So you tell me … the new Old Spice commercial for a deodorant scent called “Hawkridge” features a poker player (from a pre-Texas Hold’em era, obv) engaging in the ultimate surrender, albeit under duress …
Neither representatives from Old Spice nor the Lederer estate could be reached for comment when I voiced an inquiry in the general direction of relevant properties in this matter. (Kinda West-Southwest.)
OK, carry on … no matter how you or anyone around you smells.
Former 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.
Poker 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.
The Internet never forgets … at least if you leave your abandoned Twitter account alive and public. Thanks to that decision from former Full Tilt Poker muckity-muck Howard Lederer, we were able to comb through his tweets from the past to bring you these nuggets that are vastly more entertaining now in light of Full Tilt’s purported foibles.
Fully Tilted? Nick DiVella is still waiting for his roll from a player sometimes seen in the Ivey Room at Aria.
Howard Lederer might be re-emerging in the nosebleed cash games of Las Vegas, but some players are so upset about the former Full Tilt leader’s return to the felt that they began circulating a petition to get him banned from live poker.
“We believe the casino has a moral and ethical obligation to bar Howard Lederer from playing in the poker room and should Aria casino fail to take immediate action we, the poker playing community, will be forced to boycott the poker room,” the petition reads.
Local pro Nick Divella, 24, crafted this plea to fellow players at Aria, asking them to boycott the room if Lederer was allowed to play there again.
Aria management, however, had “a long talk” with him explaining why they had to remain neutral and couldn’t allow him, or anyone for that matter, to solicit signatures on their property.
DiVella, a regular in the 5/10NL and 10/20NL games, said he had talked to upwards of 50 players who already had agreed to sign it, and has since taken his cause online. Read the petition here.
“It tilts me to no end,” explained DiVella, who says he loves playing at Aria but but doesn’t want to see the disgraced Full Tilt empresario sitting behind big stacks in his favorite poker room, as it would almost certainly have a negative impact on his own non-Ivey Room play.
Vanessa Selbst $90,693 – Festa Al Lago $5,000 NLH
Melanie Weisner $41,289 – WPT Johannesburg $1,000 NLH
Amanda Musumeci $31,851 – WSOP Hammond $580 NLH
Greg Raymer $72,089 – Heartland Poker Tour Iowa
It was a very good weekend for the fairer sex* at the poker tables, with three of the top women poker players earning victories within hours of each other.
Online grinder Melanie Weisner picked up her first open tournament victory in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em side tournament at the World Poker Tour South Africa event. East coast grinder Amanda Musumeci won her first WSOP Circuit ring at the Hammond Horseshoe, defeating Wendy Freedman heads up to collect. Finally it was uber-grinder/mad poker machine Vanessa Selbst casually winning the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Festa Al Lago series against a few decent players like Negreanu, Justin Young, Andrew Lichtenberger, Dan Shak, and Chris Bjorin at the final table.
* – Yes, I am a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, neanderthal
Their success overshadowed another top result for 2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer, again capturing a title at a Heartland Poker Tour stop. He topped the 185 player field in metropolitan Altoona, Iowa for his third HPT title in his last three attempts. Not a bad batting average. Raymer’s last four results:
1st place Heartland Poker Tour Albuquerque – $71,875
35th place The River Poker Series – $1,288 (slacker!)
1st place Heartland Poker Tour St. Louis – $121,973
1st place Heartland Poker Tour Iowa – $72,089
Tweet(s) of the Day – The twitter world got their haunches up when a Mr. Howard Lederer decided to play Festa Al Lago at the Bellagio. Christian Harder was the first I saw mention it, including standing next to him in line, but word spread quickly. This is the first time he has been seen in a tournament room, although Lederer has been seen playing cash games recently.
Howard Lederer is in the building, rumor is he will play. — Christian Harder (@realcharder30) October 23, 2012
Howard Lederer is next to me at the cage. Just asked if you sign up for the tournament here so I’m guessing we will see him in there. — Christian Harder (@realcharder30) October 23, 2012
And Howard appears at my table. — Christian Harder (@realcharder30) October 23, 2012
Sorry, Mr. Online Poker. Nobody Cares About You – Most have already put eyes on this article but it’s worth a rehash. PLO expert Jeff Hwang penned this article DailyFinance.com looking at the real numbers behind possible online poker legalization/regulation.
EU tightens up online gambling controls – Looks like the European Union will turn the screws a little more, all in the name of “money laundering” and “match-fixing”. Tough to feel bad for our Euro friends since they can still access PokerStars.
Full House with Johnny Chan – This trailer for a new poker show with Johnny Chan is horrible beyond words, not even the good kind of unintentional comedy horrible.
