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The Silence Of Full Tilt

by Matt Glantz |  Published: Feb 16, '12

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We are coming up on a year now since we hit Black Friday within the online poker world. Since then, PokerStars has done everything right with regards to its players. In contrast, Full Tilt Poker has been nothing but a black hole of silence. For almost a year now, we have heard nothing from Full Tilt Poker as it continues to imprison a significant portion of funds from the worldwide poker economy.

To my friends at FTP:

Through your tough times I have been one of your few defenders, both publicly and privately. I find it impossible to take that stance any longer. Your continued public silence is a disgrace. It is not only irresponsible, but also thoughtlessly unfair to the thousands of poker players who have money tied up in your ongoing debacle. Friendships aside, I feel it would be disingenuous to defend the persons involved any longer. At this point, there is nothing short of full disclosure regarding player funds that would change this opinion.

Look, I get it. Things happen that are out of our control. We all make mistakes. I can understand losing money. I can even fathom someone in the operation deceiving the rest of you and causing this massive meltdown. What I can’t understand is this continued disrespect to all the players who helped build your business to what it was just a year ago. The complete lack of information coming from the owners of FTP to the player base is shameful.

To make it clear, I don’t have any funds personally tied up on FTP. I feel very fortunate about that. But I know from many poker players in the community that this lockup has forced changes in their lives that are no fault of their own. What makes it worse is that with no communication coming from FTP, these players are being held hostage – not knowing if they will ever be receiving their money back in full. In some ways, by not releasing any statements at all, it is worse than if you just tell these players not to expect anything back. At the very least, if you produced some concrete guidance to what is going on with the money these players could move on with their lives in one direction or another.

It is obvious that your lawyers are advising you to say nothing publicly and that is totally understandable, but you should be directing your lawyers to make a public statement with regard to the players’ funds. How you or your lawyers have not done that by now is astonishing. For the sake of the players, you need to make a statement or direct your lawyers to make a statement for you. To see that the players get paid is most likely out of your control at this point. But the deafening silence is a choice each one of you individually continues to make. You have given your company and your friends more than enough time by now to do something resembling the right thing. I am hoping that one of you reading this will realize that breaking ranks to speak out is the honorable thing to do. Just a little statement to direct the players on the situation will give them the necessary info they need to proceed.

To my friends at FTP, I am embarrassed for you and I am ashamed of you – not due to the player funds being lost or held. I am embarrassed and ashamed because of the continued lack of communication to the thousands of players who have been waiting hopefully for this increasingly long amount of time.

Poker pro Matt Glantz has demonstrated high-stakes versatility by becoming the World Series’ most consistent performer in big money mixed-game tournaments. Since 2008, he has made four WSOP final tables in mixed-game events with buy-ins of $10,000 to $50,000. He has also earned a reputation as one of the top mixed-game cash game players.

Glantz is answering Card Player reader questions about mixed-game poker strategy. Readers can email Matt questions direct to matt.glantz@cardplayer.com and also should check out his website www.mattglantzpoker.com for more strategy and updates from the tournament trail.

 
Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of CardPlayer.com.
 

Comments

WPS22
almost 9 years ago

I think the community really needs more high profile players speaking out like this. I know its really complicated, there are a lot of relationships involved and no one wanted to jump to fast and condemn them only to see the players be paid.

However, I think those times have past. At this point, even if they pay tomorrow, anyone who condemns them today has every right to do so and wouldn't have to apologize tomorrow. Even if we all get paid, the handling of this was so shameful and cast such a large dark shadow over the community that it makes the UB cheating scandal look insignificant.

Thank you for speaking out. I know its harder than most people who aren't in your shoes think it is.

 
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Patty0874
almost 9 years ago

Have you seen Daniel Negreanu's latest video blog?! He never holds back and you can't get any bigger than him regarding a big name poker player speaking out.

 
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bparmalee
almost 9 years ago

The money just is not there. If you look at the varying figures that have come out in press releases... player funds are non-existent. The biggest sham of all is this 80 million dollar "deal" to buy Full Tilt and pay back player funds. Who would ever buy a gaming company that will not be allowed into the US market, has had its reputation destroyed and may not even be able to get a gaming license anywhere? To me that deal doesn't exist and is only being floating to facilitate the cases being settled. Full Tilt has no value beyond the actual hardware..it's player base has been corrupted...along with its brand name. The people that ran Full Tilt used it as their own private piggy bank and figured.. whatever the legal fallout.. they would be set for life. I guess we will see how it plays it but it's starting to look like they are right. I want to see them all do significant jail time and be made destitute but I'm not sure that's the DOJs goal. Their interest seems to have faded some once they shut the sites down.

 
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Ronin555
almost 9 years ago

Once the Feds indict, the defense lawyers are going to muzzle their clients. We can only speculate as to why the defense lawyers haven't offered much of an explanation to the public or to the players who are waiting, perhaps in vain, for their funds. Of course, the lawyers may jeopardize any potential sale, plea bargain, or their clients by revealing information not known to the Feds. The Feds, in contrast, are not under the same pressure or restraints. We, therefore, have only been told a small portion of the facts -- and just those facts that make the Feds look good.

