Howard Lederer, the ex-founder of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) was expected to make an appearance at the 2016 World Series of Poker (WSOP) after he issued a lengthy apology for the FTP disaster in 2011 that resulted in millions of dollars not being paid to U.S based poker players.
U.S based poker players were extremely at FTP’s board of directors and Lederer in particular as they were cheated out of millions of dollars and never even received an apology for the same. Lederer went underground and remained silent for all these years. He suddenly decided to publish a statement on Daniel Negreanu’s blog in May 2016 apologising for not doing enough to stop the FTP disaster.
Lederer stated that he knew an apology was due after one of his friends told him something to the extent of “Howard, it doesn’t matter whether you knew about the shortfall or what you did to help players get paid. These players feel like you lied to them. You were the face of the company in the poker community. Thousands of players played on the site because they trusted you. Many pros represented the site because they thought you were in control. And you happily accepted the accolades while falling short of their trust.”
There were a number of players in the poker community who felt that the timing of the post indicated that Lederer was about to finally surface and make an appearance at the 2016 WSOP. The person who did make an appearance at the 2016 WSOP was Chris Ferguson, an ex- FTP director and his appearance surprised many as he had also remained underground and silent for all these years. Ferguson did not look rusty at all from his prolonged absence from the game and immediately tasted success with two cashes having finished within the top twenty in two events.
While Ferguson made a surprised appearance, Lederer was not to be found. However, Lederer finally made an appearance over the weekend and took part in event number 16 which was the $10,000 Deuce-to-Seven Single Draw Championship. The 53 year old Lederer had a few people and media representatives approach him to see if he would like to share more information on the FTP disaster but he declined saying that he had already made his statement.
A total of $159 million was stolen from U.S poker players by Full Tilt Poker executives and the Federal Government has so far been able to recover $112 million.