Ari Engel $55,503 – WSOPC Hammond $1,125 NLHE
Eddie Ochana $44,281 – WSOPC Hammond $1,125 NLHE
Matthew Weber $135,475 – Punta Cana Poker Classic
Another week in the books and players are scattered around the globe 5-bet shoving their way to glory. The World Series of Poker Circuit Hammond Main Event is underway with an impressive showing while a several hundred players have taken the long flight to Johannesburg, South Africa for their first World Poker Tour event. Players in Hammond have to worry about less than stellar facilities/rulings while those in South Africa are going on safaris and dodging wild animals.
Coin flip if you ask me.
After these festivals are done, players will blast off to populate other tournaments in Florida (WPT), Barcelona (WPTN), Albuquerque (HPT), and Iowa (MSPT) for the next in eternal search of temporary glory.
Tweet of the Day – So the oldest kid in poker would not kick Howard Lederer out of his game but probably forgets telling his fanboys that he deserved “few swift baseball bat swings to the groin area”.
To answer other questions: if HL sat down in my game I would not run him off. The other players want him in the game for obvious reasons.
Poker Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2012 – After the public and media rounds of voting, the WSOP announced Eric Drache and Brian “Sailor” Roberts as the latest inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame. Disappointed to not see Scotty Nguyen or Chris Bjorin on the list but these two are worthy. The induction ceremony will once again take place during the Main Event final table circus.
PokerNews Op-Ed: What Happened To Poker? – Donnie Peters penned an Op-Ed lamenting the demise of fun at the poker tables. As someone usually having too much fun at the tables, I generally agree with him. Although if serious money were on the line, I’d likely be up on assault charges when Ted Bort barked in my ear.
Liv Boeree @ WSOPE Cannes 2012 – This video runs a lot longer than most videos but since it involved Liv Boeree, metal, and Liv Boeree playing metal I deem it worthy of your attention. Fast forward to around the 3:30 mark if you just want girl on guitar action.
Benjamin Spindler €288,000 – EPT San Remo High Roller
Andy Denick $138,187 – HPT Daytona Beach
Karim El Rharbaoui €44,000 – FPS Sunfest
‘Twas not a terribly exciting weekend in the poker world but there were a few results around the world including the Heartland Poker Tour in Daytona Beach, San Remo High Roller, and the French Poker Series in Morocco (on a different continent not far far away from France). Our friends at HPT had another great turnout at the Daytona Beach Kennel Club and Poker room with a 35% increase over their last event, the winner Andy Denick with a nice 6-digit win.
The rest of the poker world stood by with baited breath as the poker world’s greatest ambassador* Daniel Negreanu promised to publish another rant** about all things Full Tilt Poker, Howard Lederer, Erick Lindgren, and everything else causing the slightest angst among the poker players of the world.
Instead we have this calm, clinical breakdown on his thoughts about just Lederer.
* – Not really
** – If that was a rant, Negreanu needs to adjust his meds
Full Tilt Poker affiliates won’t get paid – It’s a big, but not completely unexpected, punch to the gut of former FTP affiliates after the new company comes out with a statement saying “not my problem” when it comes to back payment.
Full Tilt Poker Signs Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom as “Professionals” – They haven’t even launched but FTP is already getting things lined up for those massive nosebleed cash games again. Dwan and Blom were two of the game regulars and neither has a whiff of controversy so this looks like another no-brain signing after Gus Hansen.
Official FTP (Pre)Relaunch Thread – Anyone who knows me will bear witness to my feelings about poker forums, but I suppose it’s about time to link up the 2+2 FTP Relaunch thread which contains some interesting information from Shyam “formerly FTPDoug” Markus. Surrounded by endless posts by mouth breathing nit-monkeys.
South Point Poker job openings – Want a job with a U.S. based online poker company? Your options are pretty slim out there but now it seems South Point Poker is hiring for a few positions. The “Poker Investigator” job could be interesting. Click the link to check them out.
The Final Table – Episode 2 – Another episode of The Final table with Russell Thomas and his November Nine prep team led by Jason Somerville.
Ah, the Las Vegas fall. It’s that time of year when the high temperatures finally drop into the 90s, pool season ends, barbecues begin and we enjoy a brief respite from the melting cars.
But the live poker scene around Las Vegas is starting to heat up again, after the summer break from the WSOP. Three of the big four rooms — Venetian, Bellagio, Caesars — are hosting fall tournaments. And the WSOP Main Event final table returns to the Rio later this month.
Even Howard Lederer made a ballyhooed return to high stakes cash games at Aria and Bellagio this week. He played in Bobby’s Room on Monday, the Ivey Room on Tuesday, and found his way back to Bellagio on Wednesday with a nosebleed crew that included Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, Chau Giang, and Nick Schulman. Lederer’s given no indication where he’s headed next, but I imagine he’s a little more than a DOJ seizure away from the .50/$1 game at Bill’s.
