By Joel Gatlin
Well, it’s been another exciting month when it comes to Black Friday revelations and what led up to the DOJ’s federal filings and the civil lawsuits against Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and others at Full Tilt Poker. The poker world stood on its ear in late September when Lederer broke his silence with a series of PokerNews.com interviews called The Lederer Files (he also appeared later on the 2+2 pokercast) to address many questions that had gone unanswered.
Though many of his answers were “I don’t know,” he did release some bombshells about how the company was distributing funds to the “members” (investors and executives) and how much was being distributed. According to Lederer, millions of dollars were being distributed to members even after the site was shut down and no one did anything to stop it until it was too late.
Even more sizzling was Lederer’s candor on PokerNews when he spoke about Phil Ivey and Erick Lindgren. He told a story behind the Ivey lawsuit against the company for millions that was reportedly owed to him, and how the timing of the lawsuit couldn’t have been worse for Full Tilt. Lederer claimed he pleaded with Ivey not to file the suit and to let the company pursue an acquisition or merger without the overhead of any legal action from him.
Lederer went on to imply the lawsuit probably kept a deal from happening between Full Tilt and any potential suitor, and he maintained that it hurt the company and all of the players directly because no one would buy the company with active litigation. He implied had it not been for this lawsuit, a deal could have been done within months of the site closing.
Lederer also discussed the time when Lindgren owed $2 million to another online player and needed to borrow the money to pay the debt. He reportedly went to Ferguson and asked for a loan. Ferguson agreed, but Lindgren was accidentally “double-credited” for the $2 million. So, Lindgren paid off the $2 million debt to the online player and then allegedly pocketed the other $2 million. When Lederer asked Lindgren why he had not returned the extra $2 million, Lindgren reportedly said Ferguson never asked for it or given him any instructions on where to send it. Lederer said he sent an email to Lindgren that night detailing where to send the money with the bank-wire instructions, and Lindgren never sent the money.
The new Full Tilt site is scheduled to be up and running this month and Gus Hansen has been tagged as the new face for the company, serving as the ambassador for the site. This is great timing for Gus and Full Tilt, because Lederer also mentioned Hansen in his interview, saying he was the most vocal member of the old Full Tilt when it came to protecting the players and pressed Lederer and all of the other members to return all of the money they owed to the company so that the players could be paid.
NEVADA GAMING COMMISSION: Nevada is on target for having its first online gaming site by the end of the year. But what does it take for an online operator to maintain its license? A lot! In addition to requiring an annual audit that digs into every detail of every online activity of every operator, the Nevada Gaming Commission requires monthly audits by contracted certified public accountants and a list of daily transaction reports that must be run and submitted by every operator that shows all deposits, payouts, transfers and balances for each player account.
So, now that the NGC has defined the data that’s required from each operator for player accounts, it will need to have the technology to mine and analyze all of this data to make sure there’s no fraud or other unlawful activity. Time will tell how well this works, but you can’t deny it’s thorough.
— Email Joel Gatlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.