As it happens, earlier this week the player pool at Full Tilt Poker 2.0 was at last combined with that of PokerStars, both sites being currently owned by Amaya Gaming. That’s actually coincidental, though, as Lederer has no connection to the new Full Tilt other than having been among those who named the site long ago.
No, the timing of the apology rather has to do with the World Series of Poker beginning in just a week-and-a-half, or at least that seems the most likely explanation for it. Lederer is now admitting both to having made mistakes pre-Black Friday and not owning up to his culpability afterwards in what appears to be an attempt to pave the way for his return to the WSOP, something Negreanu alludes to as well in his contextual commentary on the statement.
You can read the statement yourself and decide how genuine the apology seems. You might also note how it mostly avoids any sort of particulars with regard to the mismanagement of player funds, Lederer’s own prominant role with FTP right up until and after Black Friday, and the way he still weirdly seems to portray himself as a victim of sorts while nominally accepting blame.
As far as Lederer’s playing at the Rio this summer goes, the WSOP reserves the right to refuse anyone the ability to participate in their events, and so it is technically up to them. I don’t necessarily see any legitimate argument for not allowing Lederer to play, but perhaps others might.
That said, I can’t imagine most are going to be all that enthusiastic about Lederer playing. He himself notes in his statement, “Players were not able to get their money back for a minimum of a year and a half, and, for many, it has been much longer. I’ve been a poker player my entire adult life. I know the importance of having access to one’s bankroll.”
In other words, thanks to Lederer’s own mismanagement and lack of oversight, he (and others) significantly damaged the careers of thousands of poker players -- indeed, in many cases, ended those careers altogether. Who could possibly be eager now to compete with such a person at the poker table -- i.e., to have such a person (again) do what he can to try to keep others from winning money at poker?
That’s what I think about here -- not just Lederer playing in WSOP events, but winning in them by cashing. Who could possibly be enthused by that prospect? (I even wonder how much Lederer himself would enjoy it.) Reminds me a little of what happens when men who choose to play in ladies events make the money, and the unpleasant feeling that results. What has been won, exactly?
If Lederer is not angling for a WSOP return, then, well, the gesture perhaps has some, small meaning. If he is, though, that only makes the much-delayed apology seem more empty and without significance than it already is -- another mostly self-serving act, following a long, long sequence of them.