Whatever the circumstances, the players have every right to be angry at both those who had been running Full Tilt and the Feds.

 
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brum747
almost 9 years ago

They cant be mad at the Feds.They had laws saying you shouldnt gamble online.So you were doing it at your own risk.After the UB incident ppl shouldve gotten the picture that youre depending on other peoples integrity and good faith.But how many good ol honest guys are really out there huh?I beleive they were doing phantom deposits the whole time so most of that money was never even there in the first place.It just didnt exist and never will.

 
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Lancy
almost 9 years ago

Well stated!

 
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Stacker3
almost 9 years ago

High quality Executives of companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars don't accidentally misplace $350 Million. They care about customers and fellow employees.

Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson & friends saw Russ Hamilton steal millions online and get away with it so they went for Hundreds of Millions! These people were already wealthy but greed has no boundary.

Lack of regulations, transparency requirements and gray legal jurisdiction world wide creates opportunity for those with weak or no moral fiber. Never mind asking how these guys aren't in jail, they're globe trotting and hiding money where they can.

Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet customers should get over the fact your trust has been violated and our money is long gone.

 
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brum747
almost 9 years ago

Dizzam!All the people named up top are supposed to be top notch pro players.Why would they constantly be getting staked for Mills upon Mills of phantom deposits to play.Or did they purposely lose it to certain other people so they could make withdraws then break bread with one another.I bet it goes alot deeper then what meets the eye.If iwas able to play high stakes for free and play 50 big tourneys a year for free(just free rollin' at will),geez,i'd be a darn good player also like those guys.With that much free rollin your bound to win one or two big ones.

 
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THEJOEF
almost 9 years ago

Thanks for having the balls to state the truth Matt.

 
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keeentd
almost 9 years ago

Yeah, Lederer and Ferguson probably will never appear in public again, certainly not at the WSOP. And why would they? I'm surprised how nobody is on Ivey's case - he who is "hiding" in Macau, still playing the biggest of cash games, althoug he owes FTP $$. And Greenstein, with his nonsense of not paying FTP right now - he owes, he should pay. And what about Block, Harman, Matusow, Lindgren, Cunningham, Seidel and all the other "pros" who encouraged us all to "learn, chat and play with the pros." Perhaps they were not ripping us off like Lederer and Ferguson, but cmon man they knew nothing?? Good grief -

 
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Sam Rothstein
almost 9 years ago

you are a very stupid person. Barry Greenstein will pay, he wants to make sure the money goes to paying the players back, that's all.

Don't be stupider than you really are.

 
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trentbridge
almost 9 years ago

FTP was licensed by Alderney. Part of the Channel Islands off the coast of France. Alderney is a British Crown Dependency. It makes up its own laws. It has a population of 2,400. Yes, this online poker site was under the legal thumb of a dot on the map with a population equivalent to the entrants on Day One A of the WSOP Main Event.
And we're shocked that FTP wasn't playing by the rules?
This wouldn't happen again if Congress would wake up and pass legislation legalizing online poker with US or state licenses. Even the smallest state has a population two hundred times bigger than Alderney.

 
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x19
almost 9 years ago

there is no way in hell all these people have spent all that money, i submit that each and every one of them account for where ALL their was spent starting from the day each one started to get paid from FTP...Man, i use to respect Howard Lederer and Chris F., as a couple of respectable types but now think that they and the rest are just profiteering greedy scumbags worthy of no respect, they lack integrity and have no honor and are no better than common thieves. I agree, their silence is deafening......and all of them not saying anything at all, whether in person or thru a third party, speaks volumes in itself.....PEOPLE CAN TELL YOU ANYTHING THEY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE----BUT WHEN PEOPLE SHOW YOU WHO THEY REALLY ARE-----BELIEVE THEM.....actions, or inactions, really can speak louder than words.

 
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AdrianP
almost 9 years ago

I'm baffled why the FTP players aren't and haven't taken a class action against the FTP executives and owners a LONG time ago. Clearly people like Howard and Ferguson etc still have the money they stripped from FTP, and therefore a class action will have an excellent chance of getting the money back. Seems like a no brainer to me.

 
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Sam Rothstein
almost 9 years ago

I_P_Freely, if you think that Greenstein is going to trying to skip out on such a public debt, then you truly have a tiny brain as I always imagined you to have. He wouldn't be able to show his face again in Vegas. For future reference IP, thinkin' may not be your forte, especially after reading some of your other posts.

 
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nbslim
almost 9 years ago

It's not just FT. I played on Hercules for quite a while and had money there. A few weeks ago they announced they were no longer accepting US players and are refusing to return my money. You play in the mud, you are going to get dirty. I was lucky and got my money back from Poker Stars but after this Hercules deal, I'm finished with all online poker.

 
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