Posts Tagged ‘Chris Ferguson’

February 25, 2013

Ferguson Forfeits Additional $2.5mm to Settle with Feds

Contribution to player repayment pool allows for future work in legal gaming

Chris Ferguson bannerFormer World Series of Poker champion Chris Ferguson, whose career has been derailed for almost three years following the U.S. government’s crackdown on Internet poker, has settled with federal prosecutors.

According to court documents, Ferguson agreed to forfeit millions of dollars he earned as a founder and principal in Full Tilt Poker, one of three online gambling businesses whose access to American customers was cut off in April 2011 following a slew of criminal indictments.

The eight-page settlement was signed by Ferguson and his attorneys and federal prosecutors on Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of New York City approved the agreement Thursday.

The case stems from a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department in September 2011, which alleged Ferguson, fellow poker player Howard Lederer and other Full Tilt owners defrauded online customers out of $443.8 million.

Government prosecutors labeled Full Tilt Poker nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme. The website’s owners and operators were accused of diverting funds from gamblers into their own pockets.

More…


December 20, 2012

Lederer Settles with DOJ

Agreement to forfeit > $1.5 million over 3 years could be his biggest win

Howard LedererPoker superstar Howard Lederer, facing a $42.5 million civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice over his leadership role with a tarnished online gambling company, agreed Tuesday to settle the case, forfeiting more than $2.5 million in cash and assets.

In a stipulated settlement filed at the U.S. District Court in New York City, Lederer, once one of the most revered players on the poker circuit, did not admit to any wrong-doing in the case that stemmed from the April 2011 crackdown by federal prosecutors on illegal Internet poker operations.

However, Lederer, 49, who was nicknamed “The Professor,” by the poker world, agreed to a two-part money settlement with the government, which includes a civil money-laundering penalty of $1.25 million and $168,000 that will be liquidated from various bank accounts.

Lederer agreed to pay the penalty in two installments, due 18 months and 36 months from now. The penalties are secured by Lederer’s two Las Vegas homes in the ultra-exclusive The Ridges area of Summerlin.

More…


September 13, 2012

Instapoker

Chris Ferguson Wins and then Chris Ferguson Loses

Ole Schemion
Photo: Partouche Poker


Ole Schemion €1,172,850 – Partouche Poker Tour Main Event
Chris Ferguson £87,640 – UKIPT Newcastle Main Event
Mark Edwards $107,730 – WPT Regional Jacksonville
David Benyamine €94,050 – WPT Rendez-Vous à Paris PLO


Chris Ferguson wins a poker tournament! Ridiculous use of an exclamation point (with apologies to Jess Welman) and it wasn’t the same Chris Ferguson who is currently under indictment by the Department of Justice. But it did give a small moment of humor during a time when there are few remotely chuckle-worthy things going on in the world of poker.

Chris “Not Jesus” Ferguson won the UKIPT Newcastle Main Event at the same time German Ole Schemion was busy winning the absolutely final Partouche Poker Tour Main Event. Schemion picked up €1,172,850 for his victory and defeated some of the hottest pros in the world right now including Dan Smith’s Nubs and Dan O’Brien. It was an unfortunate way to end a tour which had become a popular destination and was drawing many top players from the States.

In other news, the WSOP announced the ten finalists for the 2012 Poker Hall of Fame class. There are six new names on the list with four returning from last year in Scotty Nguyen, Jenn Harman, John Juanda, and Tom McEvoy. Two great new additions to the nomination list include a couple of top non-American players with Chris Bjorin and Thor Hansen. Ballots are being sent out to voters with results being reported at the beginning of October and the ceremony during the November Nine (refuse to call it October Nine) ceremonies.

You can check out the full list on the link above.

Link Dump

Tweet of the Day – Doyle Brunson voiced his Hall of Fame support for old time gambler Brian “Sailor” Roberts as well as Juanda, Harman, and Drache

DOJ Files Second Amended Complaint; Alleges Lederer Funded Assets with Unlawful Proceeds – Looks like the DoJ isn’t quite done dropping the hammer on the FTP gang and would like a few dollars from them. A second amended complaint is looking for $137,000,000 in forfeitures from Lederer, Ferguson, Bitar, and Furst.

