Posts Tagged ‘wendeen eolis’

One Win and One Loss

Update from the PPA on Full Tilt remissions and US court's skill game reversal

by , Aug 8, 2013 | 6:30 am

Last week, I shared with you a plan to get individual lawmakers involved in helping to expedite remission processing for those of us with accounts on Full Tilt Poker. I have very good news on that front. On August 1st, Full Tilt Poker Claims Administrator Garden City Group posted a status update on their website promising that the claims process will begin “shortly” and clarifying that remission will be based on final balances and not on deposits. I encourage you to read the entire statement on their website, atwww.fulltiltpokerclaims.com.

This announcement shows that progress is being made. Over the past several weeks, PPA and the poker community intensified its pressure on the DOJ and Garden City Group to expedite full remission of player funds. Even members of Congress began weighing in on behalf of their constituents. While many factors contributed to the timing of the announcement, there is little doubt player activism played an important role.

While this announcement is much-needed good news, we cannot rest now. We are seeking specifics, including dates for application, expected dates for processing, etc. We are also seeking as streamlined a process as possible.

U.S. vs. DiCristina Appeal Update
Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the U.S. vs. DiCristina ruling. The ruling was not contested on the basis of poker being a game of skill or not, so that remains intact. Here’s PPA’s statement on the unfortunate reversal:

“Today’s decision by the 2nd Circuit Court, while unfortunate, only adds to the growing call for federal clarity on the definition of gambling. The 2nd Circuit clearly did not dispute the district court’s finding that poker is a game of skill. This is a key point distinguishing poker from the types of gambling games that Congress and state legislatures have often tried to prohibit. What the court did was conclude that the IGBA does not set forth an independent federal definition of gambling, but instead only incorporates state law.

“Ample academic studies and judicial rulings at the state and federal level have concluded that poker is indeed a game of skill. Period. The PPA will continue to advocate for a clear, federal definition of gambling as a game predominated by chance, thus preserving the right of Americans to play this great game of skill.

“The PPA stands ready to support Mr. DiCristina should he choose to appeal this decision, and we are committed to working through the judicial and legislative processes to establish a clear definition of gambling based on the predominance test.”

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Redemption and Remission Song

DOJ + Stars align: players share their feelings about bankroll promises

by , Aug 2, 2012 | 2:05 pm

No surprise, QuadJacks was all over Tuesday’s news — as the story that originally put them on the map begins to come to a close some 15 months later. They did a series of quick, YouTubeable interviews throughout the day that you can listen to all together here. Was gonna highlight just a few, but by the time it was all said and done, I listened to the whole lot of them, well-hosted by Marco doing his best Frasier Crane of Poker.

Collectively they tell quite the narrative about a dramatic day’s impact across a representative patchwork of serious players who all had some sort of stake in the outcome. And while I’m loathe to do Zac and Marco’s work for them, here’s a rundown of what I spent my yesterday listening to (in the order I listened) instead of watching the Olympics even though Michael Phelps still plays poker.

Nolan Dalla – the WSOP media director speaking off-duty as he gets on various soapboxes to express anger at key Full Tilt figures and the “conspiracy of silence” among those (poker media included) who would rather cater to the poker masses’ desire for “jackass talk.”

Steve Preiss – Wicked Chops first told us about this story several months ago, and plenty of poker idiots out there didn’t believe it for a second — calling the deal “fiction” and “fantasy” while figuring WCP musta still been on tilt after the collapse of Epic Poker, which the consummate poker-insider indie-media op also reported ahead of anyone else. Here’s what Chops saw that others didn’t as the Stars-buys-Tilt deal emerged.

Jeff Ifrah – Ray Bitar attorney celebrates a “victory” as his client awaits trial in a California mansion and is still facing the rest of his life in prison for getting rich by lying to his customers about how awesome he and Full Tilt players were. But none of that matters because all Full Tilt ever wanted to do was clean up the mess that Bitar didn’t leave behind?

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Signed, Sealed, and Undelivered

Players on edge with latest claims that Stars deal to pay back Tilt players before 2013 is #DOJApproved

by , Jul 30, 2012 | 6:14 pm

Just when the poker masses had all but given up on the latest rumor about PokerStars settling with the DOJ … In just a few sentences published early on Friday in Poker Player Newspaper, Wendeen Eolis threw fuel on smoldering embers of hope for those still dreaming of someday seeing monies attached to Full Tilt Poker.

