Posts Tagged ‘Howard Lederer’

Re: The Ultimate Who’s Who of Poker

by , Jul 1, 2012 | 8:03 pm

We’ve gotta move on from all this talk of Black Friday, I know … it was nearly a year and a half ago, and we’ll be hearing about its cases moving forward in various capacities probably for another 2+ years.n But if the million-dollar buy-in tournament without certain people does indeed kick off a new era in poker — a hypothesis I’m currently formulating from the mothership — then consider this a farewell to economic powerhouses in the industry who suddenly aren’t, as you can tell by their absence.

The question’s in the subhed … Who would probably be playing in a million-dollar buy-in tournament (who currently is not) were this tournament being held in 2010? I’ll start off with whom I’d put on my list … we’re gonna presume the cap wouldn’t be at 48 either … 64 maybe, or 72 or even 96, but we can start there — on assumption without fact that the WSOP woulda made this thing a little bigger had they counted on the likes of:

Howard Lederer
Andy Bloch
Chris Ferguson
Full Tilt Qualifier and/or PokerStars Qualifier
Tony G
Doyle Brunson
Scott Tom (?)

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“Real Talk” with Daniel Negreanu

by , Feb 16, 2012 | 1:58 pm

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!)


In Brief: Legal Biznass

by , Dec 8, 2011 | 6:26 pm

We spend so much time reading about poker legal developments here at Pokerati that we sometimes forget to share the relevant news before the cycle turns to something else … and then I complain that our readers here aren’t as smart anymore as they used to be? It doesn’t take a JD to see the flaw in my logic there. Thus, here’s a much-needed batch of recent highlights and hedlines to keep the incessant but important buzz in context … a semi-special link-dump, btw, brought to you by our new-good friends at LegalPokerSites.com:

First UIGEA Conviction in the Books The DOJ logged their first win on UIGEA charges — making the supposedly weak law thus far undefeated — against online sportsbook operator Todd Lyons. His arrest back in May 2010 shoulda been a big warning sign to American online poker operators (and players?) — and Full Tilt specifically — that the DOJ was coming to get them! [CalvinAyre.com]

First Black Friday Trial Date Set John Campos and Chad Elie, the Utah banker and PokerStars payment processor indicted for their role in online poker criminal activity, have a trial date in March … creating a tangible timeline for Black Friday cases and added pressure on the big fish the DOJ really wants — Isai Sheinberg, Ray Bitar, and Scott Tom. [Legal Poker Sites]

MGM Sues Poker Domain Squatters Just as Caesars sued (and won) to obtain the domain WSOP.com, MGM has filed suit to repossess the domains mgmpoker.com, bellagiopoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybaypoker.com, and ariapoker.com. Apparently the casino giant thinks they’ll have need for them soon. [VegasInc]

Barton Says Online Poker Bill Still Alive This Congress Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) gave a luncheon keynote at the DGLP, where he spelled out how his online poker bill is moving forward as a piece of stand-alone legislation and/or still could be absorbed into some omnibus bills. Pretty straight-forward, honest-sounding stuff as Barton even talks about his own live real-money play and admits to multi-accounting for play money on PokerStars. [Pokerati Soundcloud]

Adelson Balks at Readiness for Online Poker The poker masses got spun into a tizzy after Vegas politico Jon Ralston “reported” that Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson has been buzzing around DC that he is morally opposed to online gambling … and that age-verification technology isn’t ready yet. Ralston concludes that this could kill online poker’s chances in Congress as if Adelson alone is more powerful than the combined forces of Caesars, MGM, Steve Wynn, Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming, Michael Gaughan, et al. Quick to cry, some poker players have begun calling for a boycott of Venetian Poker. [Las Vegas Sun]

Nevada Regulations Almost Ready While so many chatter about complex details of future online poker, the Nevada Gaming Commission and State Gaming Control Board seem to be the only ones systematically moving forward with thorough, enforceable rules and regulations for online gaming. In one of the biggest overhauls to state gaming regs in history, they just released a whole bunch of revisions for licensure and suitable ownership that Big and Small casinos alike are paying close attention to. [gaming.NV.gov]

Fry Howie? Funny/sad, shortly after Black Friday I thought we might be seeing T-shirts that said “Free Howard!” not “Fry Howard!” But loyalty can be a fickle bitch when you eff up with someone else’s money. Hence this flash creation for players wishing to express their personal outrage against Full Tilt and Howard Lederer violently. [PokerListings]