I wanted to snap a picture of Lederer when I saw him at Aria, but security threatened to ban anyone who did, and Dan’s not paying me enough to risk arrest or deportation, so … this twitpic posted to 2+2 will have to be good enough.
Roger Hairabedian €142,590 – WSOPE €5,300 Pot Limit Omaha
Giovanni Rosadoni €107,614 – WSOPE €3,250 NLH Shootout
Jon Aguiar €258,047 – WSOPE €10,450 Mixed Max NLH
Francisco Da Costa Santos €83,275 – WSOPE €1,650 PLO
Never a dull moment across the Atlantic at the World Series of Poker Europe, this time it was a bizarre ending to the €10,450 Mixed Max Event following a perfect storm of silliness. The tournament began it’s final heads up matches two days ago but was forced to pause the action when Brandon Cantu complained his way through a 9 hour match and then the final between Cantu and Jon Aguiar was paused because the casino was closing. I thought last call in a casino was silly, but closing it all down?
The match had to wait while both players were in the Main Event but both were knocked out on Day 1. Aguiar finally put this one to bed with his first career WSOP bracelet but there is no truth to the rumor he blamed Joe Sebok for the delayed victory. Cantu stayed true to form and spent several spastic minutes in front of the PokerNews video camera (video below).
PokerCast Episode 239 – Howard Lederer – TwoPlusTwo has a followup podcast with Lederer after his 7 hour PokerNews marathon. I haven’t had the time, or fortitude, to endure another 3 hours so I’ll wait until someone writes a recap.
Obama’s poker tells – So we can’t play online poker here in the States but we can use badly thought out poker metaphors when writing an op/ed about the Presidential election.
WSOPE 2012: Brandon Cantu Speaks his Mind – PokerNews has perhaps the single greatest stream-of-consciousness, whiny interview since the last time someone stuck a camera in Hellmuth’s face. God bless you Brandon Cantu, never change.
Ben Mahmoud €147,099 – WSOPE €2,700 6-handed NLHE
Antonio Esfandiari €126,207 – WSOPE €1,100 NLH Re-entry
Ben Hamnett $818,847 – World Poker Tour Borgata Open
Jeff Gibralter $133,648 – WSOPC Bossier City Main Event
Michael Harris $245,078 – HPT Golden Gates Casino
The World Series of Poker Europe is finally underway in Cannes and it didn’t take long for the excitement to ramp up. Antonio Esfandiari had a pretty decent summer with his Big One for One Drop win for $18 Million (minus paying off backers), seven WSOP cashes including the Main Event, and one other final table. After Event #2 at the WSOPE he can now be called a 3-time WSOP bracelet winner. There were 626 registered for the 2-day No Limit Hold’em Re-entry event and The Magician was the last player standing. He picked up €126,207 for his win and now leads the WSOP Player of the Year race.
Still a week of events remaining but now Greg Merson will need to finish 4th or better at November Nine to grab 2012 Player of the Year award.
The rest of the poker world is still talking about the Lederer Interview on PokerNews (except when the degenerates are complaining of lousy NFL replacement refs) and everybody with a website has posted their opinion, reaction, and theories. Some are insightful and some are drivel and some are humorous. You can find a few of the better ones listed below.
Tweet of the Day – Haralabos Voulgaris is usually commenting on the NBA or NFL but this time points out the recent WCOOP Main Event winner freerolled into the tournament after his usually game is $1.50 tournaments. Now the player has nearly $1 million to move up in stakes.
The kid who won Pokerstars WCOOP “Maratik” got in on a freeroll, his normal game was $1.50c tourneys He won 995,707 bit.ly/PVVltm
Barry Greenstein responds to Howard Lederer Interview – Greenstein is one of those on the list of players who were loaned money that wasn’t theirs, and now he pseudo-defends Phil Ivey while also hedging his comments with this beaut: “…I think that anyone who received disbursements after the company was insolvent, which was probably 18 months before Black Friday, got money that wasn’t theirs.”
The Mis-Lederer Files – Shamus is a Pokerati favorite (as well as my non-Pokerati self) and he has a great take on the Lederer interview released by PokerNews, not so much the information revealed but how it was told.
The Lederer Files Parts 5, 6, and 7 – Rini was there in the early days of FTP and has a good look at the Lederer interview. Some interesting inside information but I’m still unhappy with the glossing over of how the Phil Ivey lawsuit changed the how things played out. Plus Negreanu agrees with him so I’m required to automatically find issues with it.
Yorane Kerignard $182,292 – World Poker Tour Malta
Daniel Chaky $40,773 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #4
Lance Garcia $18,449 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #5
Robin Vannucci $17,711 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #6
Jonathan Taylor $16,201 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #7
Walan Kite $16,350 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #8
Plenty of action around the poker world, both on and off the tables. This week has one new WPT winnner, a boatload of new WSOP Circuit ring owners, and a new WPT Borgata Poker Open champion at some point later today. That final table has an interesting cast of characters including Steve Brecher, David Diaz, and Tyler Patterson after fan favorite Matt Brady was eliminated on the TV table bubble after a nasty beat. They are playing for over $800,000 and a shiny trophy.
