Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It’s Something

A quick post-post-post-postscript tonight to a long tale most have forgotten about.

Federated Sports & Gaming, the parent company of the ill-fated Epic Poker League, announced its intention to file for bankruptcy on February 29, 2012. By then the EPL had staged three tournaments open only to eligible tourney players ranked highly enough to enter them according to the newly-created “Global Poker Index” (which managed to survive under new guardians post-EPL).

It was an uncertain, poorly-conceived attempt to create a semblance of a “professional poker league,” a place “for the best players in the world to compete against the best players in the world,” as EPL Commissioner Annie Duke put it early on. One not insignificant incentive to players participating in the high buy-in ($20,000) events of the EPL was a $1 million freeroll to come after the completion of the fourth scheduled tournament.

Alas, during its short existence expenses outran revenue at such a rapid clip the bankruptcy announcement came even before that fourth tourney could be held, and the freeroll never materialized. In the end the FS&G owed something like $5 million to numerous creditors (more than a hundred, I think).

Those interested in a longer rehearsal of the FS&G/Epic story might read through a couple of older posts here -- “We Are Sorry, www.epicpoker.com Cannot Be Found” (August 2012) (which also contains some links to other folks’ reporting on the final days of the EPL) and “Epic Anniversary” (March 2013).

It’s a sorry story. Your humble scribbler ended up involved in a tangential way as one of a handful of folks recruited by the EPL to write occasional columns for their website (which, as noted, cannot be found today). Since I had one invoice covering a few columns in the system at the time of the bankruptcy, I got included as one of the creditors in the subsequent bankruptcy case.

I wasn’t owed much, a small enough amount that after the first few months’ worth of mailings regarding the case I became thoroughly ambivalent about the prospects of ever seeing any of it, although continued to feel misgivings about a few friends of mine owed a heckuva lot more.

I was surprised, then, to receive a letter today from the FS&G that wasn’t just another court summary, but note describing an enclosed check representing my share of the “Final Distribution” -- roughly 10% of the owed amount. Gotta cash this sucker soon, too, I’m advised, “preferably no later than 30 days after receipt.”

“This will be my final communication to you,” concluded the “Plan Administrator” who had delivered to me this small slice of cabbage.

I mean it’s a far cry from feeling my being turned with instinct and intellect balanced equally by the love that moves the sun and stars. But it’s an ending.

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