Reid poker bill would prohibit all interstate and intrastate online gambling except horse racing and online poker – QuadJacks has a nice breakdown of the Harry Reid/Jon Kyle online gaming bill floating around Congress. Interesting developments including States will need to Opt In instead of that being the default position. They also posted a transcript of the Reid/Kyl summary. (Can someone please teach the boys at QuadJacks how to write a goddamn headline?)

WCOOP Final Table Coverage – Since I’m writing about the out-spoken ones, QuadJacks has been getting some pretty decent traffic for their live WCOOP Final Table coverage online. There are few options for U.S. bound players to watch the World Championship of Online Poker but they are a good option.

WCOOP 2012: Inside the PokerStars Radio Studio – For a very entertaining listen during the WCOOP, you should check out PokerStars radio with the always jovial Joe Stapleton. Friend of the Pokerati Brad “Otis” Willis has a fun look behind the scenes.

PokerNews Weekly: Latest Tournament Winners, Partouche Controversy and WCOOP Radio – PokerNews Kristy Arnett and Sarah Grant discuss the latest poker developments.

Posted by at 1:00 pm

February 16, 2012

“Real Talk” with Daniel Negreanu

Says it's OK to be gay and/or a vigilante

I watched it … you probably will, too. Draw your own conclusions from a pre-launch YouTube timeline that starts with “Kangaroos and Emus” and “Get Out of the Friend Zone!!!” then goes to “Your Anus?” and “Closet”. One thing I couldn’t help but notice on this relatively brand-new DNegreanu YouTube channel is that there’s not a PokerStars logo anywhere near it.

Daniel Negreanu is keepin’ it real for his fans with a new V-log that talks about Jason Somerville’s coming out of the closet to him — yay, go gay poker pros! — and then sympathizes with poker players who might inflict testicle-centric violence on Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, and Chris Ferguson.

Negreanu’s disdain for the Full Tilt empresarios is from the gut, you can tell, but gotta say … his calling for essentially the equivalent of a lifetime ban — hoping/encouraging-by-proxy all poker players to shun them forever — sounds ironically similar to KidPoker’s childlike rants against Clonie Gowen back in ’08, when he beckoned for a poker-worldwide ostracization of Clonie after she filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against … um … Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar, and Chris Ferguson (among others) … claiming they ripped her off and that Full Tilt Poker was a shadier operation than many might believe. LOL-oops? (Tune in next week!)

Posted by at 1:58 pm

October 3, 2011

Where is the Collective Outrage?

When I looked at the numbers, I had to re-evaluate

tom schneider political humor

Tom Schneider


OP-ED

Ed. Note:  Shortly after Tom wrote this piece, the AGCC revealed that some $330 million had been seized pre-Black Friday. I sent an email asking if this changed the math, to which Tom replied, “That’s almost all that they owed to players, just short $60 million which is purportedly what they had in the bank.  Makes my case even stronger.”


Just yesterday, I heard the news that the Department of Justice accused Full Tilt Poker of running a Ponzi scheme.  A Ponzi scheme is defined as a pyramid investment swindle in which supposed profits are paid to early investors from money actually invested by later participants.

I object your honor.  Taking money I deposit and distributing it to owners is no Ponzi scheme.  But wait, let’s look at some facts/guesses.

Had our politicians not passed a law that restricted financial institutions from transferring money to and from poker sites, all players would still have their money. 

In reviewing the DOJ complaint and other sources, the following information jumped out at me:

Money owed to players  ($390 million)
Cash on Hand, Seized or Frozen Cash, Deposits not Received From Players
Money seized by US Government $115 million
Deposits not received from players* $180 million
Money frozen by banks $42 million
Money in Full Tilt bank accounts $60 million
$397 million
Shortfall to pay account holders None/Zip/No Shortfall

More…

Posted by at 8:00 am

September 20, 2011

DOJ Adds Lederer, Ferguson, Furst to Online Poker Civil Complaint

Feds call FTP a ponzi scheme, may or may not be listening to QuadJacks

So much to say on this latest development … which has two former “heroes” of poker on the front page of CNN for their involvement with criminal activity. About to go on QuadJacks to discuss it live.

full tilt doj chris ferguson howard lederer cnn

In the meantime, and while you’re listening, here’s the DOJ press release that calls Full Tilt Poker a $440 million Ponzi scheme.

And here’s the actual crime novel of the DOJ-SDNY’s proposed amendment to the complaint.

And read below for a statement from the PPA, calling on the DOJ not to forget about the players as they continue to shut it all down.

