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Chris Ferguson Makes Cryptic Apology About Full Tilt Poker Fraud Case

Notorious Poker Pro Posts 42-Second Video Online


Just as online poker in the U.S. is finally gaining real traction seven years after the industry’s “Black Friday” federal crackdown, Chris Ferguson has decided to come clean about his involvement—well sort of.

There’s now real opportunity for regulated online poker in America, and even the likes of billionaire investor Mark Cuban seem bullish on the business now that the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed state gambling rights. Ferguson, who was one of the principals in Full Tilt Poker when the federal government accused it of operating as a “Ponzi scheme,” resumed playing at the high-profile World Series of Poker festival in 2016. He didn’t play from 2011 to 2015. Despite the inactivity, the 55-year-old immediately re-established himself as a world-class player.

In a 42-second video posted Wednesday, just days before the start of the 2018 WSOP, Ferguson issued a cryptic apology, alluding to some sort of forthcoming exposé on the tainted site, which went defunct and took about $160 million in U.S. player bankrolls down with it. Players were repaid thanks to rival site PokerStars acquiring Full Tilt and its assets in its own settlement with the feds.

Here’s Ferguson’s statement:

“I’d like to take this brief opportunity to address the poker community, which I love, and have been part of for a long time. I deeply regret not being able to prevent Black Friday from happening. After Black Friday, I worked relentlessly to ensure that all players got paid back. And, I sincerely apologize that it took as long as it did. I also realize that it has taken me a long time to make any sort of public statement, and I appreciate my fans and the poker community as a whole for their patience and support. One day the Full Tilt Poker story will be told and like many of you, I look forward to that day. I hope to see you all at the World Series of Poker this summer. Thank you and good luck.”

Ferguson settled his civil case in 2013 for an undisclosed sum (at least $2.35 million) and didn’t admit to any wrongdoing. According to court papers, he was “unaware of any wrongful activity” or that “the company had become unable to satisfy its player account liabilities.” The government said that Ferguson owned 19 percent of Full Tilt and was the chairman of its board of directors. The government said he was allocated $85.1 million in distributions for his work at Full Tilt.

In the settlement, Ferguson said that he “forgave approximately $14 million in dividends owed to him by Full Tilt” which was “done with his expectation” that the money would go to victims.

Could Ferguson one day work within a regulated U.S. online poker industry? The answer is yes. According to the settlement, Ferguson is permitted to work for or “derive money from” a business in the online poker sector as long as it has obtained “appropriate authorization, as necessary, from all relevant governmental regulatory authorities in United States.”



4 years ago



4 years ago



4 years ago

Hey let's not forget about all the other cheaters who are still in the game and getting nothing but love from fellow players and media: Bonomo, Mizzi, etc. And don't even give me that "they paid their dues/made their apologies" nonsense. They are all cheaters and should be gone, period.