Friday, February 17, 2012

Kid Poker Not Kidding Around

Daniel Negreanu, from his video blog of 2/15/12Many noticed the always forthright Daniel Negreanu made a short video blog this week in which he comments on various items, including the continued silence from those three Full Tilt Poker principals, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Ray Bitar.

I said something on Monday about how I thought we’d probably hear other pros comment on FTP in the wake of Matt Glantz’ thoughtful post concerning “The Silence of Full Tilt,” so it wasn’t too surprising to see Negreanu’s video come when it did.

I still think as I did a few days ago that such petitions aren’t that likely to encourage anyone from Full Tilt to step forward and suddenly start communicating anything of significance to the rest of us. But as I said on Monday, I support those who insist on making sure we all don’t just forget about the hundreds of millions of dollars of players’ funds that remain inaccessible more than 10 months after Black Friday.

The level of vitriol in Negreanu’s statements captured some notice, something I think PokerLawyer did a nice job addressing in her post from yesterday, titled “Targets.” I think most are familiar enough with the context to understand what inspired Negreanu’s comments -- and frustration -- but it’s also worth pointing out the relationship between words and actions as PokerLawyer does.

I do believe that Negreanu is dead on, though, when he points out how those responsible at FTP “have no respect for our community.” The damage they’ve done to poker’s place in the culture, generally speaking, goes well beyond the theft of players’ funds.

It’ll be curious to see how everything develops with regard to the Full Tilt Poker saga as we get closer to the one-year anniversary of Black Friday, assuming that nothing happens with regard to the still-pending Groupe Bernard Tapie deal and players are still without their funds.

Even if something does happen and the deal somehow gets done before then, the logistics of players getting paid -- particularly for American players for whom the DOJ would be involved in facilitating such payments -- will mean a lot of time will necessarily have to pass before anyone actually gets their money back.

But even that slight ray of hope is pretty dim at present. And so the many who played on Full Tilt Poker -- and even those who didn’t but who have strong feelings about the game and the way it is perceived (and often proscribed) by the larger culture -- will continue to be frustrated. And justifiably so.

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