More…

Posted by at 5:05 pm

June 10, 2011

Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (Ep 08)

Tao of Pokerati, 2011 WSOP

Please forgive any apparent smugness of prescience … I didn’t know about the appeals court ruling when Pauly and I recorded an episode two days ago, where we addressed certain ironies about neither Clonie Gowen nor the people who may or may not have wanted to squash her being at the WSOP.

Pauly published yesterday, and even though we’ve got a fancy autofeeder here at Pokerati, I did not … but LOL(ish) … this episode was next in the queue:


Dan and Dr. Pauly hang out in the hallway and try to figure out what the 2011 WSOP is missing…
2011 WSOP – Episode 8: Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (4:22) – Dan and Pauly try to pinpoint which pros are noticeably absent (Clonie, Jesus, Howard Lederer), while Eskimo Clark sightings have been rampant. They also try to figure out where the old Bat Beat Bar and Lounge went and why its been replaced by a oxygen bar.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.

Posted by at 11:54 am

September 16, 2010

Poker Hall of Fame Breakdown (Part One)

With the 2010 Hall of Fame voting underway amongst readers of Pokerati, it makes sense to try and take an objective look at the players to see what their contributions have been and whether they merit entry into the Hall come November. Now, there are standards that all voters are expected to consider during the process, and I hope to reflect that throughout this series. With that said, it does make sense to put up some stats on each player before delving into the reasons for why I would/wouldn’t vote for them, so here are the categories I will look into:

  • Age (because I am a proponent of the Chip Resse Rule)
  • Time active in poker as a professional
  • Recognized Tournament/Cash Stakes played at both peak of performance and now
  • Tournament Accolades (WSOP/WPT/EPT Titles/Cashes, relevant important other tournament wins)
  • Contributions off the felt

At the end of each candidate I will add my own personal thoughts as well as how many points I would give a particular person (out of 10) if I felt like I just had to vote for the candidate on the ballot. Just for reference, I think I need to at least explain the “final score” a little bit. If a 1 is “Not Deserving” and a 10 is “Should have already been inducted”, and the other numbers are varying degrees between the two extremes. A 5 would be that they are deserving of entry in the hall, but not necessarily this year. So you can do the math to figure out where things far. At the end of this series, I will take the three highest point totals and use that to determine who I would vote for on my ballot for this year’s HoF class. I may not have a vote, but I might be able to help persuade others that may.

Because of the obvious length this would inevitably be if I did all 10 players in one go; I’ll be going in alphabetical order in a four part series. The first three, which you can see by clicking below, are Chris Ferguson, Barry Greenstein, and Jennifer Harman(-Traniello).

More…

Posted by at 9:39 pm

June 2, 2010

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 6 Evening Edition

Recapping the Wednesday afternoon action at the Rio, with the reminder that you can follow the live updates over at www.PokerNews.com

$1,000 NL Final Table

Four remain at the $1,000 No-limit Holdem final table, with Gabe Costner (4,300,000) holding the chip lead over Deepak Bhatti (3,400,000), Aadam Daya (2,200,000) and Bart Davis (1,800,000) . Nicholas Mitchell ($154,425), Cory Brown ($116,141), Isaac Settle ($88,025), Dash Dudley ($67,221) and Richard Rice ($51,375) were the first five to exit the final table to collect their winnings.

$1,500 NL Final Table

Eight players are currently seated at the final table of the first $1,500 No-limit Holdem of the WSOP, playing down to a winner tonight. David Tuthill will be the chip leader (2,000,000) when the remaining eight players return from dinner break. Tomer Verda is close behind with 1,822,000 while David Sands (636,000) and Praz Bansi (600,000) towards the back of the pack. Dwyte Pilgrim picked up his first career WSOP cash, finishing 21st for $15,222. Others who fell short of the final table include Yuval Bronshtein (12th for $29,795) and John Myung (17th for $18,809).

Sextet of Six-Seated Shootout Stars Settling

The $5,000 No-Limit Holdem Shootout so far has seen Brent Hanks and Neil Channing the first two winners moving on to Thursday’s final table. Blair Hinkle, John Duthie, Chino Rheem, and Heather Sue Mercer are among the remaining 14 players trying to earn one of the final four seats.

