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.
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.
OCE says they’ve been looking at the current Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee for more than a year to confirm suspicions that, essentially, Bachus, an active trader, was operating like a stock-options superuser! OK, maybe not exactly, because you gotta think Bachus woulda banked more than a few thousand bucks here and there if he were truly the Russ Hamilton of Wall Street politics. But still …
DC Power Broker? A leader in the cause of stifling online poker, seen here with his wife at an event honoring Rafe Furst and Phil Gordon, two Full Tilt Poker pros.
Regardless of whether or not this level of OCE censure might ultimately land Bachus in prison a la Martha Stewart (it’s often a fine line between unethical and illegal) Bachus’ woe is a big win for poker because such allegations alone effectively neutralize his power and influence on Capitol Hill. In the War on Poker, Bachus has been a General for the other side post-UIGEA, and twice before has shown the ability to stop online poker legalization efforts in their tracks by persuading other members to line up behind him on our issue. But not this go-round, it would seem …
The final update before the Main Event for me, as it’s final table time in the $5,000 NL Holdem 6-max event. The final table is now four-handed consisting of Josh Brikis, Sean Keeton, Matt Hawrilenko, and Faraz Jaka. Jonas Wexler and Matthew Waxman finished 5th and 6th respectively. Live updates are available at www.wsop.com
Ante Up for Africa is being filmed now for ESPN, and it has plenty of Full Tilt Poker pros with Rafe Furst, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Phil Gordon, Erik Seidel, Jennifer Harman and John Hennigan appearing at the final table. Hopefully Dan and/or Jen will have more updates when there’s a result.
Friday afternoon starts the Main Event, and all the fun and chaos that brings to the Rio. Pokerati will be there to catch the action, so come back, please.
Cool event went down this week in Washington DC — a fundraiser for Put a Bad Beat on Cancer, where a bunch of politicos got together with Team Full Tilt Howard Lederer, Phil Gordon, and Rafe Furst to experience the joys of getting beginner poker lessons and playing in a terrible an exciting, luck-friendly blind-structure tournament (with rebuys!) … all for a good cause.
Had Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) read Joe Navarro, he’d know that we know he’s probably not being truthful when he says he’s happy to be there … unless, of course, that’s just his baseline response.
Multiple politicians admit to experimenting with poker “when I was in college.”
Barney Frank (D-MA) says he doesn’t play poker because he doesn’t enjoy it … but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to “repeal the foolish law that makes it illegal for people who want to gamble to gamble over the internet.” (So we can say “illegal” now?)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gets credited with having the best poker face … and I hope state legislators back home take note that even some gray-haired, vote-conscious conservatives are totally cool with poker.
Nice closing line by Lederer about politics being just another form of poker.