In his statement Ivey took Tiltware LLC, Full Tilt Poker's software company, to task for its inactivity and indecision in returning player funds post-Black Friday.
Ivey went so far as to say he’s skipping the entire 2011 WSOP because U.S. players have not received their money yet.
Canadian Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu was impressed by the way Ivey played his hand.
“I admire that he’s willing to give up something like the WSOP, that I know is so important to him, for what he thinks is principally right,” said Negreanu.
Even two-time WSOP bracelet winner and current Full Tilt pro Eric Froehlich had to give Ivey his due.
“He’s making a stand for his own personal reasons and the benefit of other people and I think it’s a good thing,” he said.
“I think in a lot of ways he’s standing up for himself and the issues he’s having to deal with. Him taking that stance is really strong.”
“I couldn’t walk these halls with a patch on for a company that is keeping people on the rail” - Negreanu
Yesterday Tiltware responded to Ivey by sending an email to media outlets that called the 8-time WSOP bracelet winner's lawsuit “… frivolous and self-serving.”
The statement went on to say that Ivey owed the company money and had declined to take action that would assist players in getting their money back.
Negreanu had his own thoughts on Tiltware’s statement:
“It’s interesting that Tiltware released a statement about Ivey being selfish but they had a month to release a statement about funds,” he said.
“The [Tiltware] statement was shocking to me how low class it was. It wasn’t that surprising but it is really low class the way they are handling it.”
When asked if he would take the same stance if he were in Ivey’s position, Negreanu said he would.
“I couldn’t walk these halls with a patch on for a company that is keeping people on the rail,” he said. “I could never do that.”
Robl Calls Ivey Statement "Self-Serving"
Not everyone is on Ivey’s side however.
Andrew Robl, for one, posted a lengthy personal blog about how he thought it was the wrong move at the wrong time.
“Phil Ivey’s statement was solely self-serving,” he wrote. “He is trying to cover his own ass and unassociate himself with Full Tilt’s current legal situation/non-paying of players.
"Phil Ivey is one of the primary equity holders of Full Tilt and has profited off their business more than almost anyone.”
Robl went on to say that if Ivey really wanted to help players get their cash back he would return the millions he has made from the company to players, as Tom Dwan has pledged to do if the site fails to pay them back.
Instead Robl says that Ivey’s statement dramatically hurt Full Tilt’s reputation and brand at a critical moment.
He remained confident, however, that Full Tilt would eventually be able to pay its players back.
After four days of play at the 2011 WSOP one thing is clear:
Ivey, despite his absence, is going to have a huge impact on the entire summer as players continue to buzz about his potentially industry-changing statement.