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Today in the 3-Bet we find Howard Lederer’s coming-out party turning sour, Daniel Negreanu going in for the kill and Ray Bitar emerging as a scapegoat in the FTP debacle.
1) Body Language, Tone Evocative in Lederer Interview
The most buzzed about news of the day is obviously PokerNews’ exclusive, revealing sitdown with Howard Lederer.
Not necessarily revealing on a pure informational level, unfortunately, as Lederer bobs and weaves his way through a series of I don’t knows and don’t remembers over the course of the first hour.
What is surprisingly revealing however, in an interview that he supposedly arranged himself, is how telling Lederer’s own body language is.
Lederer spends much of the interview slouched and displaying several physical signs of discomfort (although reported back issues could be to blame).
Even more surprising is the tone of his voice, which begins quite soft and apologetic but quickly and frequently veers into levels of indignance and indifference as the interview progresses.
Needless to say, viewers have not been kind about Lederer’s overall presence and have certainly made it clear what taste his coming-out party has left in their mouths: Even more bitterness.
2) Negreanu Flays Lederer for “Zero Apologies, Zero Admittance”
It’s early in the multi-part interview with Howard Lederer but if there's anyone sitting on the sidelines looking for an opportunity to pounce on weak spots it's certainly Daniel Negreanu.
An outspoken critic of Lederer (and other members of his family) from the early stages of the FTP debacle, Negreanu naturally had a few things to say about the Lederer files on Twitter today.
Chief among them? Still, despite an hour of footage, Lederer has yet to admit any wrongdoing:
One hour into the Lederer interview, so far zero apologies and zero admittance of any wrong doing on his part. Exactly what I expected.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 18, 2012
Other bones Daniel picks:
Lederer on his contract "I don't know what it looked like, or if I even had one." ummmm ok then.— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 18, 2012
Howard Lederer on Ray Bitar: "He wasn't qualified in the traditional sense" @tonyguoga chimes in "but he had heart and commitment!!!"— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 18, 2012
According to the interviewer an admission of guilt is coming in later parts, but so far Lederer's stance seems to hold true to Negreanu's prediction yesterday:
When the ship goes down- start pointing fingers at everyone else and accept no blame. A bold prediction of coming poker news...— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 17, 2012
3) Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar Looking Like Potential Goat
If there was any doubt where the aforementioned fingers seem to be pointing, the incompetence of Ray Bitar was a central character in the first two acts of the interview.
With bits and pieces about Bitar interspersed thoughout the hour, including his role in setting up the early licensing and financial processes, it’s clear he was both underqualified for the position of CEO and a divisive figure among FTP leadership.
Responding to a question about Bitar being dubbed “inexperienced,” “not very well educated,” and “basically illiterate,” Lederer answers:
“Qualified? Not in any traditional sense for sure. I know that he had a passion for the company. Did he have some MBA degree? No. Absolutely not.
“You know a level of education, certainly bringing a lot of experience, no. He wasn’t qualified. But he was also an owner, very invested in the company and he was essentially brought in to run the company by Chris (Ferguson). He was Chris's friend."
Making it clear Bitar was like by some and disliked by others, in particular John Juanda and Perry Friedman, Lederer did say there was a movement to get rid of Ray early on but never a full fledged attempt.
Poker Royalty agent Brian Balsbaugh was more blunt about his assessment of Bitar in a tweet today:
The book on Ray Bitar in the industry was that he was an incompetent boob, but was bulletproof bc he had Chris & Howard's total backing.— Brian Balsbaugh (@Balsbaugh) September 18, 2012