The big news is off the table as PokerNews released their 7-part interview with Howard Lederer talking about the Full Tilt implosion, Black Friday, and pointing fingers at the entire universe with barely a mention of his role in the mess. There is a lot of information to get through and it is sometimes tough to listen. The interview does not provide many new facts not known already inside the poker world but it does confirm some stories.
It also provides plenty of ammunition for those who refuse to blame everyone responsible. Lederer and Bitar deserve every ounce of venom spewed their way (except for the death threats, those are childish/dangerous) but there is a set of people unwilling to spread it around. Phil Ivey and his ridiculous lawsuit. The list of people who gladly took massive “loans” against the player funds. The board members who didn’t immediately remove Bitar the moment they realized the mess they were in. They all deserve to be put on blast.
Phil Galfond Sues For Share Of Bluefire Poker Profits – I’ve often wondered what kind of traffic/business/signups these training sites pulled in and now we may have a little insight. Galfond was part of the Bluefire startup and made ~$400k over the first two years and now suing for his 2011 share.
BOOM documentary blog – After a few hiccups along the way, like a little government action on 15 April 2011, it looks like those behind the documentary BOOM are about ready to release their work product. I look forward to see it when released, below is the trailer they released over a year ago, and they have submitted the documentary to the Sundance Film Festival.
Matt Salsberg €380,000 – WPT Rendez-Vous à Paris
Pratik Ghatge £71,700- UKIPT London Main Event
Matthew Colvin $21,097 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #1
William Byrnes $20,440 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #2
Tom Franklin $11,930 – WSOPC Bossier City Event #3
It’s fun when something interesting happens in poker, especially when it’s on the results page. Something to temporarily make us forget the muddled, confused state of poker in the world. This week it was one of the fun guys in the game winning a big tournament across the Atlantic Ocean after grinding his way along for several years.
Matt Salsberg is better known as the man behind the scenes as a writer/producer for popular cable shows Entourage and Weeds. He is a regular at the Commerce Casino and a favorite among many of the professionals (especially Matt Stout, but I can’t imagine that has anything to do with “Weeds”). This weekend he put himself firmly on the poker map by winning the WPT Rendez-Vous à Paris at the Aviation Club beating a tough final table including Philipp Gruissem, Tim “Tim0thee” Adams, Mohsin “chicagocards1″ Charania, and Fabian Quoss. He defeated Theo Jorgensen heads up to grab the title and €380,000.
He then immediately hopped a plane to the States in enough time to catch Day 1B of the WPT Borgata Poker Open.
Tweet of the Day – While Salsberg was busy winning his WPT event, the folks at the Commerce put the live stream up on the big screens. Here Matt Savage checks it out while WhoJedi does the grunt work.
Exclusive: FTP Former Shareholder Speaks Out, Interview with Andy Bloch – The poker world has been waiting for some of the former Tilt owners to tell their side and first up is Andy Bloch. My favorite line from the interview is about the GBT offer on the table with a little jab at the PPT debacle, “I was in favor if the players had been “made whole”. But their version of ‘make whole’ is like the french definition of ‘guarantee’.”
The Lederer Files: An Introduction – The Bloch interview was a big deal for a few days but there comes word today from PokerNews about an interview with none other than Howard Lederer. That is a blockbuster scoop which every media outlet would have killed to nab. PokerNews has over 7 hours on video and will release them over a series of time. I suspect they will see a spike in viewers.
Feds eye poker champ’s assets – Of course that Lederer interview occurred on September 8th, before the DOJ filed a second amended complaint against him. Howard Stutz has a look at exactly what Lederer purchased with his ill-gotten gains including a few interesting looking automobiles.
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.
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
I’m going on record, Sailor Roberts is the most deserving player on the ballot. He lost credibility at the end of his life because of drugs.
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.
Buzz all over the internet spectrum about what may or may not happen in Washington DC with a Reid-Kyl online poker bill and the Barton Bill’s now-or-never moment and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) rallying GOP support and everyone else coming to grips with the reality that PokerStars will not be sponsoring the next One Drop event in an effort to save the world’s water supply.
Presumably the point of this hearing is to more officially assure everyone is on the same page — or at least currently reading the same chapter. Poker players can feel good that they have a seat at this table, which we should note and remember is covering all tribal gaming, not just online poker some day at the WinStar. Former Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV) is a PPA consultant — your special interest contributions at work! — and thus well aware of various player issues, from non-payment of Full Tilt players to cheating at UB. He’s sixth (out of six) on the witness list … putting players in a good position, and possibly in the role of the poker representative making closing arguments.