Lowball Leaves Field in Lurch

The $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball field is down to 37, with just 30 making the money this evening. The current chip leader (151,000) is Jordan Siegel, recognizable by most people as the MC for the NBC Heads-Up event at Caesars’ Palace in Las Vegas. Other notables looking to cash: Ted Forrest, Allen Kessler, Greg Mueller, Tony G and Rob Hollink. For Team Pokerati watchers, Pat Poels is hanging in there with 63,000, while Tom Schneider was knocked out in early action.

Another $1,500 Gets Underway

The second $1,500 No-Limit Holdem event drew a field of 2,341 entrants, with less than 800 returning after their 90-minute dinner break to play the final four levels of day 1 tonight. The 243 finishers get paid, and some of the names to watch for when play resumes: Mark Seif, Jean-Robert Bellande, Shaun Deeb, Barry Shulman and Lee Watkinson.

Posted by at 8:40 pm

(Way) Outside the WSOP – Day 6

Recapping the Tuesday night action, with two events finishing earlier this morning:

Grinder chews up competition in 50k

Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi overcame a 3-1 chip deficit during heads-up to defeat Vladimir Schemelev and win his first WSOP bracelet along with $1,500,000 in the $50,000 Players’ Championship . Schemelev collects over $960,000 with his runner-up finish. David Oppenheim, who was chip leader when the remaining five players took their dinner break, finished third for $603,348. John Juanda ($436,865) and Robert Mizrachi ($341,429) finished fourth and fifth respectively. You can read Nolan Dalla’s tournament report here.

Chow Main Man in Omaha 8

The other bracelet awarded this morning was the $1,500 Omaha 8 or Better event, won by Michael Chow, defeating long-time pro Dan Heimiller in heads-up action. Chow picks up $237,140 for the win, while Heimiller adds $146,505 to his long list of cashes. Full results for this event along with Nolan’s tournament report can be found over at wsop.com.

Final table set in $1,000 NL

The $1,000 No-Limit Holdem is down to a final table, resuming at 2:30pm after plans to play to a finish this morning were scuttled. The final table almost had the first father and son to play the same final table, but Irving Rice’s elimination in 10th place meant his son Richard would take up the charge to win a bracelet. Here’s how the final table will be seated, you can follow the live updates this afternoon at PokerNews.com:

Seat 1: Dash Dudley — 1,355,000
Seat 2: Bart Davis — 1,355,000
Seat 3: Nicholas Mitchell — 1,280,000
Seat 4: Deepak Bhatti — 400,000
Seat 5: Gabe Costner — 1,830,000
Seat 6: Richard Rice — 700,000
Seat 7: Aadam Daya — 2,855,000
Seat 8: Isaac Settle — 970,000
Seat 9: Cory Brown — 2,315,000

$1,500 NL down to 23 for Day 3

The $1,500 No-Limit Holdem event has 23 players remaining when play resumes at 2:30pm this afternoon, playing down to a winner. The chip leader is Vincent Jacques with 1,498,000. Notables remaining include Praz Bansi (616,000), online stars David Sands (628,000) and Yuval Bronshtein (498,000), along with three-time WSOP Circuit ring winner Dwyte Pilgrim (209,000). The full list of remaining players is available at wsop.com.

Shootout Day 2

36 players, each guaranteed $16,607, remain in the $5,000 No-Limit Holdem Shootout when play resumes at 2:30 today. The remaining players will be seated at six six-handed tables. Those winners return Thursday for the final table, with the winner earning $441,692. Among the notables who won their table yesterday: Chris Ferguson, John Duthie, Chad Brown, Tom Dwan, Christian Harder, Blair Hinkle and Justin “Boosted J” Smith. The list of survivors can be found here.

Hanna Leads Lowball Enthusiasts

The $2,500 2-7 Triple Draw drew a field of 291 entrants for a 5pm start. After ten levels thet field was reduced to 87, with Salim Hanna the chip leader with 65,400 when play resumes Wednesday at 3pm. Plenty of big names remain including Hoyt Corkins, Allen Kessler, Jeff Lisandro, Scott Seiver, Ted Forrest, Barry Greenstein, and Archie Karas. For Team Pokerati followers, Tom Schneider finished 12th with 43,200 in chips, Pat Poels was 46th with 21,000, while Julie Schneider was eliminated on day 1. A full list of chip counts will be available soon at wsop.com.

