The 25 Worst Moments in Poker in 2012: 10-6

Howard Lederer
Howard Lederer earned a spot on the list by taking zero responsibility for Full Tilt Poker.

It's said that if you don't remember history you're doomed to repeat it so as a precaution we're running down the 25 worst poker moments of 2012.

Today we enter the top 10 with five less-than-stellar events spanning the timeline of the last twelve months.

From what some call the worst ruling in the history of poker to Howard Lederer's nearly sociopathic denial of Full Tilt responsiblity, these are the things we'd most like to forget from the past year.

10. Andras Koroknai Moves All-In, Mucks, Isn't Eliminated from WSOP

Tournament poker is fraught with peril.

Bad beats, coolers and talented opponents can all spell disaster but usually moving all-in and voluntarily mucking your hand while your opponent still has cards isn't something you need to worry about.

Not so for Andras Koroknai.

In what many called the “worst decision in the history of poker” Koroknai was not eliminated from the 2012 WSOP Main Event, despite announcing all-in and throwing his cards in the muck while Gaelle Baumann was still to act.

WSOP staff ruled that Koroknai had not known Baumann was still in the hand and that he deserved to stay in the event.

Making the ruling particularly frustrating for poker fans was how Koroknai went on to bust Baumannn on the final-table bubble.


Benevolent decision or misguided generosity? You decide.

9. Guarantee Confusion Ends Partouche Poker Tour

With a seven-figure first-place prize guaranteed every year since its inception in 2008 the Partouche Poker Tour Grand Final quickly became a major stop on the live tournament circuit.

partouche
Patrick Partouche takes his ball and goes home.
 

But in the end it was a guarantee that proved to be the tour's undoing.

In early September the PPT Grand Final began in Cannes, boasting what was widely advertised as a €5 million guaranteed prize pool.

But by the end of registration only 580 buy-ins had been recorded, equivalent to roughly 85 per cent of the money originally promised.

When concerned players brought the discrepancy to the staff's attention they were told that no guarantee had ever existed.

Compounding their deception, the PPT removed all mentions of the guarantee from their website. Unfortunately for them the original versions still existed in cached pages on Google and were quickly posted throughout the poker community.

PPT head Patrick Partouche responded to the situation directly, announcing to players at the Grand Final that no guarantee was ever promised, and that the PPT would be closing its doors forever.

Barely a day later though, Partouche made another announcement, apologizing for the confusion and adding the almost €700,000 needed to satisfy the original guarantee.

Despite making good on the promise the PPT stuck with their decision to close up shop.

8. Group Bernard Tapie Gets Everyone's Hopes Up, Fails

The year and a half following Black Friday was rough for online poker players, especially if you had money stuck on Full Tilt Poker.

Laurent Tapie
Laurent Tapie was in charge of negotiating the acquisition of Full Tilt Poker.
 

And adding to the frustration were the efforts of Groupe Bernard Tapie who seemed perpetually on the verge of acquiring FTP and solving everyone's financial woes.

In November of 2011 GBT signed an agreement with the Department of Justice that would allow them to purchase Full Tilt, provided certain conditions were met.

Unfortunately for Full Tilt players it slowly became clear that those conditions would be insurmountable, chief among them being the repayment schedule for outstanding player balances.

After months of giving FTP customers at least a shred of hope, negotiations between Tapie and the DOJ officially ended in April of 2012, about a week after Black Friday's first anniversary.

In hindsight it was a blessing in disguise since GBT's failure paved the way for PokerStars to step in and scoop up FTP but it was a hard few months of waiting and wishing for players.

7. Howard Lederer Dodges FTP Responsibility

Even more surprising than the DOJ's all-out assault on online poker in 2011 were the details that came out on how Full Tilt Poker was being run leading up to Black Friday.

When people learned about the hundreds of millions of dollars paid out to guys like Howard Lederer, Ray Bitar and Chris Ferguson - the ones supposedly piloting the capsizing ship that was FTP – they were left with a long list of unanswered questions.

That's why it was particularly frustrating when FTP board member Howard Lederer completely dodged any responsibility for the company's mismanagement in his first post-Black Friday interview.

PokerNews.com published seven hours of footage but many felt that Lederer had manipulated the interview to deflect responsibility and paint himself the victim.

Just three months later Howard Lederer settled with the Department of Justice.

In case you don't have time to sift through seven hours of (im)plausible deniability, here are the highlights in one of the best video montages of the year.


6. Erick Lindgren Shirks Debts, $2m FTP Mistake

On March 1st a thread was started on Two Plus Two describing how former Team Full Tilt Poker member Erick Lindgren owed over $100k in a fantasy football league and wasn't paying.

Erick Lindgren
Erick Lindgren's image took a beating in 2012.
 

With posts from the members of the fantasy league plus firsthand insight from Haralabos Voulgaris on Lindgren's nature, this controversy pulled the curtain back on the world of big-name sponsored poker pros.

It proved once again that appearances are deceiving in the poker world, that winning big on TV and sporting an FTP patch and a stake in the company isn't a guarantee of financial security.

But if Lindgren fans were disillusioned about that six-figure fantasy debt, they must have been floored when Howard Lederer revealed that Full Tilt had loaned Lindgren $4 million and E-Dog was refusing to pay it back.

Even more surprising was Lederer's admission that $2 million of that money had been sent in error. Lindgren had requested a $2 million loan and received it twice, once in his FTP account and once to his bank account.

That news was particularly hard to take for people who had money stuck on Full Tilt.

More Worst Moments in Poker in 2012:

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JONTY pLUMS 2013-01-02 08:59:40

What was the dealer doing - Cards to be mucked should be given to the dealer, then discarded AFTER the hand has finished. The Russian should have been disqualified. Made me sick to see this at the highest level.....

Ups 2012-12-31 14:32:21

Howard just didn't know what was going on. I don't get why everyone gets so out of shape about it.

Trigger 2012-12-31 14:31:21

I think it was a great moment that Tapie didn't buy Full Tilt.

Hank 2012-12-28 20:59:50

Terrible misfortune for the French girl. That was a terrible ruling.

Grant 2012-12-28 14:49:53

When did KFC buy the Partouche Poker Tour?