Chris Ferguson surprised everyone by showing up at the WSOP for the first time since Black Friday but Daniel Negreanu thinks he owes former Full Tilt customers an apology first.
All told two people who had seats on the board of Full Tilt Poker leading up to Black Friday are playing at the WSOP but Daniel Negreanu thinks there's an important difference.
“There's a distinct difference between Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson showing up at the WSOP,” Negreanu told PokerListings.com.
“Howard has spoken. He spoke to PokerNews for hours. People might not have liked his answers but at least he was speaking and he issued a statement where he finally showed some ownership in terms of his role.
“He's come back and I don't have much of a problem with it. I've put that behind me."
"Chris Ferguson Has Hid for Five Years"
“Chris Ferguson, on the other hand, has hid for five years when they really needed him. They needed him to help get the sale done so players could get paid.
“Now he kind of weaselly comes back without saying a word and not acknowledging anything, taking zero responsibility, and now he's taking pictures with people in the hallway.
“I would just assume that any human being with a shred of decency would own some of it and at least have some sort of apology,” said Negreanu.
More to Ferguson's Story
In a story with PokerListings a few days ago, poker ambassador and Ferguson's long-time friend Mike Sexton said there's more to Ferguson's side of the story, and if he told it people's opinion of him would improve.
That's leaving a lot of people wondering why Ferguson has chosen to keep quiet, including Negreanu.
“If you've had five years to think about what you want to say and you come up with nothing, that's shameful. I find it shameful.
“I'd expect that he'd have some remorse but the way he's handled this, he's shown none.
“I don't know if he's even sorry because he hasn't said anything.”
Apology Now Too Little, Too Late
Chris Ferguson was on the board at Full Tilt Poker but no one really knows how involved or complicit he was in the decisions that led to the massive shortfall in player funds.
One thing that's all too clear is the hugely negative impact the events had on Full Tilt's former customers' lives.
According to court documents Ferguson said, “he was unaware of any wrongful activity at Full Tilt or that the company had become unable to satisfy its player account liabilities.”
Other documents revealed that Ferguson had received roughly $25 million in distributions from his ownership position in Full Tilt and that a total of $87.2 million in distributions had been allocated to him.
With all that on record, Negreanu doesn't understand how someone so closely connected to the company and the poker world could go so long without taking some responsibility.
Negreanu: "I'm Just Shocked"
“Ferguson saying, 'I didn't do anything wrong,' is bullshit. Who brought Ray Bitar in? Who's Ray Bitar's best buddy? You are.
“You were on the board of directors. You were involved in the company at a very high level. Everyone had responsibility to some degree. Every single person involved.
“And to shrug it off like you had no involvement after five years, I'm just shocked.
“I know he's not a confrontational guy but if he's going to show his face here, at least say sorry at the bare minimum.
“Here's the problem with the way he's handled it. He's already shown up. He's come here, said nothing, he's not said anything for five years.
“It would have to be a really genuine apology to have any meaning. And now he kind of has to apologize for coming back and not saying anything because it's basically a slap in the face.
“It's like saying, 'Hey I robbed all you guys, how you been?' Any human with a shred of decency would say sorry.
“Even if it doesn't make a difference, it's still the right thing to do. Even if you feel like you didn't do anything wrong, say that. At this point it's not about whether an apology is going to get everyone to forgive him it's just what he should do as a man of integrity.”