Monday, August 15, 2011

Poker Media Still Sitting Quietly While Full Tilt Embarrasses Us All

Wow, what a bunch of masochists we all are. Seriously guys. Hasn't even one of you out there reading this wondered why exactly Phil Ivey -- the world's greatest poker player and perhaps greatest gambler -- "owes" full tilt $4 million? This is being widely reported by every major poker media outlet in the world, and has been for a good few months now as Ivey's alleged "White Knight" deal (which not coincidentally also involves the forgiving of Ivey's personal $4 million debt) is still said to be under negotiation to save the company in some form and -- hopefully -- to secure U.S. players the return of their funds that had been commingled into full tilt's own accounts. And yet, I keep waiting and waiting and waiting, and not one single person I can think of in the poker media has even questioned why, or how this could be. Pretty much all of them have lost their own money even on full tilt's site, and yet still, complete and total radio silence. The relationships, the history, and ultimately the downright adulation that these people still feel for all those poker pros you see on tv has blinded the media to providing any real coverage whatsoever of probably easily the worst scandal in the history of online poker. Sorry folks, but superuser doesn't even come close to stealing our money for their own and living high off the hog off of it. It's just not close.

Think about this. Phil Ivey is quite simply the single greatest poker player in the world today, I don't think many people would really dispute that fact at this point. The guy is a huge action junkie, he takes prop bets left and right, and he wins millions live and millions more online every year from this game. So, for starters, why does Ivey even need a $4 million loan from full tilt? And why did full tilt give him $4 million of their money, even assuming he did need it for something? Or, let me correct myself there -- why did full tilt give Phil Ivey $4 million of our money? And make no mistake -- that's exactly what commingling of players funds with full tilt funds means. They took the money we deposited with them, and then they just mixed our deposited funds in with all their money, using it for their own corporate purposes. Such as, apparently, "loaning" Phil Ivey $4 million.

Do you think Humberto Brenes ever owed pokerstars millions of dollars? What about Daniel Negreanu? How about UB, those scoundrels...d'ya think Phil Hellmuth owes UB $7 million or something? You think they lent Annie Duke a couple hundy large to complete an addition on to her house? Me thinks not.

And yet somehow, this that you are reading right here is the very first place to ever question or even mention the ludicrity of this $4 million debt from Ivey to full tilt. Somehow, I loaned Phil Ivey 4 million bucks even though I don't remember being asked about that decision, and I certainly know I didn't get to review any of his financial information or to sign off on his intended use of my funds. Last time I checked, I don't loan money to professional gamblers to throw on roshambo bouts, 18-foot puts on the greens, weight loss contests and WSOP bracelet bets against the rest of the best players in the world.

Or do I?

Along those same lines, I sat in silence for a good three weeks on this story as well, hoping against hope that at least one of these poker media outlets or bloggers would jump on this story with even a small fraction of the tenacity that was used to investigate and resolve the UB superuser scandal, but I simply cannot leave this post in "draft" mode any longer since it's obvious that, once again, the poker media is perfectly happy letting full tilt walk all over everyone, themselves included, because I guess they're just too busy staring agog like little schoolchildren at the very people who have stolen the cash right out of their pockets. But did anybody see the story a few weeks back when Todd Brunson tweeted that he had run into Howard Lederer in Las Vegas and that after telling Lederer how short he (Brunson) was on cash, Howard offered to pay Brunson what Brunson had locked up on Full Tilt at the time of the U.S. online poker ban? You're telling me the major poker media outlets never heard this story? Yeah right. Well, apparently it's true. Here are Todd Brunson's tweets of the events, which again happened just a few weeks ago on July 19 in Las Vegas:

"Look who I just ran into.. I told him the wsop killed me and I was cash short...... http://lockerz.com/s/121600156"
ToddBrunson

"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!!!!!!"


At first I figured this had to be a joke, especially given the complete dearth of coverage (let alone uproar) about it among the big poker sites. But nope, apparently it is all true -- the poker media is still just too busy planning how to blow the full tilt pros to spend any time letting you know that this happened. Brunson ran into Lederer in Vegas, took a picture to prove it, and when Brunson complained about being short on cash, Lederer apparently paid Brunson the $150,000 he had locked up on full tilt, right in cash out of the trunk of Lederer's car.

Now, putting aside the obvious questions on why on god's green earth Howard Lederer is driving around with more than 150 grand in his trunk (will somebody please carjack this asshole, PLEASE?!), wouldn't you think it would bother someone at wicked chops, at poker news, one of the big poker bloggers, anybody enough to mention that while little old you and me sit around waiting (forever?) to get (all? some of?) our money back that has been locked up at full tilt since April 15, the big dogs who know the founders of the site personally -- yes, those same founders who commingled your funds with their own -- are getting paid out by their friends the site's founders, in hundred-large chunks?