And though some are beginning to doubt yet again after more than one full business day, Wendeen’s assertion that Stars had indeed settled with the DOJ, and that Full Tilt players will be paid back in full (and rather soon!) was enough to make this rather vocal skeptic do a double-take and re-think. I know Wendeen chooses her words carefully, and she wouldn’t move in like this without the goods unless she has gone completely off her rocker — a possibility she addresses in a follow-up PPN update.

So while the poker world awaits some semblance of official word … I‘m gathering up $60 to pay off a few possibly lost bets, as I’ve had probably a 170-degree POV flip — and now see a DOJ vs. Online Poker endgame that might-could actually include PokerStars resolving its civil matters at the same time Full Tilt and UB players get made whole!

Probably a good time to put out the disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer but … Even though I still see the notion of criminal indictee #1 buying his freedom by offering to take the assets of criminal indictee #3 off the government’s hands for a fire-sale price as rather ridiculous, here’s some recent DOJ-SDNY hand history that I believe supports what Wendeen might be suggesting:

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PokerStars to Save the Day?

Murmurs and hubbub rising from the Full Tilt/GBT rubble

by , May 9, 2012 | 2:02 pm

You hear a lotta stuff … ok, maybe not so much now without 2+2 … but regardless, I go to our Manhattan-based pal Wendeen in matters of DOJ vs. Full Tilt/PokerStars et al … and sure, even though I was all over so-called poker radio screaming that there wasn’t a chance the supposed GBT/Full Tilt bailout plan would go through, Pokerati was just spouting on “instinct” and maybe “hunch” while Wendeen was collecting actual data to either confirm or deny various pieces of the ongoing online poker saga unfolding in her SDNY back yard.

Check out her latest in Poker Player Newspaper — Full Tilt Creates Drama at PokerStars. Wendeen doesn’t seem as willing as I am to flat-out scoff and pshaw at any suggestion that PokerStars could swoop in and “save” Full Tilt (while saving itself for less than a billion) … but she does provide more facts to put any emerging hubbub in context — including some rather interesting narrative about PokerStars’ designs on going public and American banking giant Morgan Stanley’s interest in online poker sites prior to Black Friday.

A good companion piece of reading is DiamondFlush’s GBT post-mortem, which includes the email Laurent Tapie sent to his extended inside circle, giving not only his presumably honest perception of the deal as it went afoul, but also insights into some of the hard, painful numbers in play.


Secrets of PokerStars Revealed?

DOJ financial pressure, culture of corporate camouflage, and the ultimate skill-game paradox

by , Feb 15, 2012 | 3:15 pm

Check out Wendeen Eolis’ story over at Poker Player Newspaper, the Manhattan-based poker journo who apparently isn’t gonna let the young whippersnappers at Subject:Poker and QuadJacks bastardize the reality of what’s going on in her courtside stomping grounds as this DOJ vs. old-school online poker story unfolds.

Just last week Wendeen laid out why the supposed “Tapie Deal” isn’t taking shape the way many purport (didn’t someone say FTP-Europe would be up and running by now?) … and she follows that up with a little shameless expose on PokerStars and the cloak of secrecy covering many of their operations — modus operandi she contends became the norm for a company that couldn’t at once be biggest in the world while still trying to fly beneath various legal radars.

From PPN:

Reports from current and former employees, consultants, business partners, Team Pro players, and media brought many verified vignettes that highlight the secretiveness of the company. The various accounts share a common theme; they all indicate a core value of camouflage that permeates so many of the company’s significant initiatives.

Yeesh, happy Valentine’s Day to someone!

Also extra-fascinating is a part of her story suggesting that PokerStars’ efforts to get poker declared a game of skill could be what does them in, financially, because of European tax laws.


Full Tilt Exit Strategy Begins to Emerge

DOJ to separate American players from rest of world

by , Nov 3, 2011 | 9:19 pm

Rock Paper Scissors? The last time a rich French dude came to New York to bail out the Americans was Rochambeau in 1781 — fewer than eight WSOPs before George Washington established the DOJ office currently trying to put the hurt on various Tiltboys.

Still trying to wrap my teeth around the latest chapter in the saga of the Rise and Fall of Full Tilt Poker, with the Bernard Tapie Groupe in France saying the DOJ has given them a thumbs up on the purchase of certain Full Tilt assets … with which they’ll supposedly be able to make-good with Full Tilt’s non-American players and resume non-American operations.

So if this is correct — and we can talk later why we presume more truth in this story than others before it — Preet Bharara and his top-ranked American prosecution office wouldn’t have to worry about the Euros … which would be good for the DOJ, I presume, because who needs to mess with the foreigners and the incredibly complex international litigation and trade wars they potentially bring … especially when the real prize Preet seeks is closer to $1 billion.

