Monday, February 13, 2012

A Glantz-ing Blow: Making Noise About Full Tilt’s Silence

A Glantz-ing Blow: Making Noise About Full Tilt’s Silence Over the weekend, pro player Matt Glantz published another somewhat provocative post on his blog, this one titled “The Silence of Full Tilt.”

Glantz has kind of stepped forward over the last few weeks as one of the few high-stakes pros willing to speak out on various issues of significance to the poker community. Besides writing posts himself over on his blog, he’s also inviting others to write guest posts, with Matt Savage, David Bach, and Dan O’Brien among those who have taken him up on the offer.

In his most recent post, Glantz discusses the “black hole of silence” that has mostly characterized Full Tilt Poker over the 10 months that have passed since Black Friday, then petitions players and others associated with FTP -- some of whom he considers friends -- to come forward and finally begin communicating to the many players who still await the return of their funds.

“Friendships aside, I feel it would be disingenuous to defend the persons involved any longer,” writes Glantz. “At this point, there is nothing short of full disclosure regarding player funds that would change this opinion.”

Glantz goes on to outline how the lack of “concrete guidance” from Full Tilt Poker for players still hoping (perhaps in vain) for their money has made a bad situation much, much worse. He acknowledges that while most of those with information to share are likely withholding such on the advice of legal counsel, he nonetheless hopes that someone will consider “breaking ranks” and step forward to give players some idea what to expect going forward.

Matt GlantzI recently mentioned how I like and appreciate players like Glantz and others who are willing to speak their minds where many will not. And while I also appreciate the message Glantz is conveying in his recent post -- and share the frustration he expresses, too -- it feels like we’ve reached a point in the Full Tilt saga where any “breaking ranks” by anyone of consequence is highly unlikely.

I remember in the week or two following Black Friday talking with friends who knew a little more about Full Tilt’s situation than I did already telling me that the site was in deep, deep trouble. I was willing to cut FTP some slack at first -- this was even before PokerStars had successfully cashed out U.S. players -- and like many took that initial promise from Full Tilt of a May 15th statement at face value.

But as we know, the statement on 5/15/11 was the first of several empty promises serving to delay ever really communicating anything of substance. They were working “tirelessly,” dealing with “numerous hurdles and challenges,” and would “update our US players when [they had] more specific information to provide.”

Looking back, we can see how that last bit was kinda sorta truthful. They never did have more specific information to provide, and so they never did update us further.

Oh, there were a few more messages, but those stopped once the site was shut down in late June. And when the U.S. Department of Justice amended its civil complaint in September to add numerous new allegations against FTP -- as well as some names -- we all pretty much knew then that we were essentially drawing dead when it came to receiving any “concrete guidance” from the site.

So I don’t really think Glantz’ post will have much influence on the “friends at FTP” to whom it is addressed. But it will likely energize other, non-Full Tilt Poker folks -- including other high-stakes pros -- to start speaking out. Which again probably won’t have any tangible effect on what happens next, but will perhaps help prevent complacency from settling in among the players. And complacency, as we know, can easily lead to acceptance.

And that’s a good thing, I think. Because it would be unfortunate if the ultimate response to the “silence of Full Tilt” was to be silent in return.

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