UB Player Database Leaked Lots of offline debate over how and why nearly 3 million poker-player IDs leaked out. Work of a disgruntled employee or scuttling the ship before UB ultimately hits sea-floor? And will there be more such pressings of self-destruct? [Haley’s Poker Blog]

Rest o’World: Cyprus on Crackdown, South Africa’s Open-Market Mind, German Pre-unification Some of the other key political moves from the rest of the world, as the future of legal online poker (and gambling) actively takes shape … the mediterranean island that isn’t Malta doesn’t have moral opposition, they just want their cut (kinda like Kentucky) … while South Africa continues its progressive-minded movement from staunch opposition to tolerance to active support of online gambling … all while the German province of Schleswig-Holstein’s acceptance of new online poker rules is so big it actually moved some major market needles. [Legal Poker Sites]


Full Tilt Shutters Dublin Operations

by , Oct 24, 2011 | 11:49 am

Full Tilt laid off some 200 people on the Pocket Kings staff in Dublin last week — leaving pretty much just the head honchos, who apparently believe that ole Chris Ferguson bit about “a chip and a chair” too much and somehow still think they can salvage the company something.

Sucks for the Dubliners, but for the rest of us, that means 200 or more employees with insight into FTP operations over in Ireland, no real reason to necessarily protect certain information anymore, and access to 2+2.

Sure enough, at least two former employees from two different departments are posting away and answering questions. Check it out … worth the skim.

Nothing earth-shattering (yet … gotta figure anyone with the uber-goody dirt probably would go to the DOJ requesting immunity before turning informant) but the virtual deposition one former employee goes through provides plenty of color to paint a decent picture of what life was like in the middle of a corporate collapse … not to mention how the nouvea-poker-riche behave without the cash (and TV shows) that previously formed the foundation of their power.

For example, I learned:

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Where is the Collective Outrage?

by , Oct 3, 2011 | 8:00 am

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

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LUCKY US: More Poker Documentaries

by , Sep 22, 2011 | 4:58 pm

I can already call it … 2012 will be the year of poker documentaries. The desire to tell true-life tales about the rise and fall of online poker in the USA should reach fever pitch as a classic story of crime and punishment plays out on Court TV. Ooh, that’s just in theory, of course, as we don’t yet know what’s on the docket for 2012 in the Southern District of New York nor Court TV’s programming schedule for next year. But it’s almost enough to get my conspiracy bells ringing over WSOP-Europe’s move to Cannes and/or the trend of using ALL CAPS in titles.

A lot of you already know about BOOM: The Incredible True Story of Online Poker, produced by Cardrunners icons Taylor Caby and Jay Rosenkrantz. Now, also coming soon, we have ALL IN: The Poker Movie, produced by the relatively big-time 4th Row Films.

Apparently both Boom and All In were all (or almost) ready to go right before Black Friday … which kinda caused a narrative breakdown in their endings.

I sat for both these films (as a talking head) … but have no idea whether or not my parts ended up on the cutting room floor. Kinda bummed I didn’t end up in the teaser below for All In … but hey, I guess I can understand appearing lower in the credits than Howard Lederer and Annie Duke.

(Can only imagine how excited producers must have gotten over Bernie Madoff-level allegations against one of their “stars”!)

Release date (and New York premiere party?) scheduled for February 2012. I really can’t wait to see how it all ends … on the big screen as well as in real life.


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

by , Sep 20, 2011 | 5:05 pm

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.

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“Reported” Full Tilt Payback: Lederer Ships @ToddBrunson $150k?

by , Jul 19, 2011 | 11:52 pm

The 2011 WSOP wouldn’t be the 2011 WSOP without chatter about Full Tilt. And here, on the last day, Howard Lederer makes another appearance in Las Vegas, apparently at another Asian restaurant. But this time it was none other than Todd Brunson who had the unexpected run-in with the once-proud father-figure of Full Tilt Poker.

And Brunson reports — via the often unreliable Twitter — that he got paid his Full Tilt balance of about $150k … in a way that suggests Lederer is either going door-to-door making payouts (perhaps tidying up affairs before he has to “go away”?) or possibly just living out of his car …

Todd Brunson
He asked how much I had on tilt and I told him 150k.. He said come with me. We went to his car and he opened his trunk and paid me!!!!!! 23 hours ago
Todd BrunsonToddBrunson
Look who I just ran into.. I told him the wsop killed me and I was cash short…… http://lockerz.com/s/121600156 23 hours ago

Either way, the stress seems to be doing Lederer right, physically at least, as the previous poster boy for the well-fed high-stakes “poker body” seems to have shed a few (dozen?) pounds around the saddle.

howard lederer todd brunson

Persona non grata: You mean you haven’t been paid yet? Have you submitted your W-9?