For a better understanding, be sure to check out Wendeen Eolis’s latest piece in Poker Player Newspaper — Decoding Full Tilt Poker – DOJ – Tapie Plans — which provides a much needed sobriety check and skillful reading between the lines. Even though she may not be on the frontlines like Subject:Poker, as a Manhattan legal consultant in her non-poker life, Eolis has been down to the battlefield a time or two … and seems to understand ways the Southern District of New York more intimately than most.

The Tapie deal does offer the first glimmers of light at the end of a long tunnel, but it seems American players might wanna hold off on calls for “ONE TIME!” lest they become self-fulfilling prophesies of disappointment and despair. Because for any justifiable exuberance over the likelihood that European and “rest of world” players might see PokerStars-style payouts before the end of 2011 … American players with online poker (bank?) accounts in limbo now know only that the DOJ will be looking at them separately in determining who’s a “victim” and who is Isildur1 who’s potentially a less deserving accomplice.


Battle Not-So-Royale over Control/Role of the WPA

by , Aug 20, 2008 | 3:20 pm

Very disappointing … I was hoping for a knockdown, claws-out blood brawl between Wendeen Eolis and Jesse Jones as the two try to position themselves to maintain and wield influence on the future of poker … but alas, Wendeen’s straight-from-the-horse’s mouth recount of the rise and stumble of the WPA takes a relatively sober look at how these types of organizations work, and sometimes how they don’t.

While the outgoing WPA leader does get in a few jabs at Jesse, her predecessor and succesor … where’s the vitriol, the bloodthirst, the instinct to kill-kill-kill!?!?!!!! C’mon, we’re living in an MMA era … and unless you two are gonna both make it to the final table in the next WSOP seniors event, how can we expect good TV ratings if we don’t get to watch poker industry stalwarts violently wrestle for power?!? The web is good enough for being cagey, but next time lets take it to the Octagon!

WPA’s opening shots here.

Part 1 of Wendeen’s response here.

Pokerati on the WPA here.


Whispers From the WPA

by , Jun 19, 2008 | 7:33 pm

A little birdie with close ties to the WPA told us that the organization is in the process of rebuilding from the semi-disarray left when Wendeen Eolis resigned approximately one week into the WSOP. While the original press release noted that Eolis’ departure was warm and fuzzy, the fact that 8 board members resigned when she did indicated otherwise. Jesse Jones stepped back into the Chairman role and according to said birdie, already has a restructuring of sorts in the works.

A statement is forthcoming in the next day or so, but the gist of it revolves around membership. Anyone who has signed up for a membership previously, whether it has been renewed or not, will be an active, voting member going forward if they choose. No financial contribution to the WPA will be required. After a year to 18 months, when the organization has firmly established programs and benefits that are valuable to its members, there may be a reconsideration of membership dues or a plan in place that would require a small fee to access those benefits.

The overall goal seems to be a reorganization, reestablishment of goals, and a renewed energy to move forward. For the WPA, a non-profit with the best of intentions, this may be the best approach. The public needs to know that the WPA is in good hands and has realizable goals to pursue.

More info as the WPA releases it, or as the birdie chirps.


WPA: Destination Unknown

Wendeen Departs, Jones Returns

by , Jun 12, 2008 | 3:35 pm

The WPA announced today that Jesse Jones has returned to his status as Chairman of the Board of the organization in the wake of the resignation of Wendeen Eolis.

It came on strong. Jesse Jones started the World Poker Association with the best of intentions, and using his solid reputation in the industry and a goal-laden pitch about developing uniformity in tournament poker rules globally, the WPA energized the poker community. Integrity, worldwide, rules – all words that appealed to tournament players. Membership grew, especially with the WPA’s strong presence at the 2007 WSOP. Joseph Hachem joined the board, players anted up to become founding members, and a solid base was built.

Time went by. More time went by.

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Jew Poker

by , Mar 22, 2007 | 5:25 am

I’ve got a fun little speaking gig this weekend — visiting the Beth Torah men’s club to talk poker.

Last year’s appearance
went well — in fact, click here if you’ve got 90 minutes to kill listening to some questionable audio — but while regaling the breakfast crowd with poker-boom lore, home-game theory, and tales from the WSOP, I did stumble on one question … “Are there any Jewish poker pros?”

“Absolutely,” I said. “A lot of them. Like, um … uh … um … oh! Barry Greenstein! He’s Jewish, right? Wait, is it GreenSTEEN or GreenSTINE? I never remember.”

Oy.

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