Wouldn't you think that it would have occurred to somebody in the media -- anybody at all -- to stop to think for a minute that maybe, if Lederer has $150k of full tilt funds sitting in his fucking car trunk that maybe, just maybe, that money could be disbursed to everyone whose money full tilt has stolen, and not just to the personal friends of the founders? Might one even suggest that this type of behavior by Lederer is more or less the exact same thing that got him into trouble in the first place, taking our poker deposit funds -- yours and mine -- and treating them like his own personal fucking ATM? I mean, can you imagine how many of us little people could have been paid out in full with just that $150,000 of my money and your money that Todd Brunson gratuitously got from Howard Lederer, just for happening to bump into him in a restaurant in Vegas?

I say again. Can you imagine if the posters on 2+2 were actually running with story like they did the UB mess a few years ago? Can you imagine if Haley was out there reporting on this complete and utter pile of bullshit every single day like she was back then with UB? Don't you wish Amy and Tim were glomming on to this story as surely as they did the WSOP missing chips scandal a couple of years back? And why aren't they? Why isn't anyone?

Seriously guys. WTF. It's getting very close to where we actually deserve what we get from full tilt here.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Josie said...

I didn't give a second thought to the fact that FT owed Ivey 4 mil. I know his prop bets are typically in the millions and I also know that most professional poker players are often short on cash because in addition to being poker players they are also gamblers. The latter sux the money out of millionaires as well as those at the poverty line. This ain't the real story of your post.

The real story is that Howard Lederer paid off Todd B but NOT ME. WTF!!!!! I cannot tell you how pissed off reading that made me.

FU Professor! I hope FT only owed Todd like 50K and he screwed you royally! You deserve it!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Josie,

I understand everything you said there, and that might explain why Ivey owes another poker player a few mil. But why does that explain how he would owe Full Tilt (the entity) $4 million? Last time I checked, corporate entities themselves do not be taking prop bets with degenerate gamblers. I don't think the allegation has ever been that Ivey owes the full tilt founders that $4 million, I read that it was owed to the entity itself, which is what I am trying to figure out.

9:21 PM  
Blogger The Dyer said...

Good post. Of course most of the poker media are self confessed 'shills' for the online sites and to be seen as a 'grass' would not be top of their priority list. A shame but true.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

I remember reading an ESPN story about a week in the life of Phil Ivey that included that Phil was paid $1.5M/month for being part of team Full Tilt.

I have never gotten a 3 month advance from my company, but the poker economy seems to have loans for greater amounts on handshake deals than the rest of us are accustomed to.

Giving Todd money in my mind is more alarming than having advanced Phil money assuming the Phil loan happened prior to April.

1:41 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Bayne, something about them commingling all of our funds with theirs, and then deciding to "advance" Ivey his sponsorship funds (not that I can imagine a situation where that would be proper anyways) without getting repaid, really rubs me the wrong way.

The total pass every single member of the media other than me has given them for it makes me throw up in my mouth a little.

1:51 AM  
Blogger NumbBono said...

I wouldn't say that the Ivey thing went unnoticed.

I wrote the following news blip after Subject Poker broke some news with details about Ivey's debts.

The Subject Poker article is linked in my article, and is a good read.

Granted, I didn't dig too deep at Ivey (other than some subtle quips), but my purpose in this article was to report, not judge.

http://www.rakeback.com/full-tilt-poker/news/2011/7/phil-ivey-full-tilt-poker-loans-1631/

Regarding the Brunson/Lederer trunk payoff, I'm pretty sure it was just an attempt by Brunson at humor.

I wrote up a short blib about it, but I'm pretty sure most of the poker world dismissed it as a joke, with the exception of naive people I meet at the poker table who think it was real (and yourself apparently).

http://www.rakeback.com/full-tilt-poker/news/2011/7/todd-brunson-full-tilt-poker-cashout-1619/

2:46 AM  
Blogger Cesar Bielich said...

Love it!! WSOP 2010

1:11 PM  
Blogger Keyideas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Keyideas said...

Great Poker media gathering in this party where they discussed so many thins about poker games and poker chips

11:13 AM  
Blogger undecidedtm said...

Didn't he skip the wsop because he felt ashamed that FTP wasn't paying its players back? And, if he owes FTP 4mil isn't that one of the reasons why they aren't able to?

7:42 PM  

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