Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Bernie Madoffs of Poker

We've seen those tee shirts and wrist bands with WWJD imprinted on them? What Would Jesus Do?

Well, it turns out there is a definitive answer:

Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Howard "the Professor" Lederer have been indicted this week by the Department of Justice as participants in what the U.S. Attorney calls "a massive Ponzi scheme."

The complaint evidently explains that while FTP continually stated in writing that player funds were safe, the company actually never had the cash on hand to fulfill those obligations. Full Tilt supposedly owes $390 million to players, but only has $59 million on hand.

I'm not quite sure if this meets the technical definition of Ponzi Scheme, but it sure sounds bad in any case. I've essentially written off the money I have locked up on Full Tilt, and I encourage others to do the same for peace-of-mind purposes. Accept the loss and move on. If you get your money out eventually, great. But don't count on it.

What a sad, shameful situation. At their heydey just six months ago, Full Tilt was one of the two giants of the industry. People trusted them. They had the best user interface of any site I've seen, and their Rush games were pure gold for me toward the end. I doubt now that they will ever come back.

Let just hope this puts further pressure on legalizing poker.

Wishful thinking?


Maybe divine intervention is required...

All-in for now....

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