Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson Suspended Indefinitely By Epic Poker League
Howard Lederer's Sister Annie Duke a Non-Voting Member of Standards and Conduct Committee
On Wednesday, the Epic Poker League issued a statement concerning the membership status of Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, two players named in the amended indictment filed by the Department of Justice against the board of directors of Full Tilt Poker.
EPL Chairman of the Standards and Conduct Committee Stephen Martin said, “The Committee voted to suspend Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson indefinitely, pending the outcome of the Department of Justice’s action.”
The committee is made up of Martin, Tournament Director Matt Savage, league members Eric Baldwin, Andy Bloch, Chad Brown, Joe Hachem, Mike McDonald, Nick Schulman, Alec Torelli and Commissioner Annie Duke. Duke, who is Lederer’s sister, is a non-voting member of the committee. The committee did not comment on another player named in the indictment, Rafe Furst, presumably because he did not qualify for a tour card this season.
Lederer and Ferguson are the third and fourth players to face disciplinary action by the EPL. The first being inaugural EPL main event champion David “Chino” Rheem, for failing to pay ongoing debts and the second being Pro/Am qualifier Michael DiVita, who was asked to forfeit his tournament entry after it was revealed that he was a convicted sex offender.
Card Player spoke to Martin earlier this month to get his explanation behind the committee’s prior actions.
“The Epic Poker League, as well as every professional sports league, has a player’s code of conduct that includes both in-play rules as well as provisions to professional conduct outside of the game,” said Martin. “If a person violates either league rules or the law, they are subject to discipline. That discipline could range from a reprimand, to suspension or even a permanent dismissal from the league. All of those circumstances are determined on a case by case basis.”
Martin went further, explaining how the EPL’s reach extends beyond violations committed on the felt. “There is a difference between an in-game violation, such as cheating, that directly affects the integrity of the game and a conduct violation, that has the potential to affect poker’s reputation, hurt its growth or damage the community as a whole. I like to compare it to the National Football League (NFL), which has a history of policing its players for the good of the game. There are players who were punished for the use of performance enhancing drugs that affected the actual game play and there were players like Michael Vick and Ben Roethlisberger, who were punished for outside conduct that hurt the league’s reputation.”
According to Martin, the reason the Standards and Conduct Committee exists is to propel poker into a nationally recognized sport.
“The goal of the EPL is to put the players first and to build the professionalism of the sport so that the entire poker community benefits,” Martin said. “In order to raise poker to the levels of a legitimately recognized national sport, there must be a disciplinary body that takes action against those who are going to bring harm to the game.”
|1||Tony Cousineau On Quest For Win After 56 Cashes At World Series Of Poker: 'I'll Sleep When I Die'|
|2||Seven Years After Winning Two World Series Of Poker Bracelets At Age 21, Jeff Madsen Not Stressed Anymore About Getting The Third|
|3||Alexander Kostritsyn Not Too Impressed With His $2.7 Million In Winnings This Year On Full Tilt Poker|
|4||Mike Matusow Says He Has Finally Recovered After Full Tilt Poker 'Destroyed My Life'|
|5||Gus Hansen's Trip To World Series Of Poker Reportedly Delayed Due To Lost Passport|
|6||Bracelet Winner Barred From World Series Of Poker|
|7||Poker Player Accidentally Sells Wife's $23,000 Wedding Ring For $10 At Garage Sale|
|8||PokerStars' Mark Scheinberg To Pay U.S. $50 Million|
|9||Matt Matros -- Stop The No-Limit Insanity|
|10||Phil Ivey Has Shot At First World Series Of Poker Hold'em Bracelet|
|1||Mike Matusow Says He Has Finally Recovered After Full Tilt Poker 'Destroyed My Life'|
|2||Bracelet Winner Barred From World Series Of Poker|
|3||Poker Player Accidentally Sells Wife's $23,000 Wedding Ring For $10 At Garage Sale|
|4||Phil Ivey Has Shot At First World Series Of Poker Hold'em Bracelet|
|5||Mike Matusow: I'm The Second Best Tournament Poker Player Ever Considering Number Of Events Played|
|6||Steve Gee Trying To Recover From World Series Of Poker Main Event Disaster|
|7||Chino Rheem Wins 2013 World Poker Tour $25,000 Championship|
|8||Chino Rheem and Erick Lindgren Lead World Poker Tour $25,000 Championship Main Event Final Table|
|9||Online Poker Scandal: Annie Duke Responds To Leaked Russ Hamilton Audio Recording|
|10||Jamie Gold's World Series of Poker Main Event Bracelet Up For Auction|