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Howard Lederer Apologizes for Full Tilt Debacle Five Years Later
Five years after Black Friday, Howard Lederer is taking full responsibility for what happened with Full Tilt Poker, according to a statement released by Daniel Negreanu.
In the statement Lederer says that he was put in a unique position of trust because of his involvement with FTP in the early days of the site. In the end he disappointed the people who trusted him.
You can read the entire statement over on Full Contact Poker but you can check out a few excerpts here:
I am writing to apologize to everyone in the poker community, especially to all the players who had money on Full Tilt Poker on April 15, 2011. When Full Tilt Poker closed in 2011, there was a shortfall in funds, a distressed sale to recover those funds, and a long delay in repaying players. Throughout this period, there was little explanation for the delay, and no apology. Players felt lied to. They trusted the site, and they trusted me, and I didn’t live up to that trust…
…My involvement in Full Tilt from 2003-2008 put me in a unique position of trust—a trust that I disappointed by failing to ensure that Full Tilt was properly governed when I stepped away in 2008. My failure to make sure proper oversight was in place when I left resulted in the situation that began to unfold on Black Friday. 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. The lost opportunity, frustration, and anxiety many of FTP’s customers experienced in the intervening years is unacceptable. I cannot be sorry enough for what happened…
…An apology is not enough, but it is what I am able to offer to the poker community in the wake of a travesty that I should not have allowed to happen. I am sorry.
Negreanu seems like an odd choice to release the statement considering his notorious anti-Lederer stance in the early 2010s but it appears to be legit.
Negreanu said he’s given up his personal grudge he had against Lederer, however. Negreanu also added this bit of retrospective at the end:
With Full Tilt Poker merging with PokerStars this week, it marks the end of an era. Some call it the “golden era.” The perfect storm that created a poker boom like we’d never seen before and may never see again. The Full Tilt Poker chapter has been closed, and It appears as though Howard wanted to write this apology to turn the page on his own life. My guess is that many will have no interest in an apology from him. I do think there are some who, despite it changing nothing, will appreciate it.
Lederer hasn’t played the WSOP since Black Friday hit in 2011.