More No-Limit On Tap

Wednesday has just one event starting today, the second $1,500 No-Limit Holdem event of the WSOP, with a 12pm start. The second $1,500 of the 2009 WSOP was won by Pete “The Greek” Vilandos, winning over $600,000 in a field of 2,506. PokerNews will have constant updates available throughout the day as the field plays ten one-hour levels.

Posted by at 5:55 am

May 20, 2010

Chris Ferguson (and His Father) Hosting Seminar at UCLA

click to enlarge

Team Full Tilt SuperPro and poker TV-star Dr. Chris Ferguson is headed back to his alma mater next week, holding a panel discussion at UCLA to engage an enormous mass of youthful, energetic brainpower.

The event is called:

How to make an online poker site with avatars that smile

Betting on Chris “Jesus” Ferguson: Math, Computer Science and Poker

Fellow panelists will include a few other academic types, including the ever-wise father of Jesus, and Bill Chen.

Maybe coincidental maybe not, that Chris Ferguson is getting back in touch with a potentially loyal fan base during the very last week of May. Even with no intent other than to visit his old college to talk some hardcore math, the seminar should provide great footage of him not at a poker table nor wearing a Full Tilt patch, you know, just in case … as Rod Blagojevich can attest there are times in a man’s career when he might wanna embark on a book tour even when you don’t yet have a book to sell.

The free event is Monday, May 24, from 6 to 7:30 pm PT. If you can’t make it to UCLA, you can watch it live on Ustream here, and engage in twitter-chat with the hashtag #uclagametheory.

Posted by at 3:43 am

April 5, 2010

Federal grand jury investigating Full Tilt Poker

Indictments coming for Jesus, Howard and others?

The Financial Times in London is reporting that a federal grand jury in Manhattan has been investigating Full Tilt Poker and is ready to indict the online poker site along with several players who represent the site, including Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer for possible money laundering and gambling violations. The article notes that FBI agents and/or prosecutors have spoken with at least two people involved in disputes with Full Tilt Poker.

Attorneys on both sides aren’t saying anything right now, but expect more news to come out when an announcement of possible indictments in the near future.

Posted by at 11:18 am

February 10, 2010

Forbes Cover Story: US government cracking down on online poker?

A cover story in the latest issue of Forbes magazine (the main story asking if Al Qaeda is bankrupt) features an article discussing the US government’s possible crackdown on online poker with the impending June 1 deadline for the UIGEA to be enforced. The article can be found on their website here and includes a slide show of the big names behind online poker.

Posted by at 4:58 pm

February 2, 2010

Full Tilt Million Dollar Cash Game

So little gets me excited about poker these days … unless, of course, it includes Pot-Limit Omaha or somebody getting sued/arrested. (C’mon HSP, can we just get one episode of PLO? Just to hear Gabe Kaplan talking about it. Promise not to sue you if you use this idea.)

But I stumbled across this last night — a game I read about on the internet back when it was being recorded (I believe in September). It’s just a regular-ole episode (Season 4 Ep. 3). But still much more exciting on video than anything I read about online, and way better than the Poker Stars Million-Dollar Challenge, not to mention Face the Ace:

Starring:

Patrik Antonius
Tom Dwan
Mike Matusow
Chris Ferguson
Gus Hansen
Allen Cunningham
Andrew Feldman
Isildur1

[via LV Poker Source]

Posted by at 1:02 pm

October 1, 2009

Yet Another Full Tilt Lawsuit: Not Bots, Plaintiffs Say

Two players in California have sued presumable principals of Full Tilt Poker in LA Superior Court. Lary Kennedy (aka Poker Girl) and Greg Omotoy (a Vegas-reared LA nightclub manager) claim that Full Tilt confiscated $80,000 from their accounts, believing they were bots.

We haven’t seen the legal docs yet, but named in the lawsuit: Chris Ferguson, Mike Matusow, Howard Lederer, and Phil Ivey (a November Niner).

From TMZ.com:

Poker Legends Sued for Robot Fraud

For all the obvious attempted shakedowns and plausibly legit payment beefs, this one (not sure how much they are seeking in damages) could be downright fascinating — on its surface at least — because it cuts to some key issues that are super-relevant to the past, present, and future of online poker … where the decisions any court renders (assuming there’s at least a smidgen of factual basis for the claim) affect not just the plaintiffs and defendants, but 10s of thousands if not millions of players.

More…

Posted by at 10:47 pm