And while it would be nice if someone really did get their Full Tilt balance refunded … it can’t be an ideal structure for payouts when they’re happening out of the trunk of a car, even if it is a $250k Audi.

Doyle said to have been buying up Full Tilt dollars at a discount

Meanwhile, since we’re relying on Twitter here … this seems as good a time to pass on a “rumor” that I feel confident enough about the source — someone inside Bobby’s Room — that it might reveal why Brunson’s father, Doyle, has been extra sour on poker as of late.

Supposedly, a few weeks ago, Doyle was playing in Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, and he was tweeting about his slaughter of Billy Baxter. Soon, talk shifted (off-Twitter) to Full Tilt’s money problems. Brunson reportedly said he was confident they intended to pay, and believed they eventually would … and with that began buying up Full Tilt accounts for about 60 cents on the dollar. Can’t confirm the exact amount he purchased … but the kinda money that people playing in the highest-stakes cash game in Vegas might have on Full Tilt Poker.

The next day, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt’s license, effectively shutting the site down indefinitely.


Appeals Court: Judge Kinda-Sorta Erred in Clonie Case vs. Full Tilt

by , Jun 10, 2011 | 11:39 am

Not sure yet what exactly this all means … but the case of Clonie Gowen vs. Team Full Tilt (that strangely never got to trial) is still alive in some capacity. A federal Appeals court ruled yesterday that the lower federal court — Nevada District — did indeed make errors in dismissing her claim against Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and various companies connected to Full Tilt.

Clonie Gowen’s lawsuit of course, was the first of what would prove to be many against various Full Tilt entities — at the time dismissed not just by a Las Vegas judge, but by the “poker world” and industy as a whole. Since then the belief that Full Tilt could do no wrong has definitely reversed itself … in American courts as well as the court of public opinion.

Clonie was seeking $40 million as a part-owner of Full Tilt. But my how times have changed … If she does finally get her day in court, certainly the valuation would have to be reassessed … and these days, were an American court to way declare that yes indeed you are an owner of Full Tilt, would that be a win?

Read below for a summary of the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco:

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Tony G to Pass on WSOP ’11, Too?

by , Jun 8, 2011 | 1:45 am

Hinted at it in the PAW post, but it probably deserves a hedline of its own, at least to note it for the record.

Tony G says he’s thinking of skipping the 2011 WSOP, too … but the reason he gives — not being able to keep up with the kids these days — seems questionably weak when one of the most influential men in poker has been throwing firebombs at Full Tilt and Howard Lederer specifically, as they relate to player monies and the WSOP.

tony g urinal pokernews

I think the real question is: Is he looking to skip just the events, or skip out on Las Vegas and/or the US altogether? I mean shoot, I was hoping he’d at least show up to play the media event!


Woe Is Benjo

by , May 31, 2011 | 10:45 am

The Tao of Pokerati has officially returned for the 2011 WSOP. The trio of Dr. Pauly, Dan, and Benjo reunited for the first time since last summer and they recorded a special welcome back episode during a meal at a sushi joint away from the Strip.

2011 WSOPEpisode 1: Woe Is Benjo (3:59) – Pauly, Dan, and Benjo returned for their first episode of the 2011 WSOP. Dan and Pauly are upbeat about the upcoming summer, meanwhile Benjo reveals he’s not looking forward to the suicidal tendencies which crop up three weeks into the WSOP. Dan and Benjo also discuss a potential prop bet about whether or not Howard Lederer makes an appearance at the 2011 WSOP.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.


Poker Pros, Chuck E. Cheese, and the End of the World

by , May 22, 2011 | 12:23 am

This week’s online gambling news included several poker pros as the latest victims of “Black Friday”. Plus, some of the stupidest stories we could find… with a Chuck E. Cheese lawsuit and the end of life on this planet!


PokerStars Stiffing Affiliates, Pauly Says

by , May 3, 2011 | 2:23 pm

You gotta love the Hardcore Poker Show on Sirius 98 (moving to channel 158 tomorrow) … as they seem to know how to get the right guests at the right time to throw out a few doozies.

