confirm that Postle used sock-puppets on Twitter, and had a long history of online abuse. All we need now to tidy the matter up is to know which accounts were his and which friends were operating the other accounts under his direction.
Some example tweets from these accounts include: “If you’re not named/Don’t fear don’t fret/We know you’ve defamed/The internet never forgets,” “[Brill] raising money to defend herself in a slander lawsuit, slanders Postle again in the description of her fundraising effort,” and “You can’t run bad when you’re that good looking, you know what I mean? When you are MIKE POSTLE, when he walks in the room like women throw flower petals in front of him, I have seen it.”
Rounder Life Magazine and friends
One related surprise is that Johnson doesn’t believe that Postle has directly written for Rounder Life Magazine. Many assumed that Rounder Life was one of the sockpuppets Postle had access to.
Rounder Life conducted a verbose and semi-lettered Alamo on Postle’s behalf for a long time. The site devotes a sidebar to its coverage specifically of Postle-gate, almost all of it focused on exculpating Postle.
Postle was once a part owner of Rounder Life Magazine, and many people had assumed there was a good chance he was directing — or outright drafting — the written copy for those articles. Johnson suggests that this is not the case.
Evert Caldwell, whose byline appeared to be just about all that kept Rounder Life ticking over, is a close friend of Mike Postle’s. According to Johnson, he owes Postle a debt of gratitude for helping him wrest back control of the magazine in the courts.
The magazine then is not one of the sock puppets, but there’s probably another kind of puppet that could sub in to serve as a metaphor here.
Featured image source: Flickr by Willem Velthoven, puppet by Nadya