On yesterday’s show they talk to Pauly — one of the Top Two Podcasters on Tao of Pokerati — who lets it be known that while player money from PokerStars may indeed be filtering back to American players via US banks … affiliates got a form letter saying they would not be paid, and I think it sounds like he’s saying they have no intent to in the near future or ever.

Check with the Tao of Poker to see if he (or someone else) posts this letter. Until we see it I can’t know if Pauly — who removed his PokerStars affiliate banners — is simply speaking the aggressive truth or just playing squeaky-wheel hardball or both. He is a New Yorker, after all — from the Southern District no less!

UPDATE: He has posted it.

Tony G, the owner of PokerNews is next on the show — and really, for all the voices that have been clamoring since “Black Friday”, he’s one of the biggest names in poker with a direct connection to the money-flow from Full Tilt, Stars, and others to do an in-depth, candid interview.

Here’s a clip from the show to give you a taste.

download
[audio:https://pokerati.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/tony-g-calls-people-out.mp3|titles=tony g calls people out]

And click here for the whole episode.

Controversial for sure … but his words seem to be less publicity-whorey than usual. The G says any American depositing money on any site is high-risk, and payout could be unlikely. While believing that Stars seems to be making good, he sees signs that Full Tilt accounts could be in greater jeopardy — and calls out Howard Lederer and Phil Ivey specifically to address the issue (either in public or private) and possibly offer up their personal assets to take care of players.

More…


The Politics Game (as per Poker)

Perspective from Howard Lederer, political donkeys

by , Dec 11, 2010 | 12:27 pm

I’m surprised to see poker people still speculating on the #ReidBill’s chances for bringing the poker industry a Christmas present or leaving us a lump of coal … as if any of us could be more than donkeys in a game where that word alone means something totally different.

The guys at Wicked Chops are saying “two outer” as if they have the same level of expertise as Pokerati. Dudes, we’ve done more than just take a tour of the White House … we ponied up the extra $9 for an audio guide!

(OK, you’re right, I can’t prove that … but if I had a receipt it would be an easier tax deduction for us than you! And true fact: I did ride paddle boats outside the Jefferson Memorial more times during the Carter administration than I saw Star Wars at a drive-in, so …)

Though just semi-experienced at best, I have been down this special-interest road before … where you’ve got a bill on the table but are running up against a semi-arbitrary not-clearly defined session clock — go Texas poker ’09! Which is why Pokerati is setting its line for #Reidbill passage firmly at somewhere between 8 and 88 percent.

Book it. We should know for sure by Tuesday or Monday or Wednesday-ish.

Though no one in the so-called “poker industry” has much if any political experience prior to Harry Reid’s current term … some poker-biz donkey-pols have learned a thing or two along the way to get us here. For a little perspective, here’s “the Professor” Howard Lederer learnin’ us some Political Science 101 last year at a high-society charity tourney in Washington DC, providing an overview of the game at hand … particularly for small-time players hoping to satellite into a bigger Beltway event:


US Feds Subpoena Full Tilt Witness

Newitt called to plea 5th and/or cut immunity deal?

by , Sep 10, 2010 | 4:33 pm

@JDNewitt may or may not be prohibited by law from live-tweeting a court-ordered visit with federal prosecutors in New York. #pokerWTF?

Wicked Chops is reporting that Jason Newitt has been subpoenaed by a US federal court in the Southern District of New York. Though not confirmed, they are comfortably saying that JDN has an order to appear (presumably before a grand jury?) on Tuesday, September 14.

Newitt, a well-known figure in Las Vegas poker circles, is probably most famous for being crippled by yours truly in the Pokerati half-and-half tourney at Detox — Dude, I admit it was a bad call for all my chips with only a 10-high flush draw! So I got there, deal with it! That hand would propel me to near-victory while setting him up for an early departure. But probably more relevant to the Feds is info from JDN as:

  • a loyal Full Tilter who hooked up players with patches
  • sender of the infamous Gobboboy email, a forwarding oopsie that may or may not have revealed Howard Lederer to be kinda a big jerk to fat kids, but also someone calling the shots at Full Tilt
  • someone who claims to have received distributions for his supposed ownership in Full Tilt
  • someone who sued FTP after getting fired and said distributions suddenly stopped, laying out ownership and operational structures at Full Tilt.

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