Phil Ivey, who has been avoiding the poker media of late, has made it to another WSOP final table. A few days back, he had attracted attention by emerging as the runner up of the $10k PL Hold’em event. So far, Ivey has made it to three WSOP final tables and has won cash prizes four times.
Ivey, who has won WSOP bracelets eight times in the course of his career, was once a sponsored player at Full Tilt Poker, a glorious online poker room that is now no more. Full Tilt Poker is believed to have loaned millions of dollars to its sponsored players, who have not yet repaid around $10 million to $20 million, according to Group Bernard Tapie (GBT), a French investment company that had once mulled over the idea of acquiring the beleaguered online poker room and pulling it to its feet. However, the acquisition deal fell apart as the GBT could not come to an agreement with the US Department of Justice. Behn Dayanim, legal representative of GBT, said that debts owed by Layne Flack, Phil Ivey, Erick Lindgren, David Benyamine, Mike Matusow, and Barry Greenstein to Full Tilt Poker were “a serious obstacle to the completion of the deal.” Currently, PokerStars is examining the pros and cons of acquiring Full Tilt Poker.
However, debts owed by ex sponsored players at Full Tilt Poker come up to just a small percentage of the huge sum of $440 million that Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst, the chief executive officers of Full Tilt Poker, are accused of stealing from ex Full Tilt Poker players.
So far, the finger of blame hasn’t been pointed at Phil Ivey, who did not take part in the WSOP last summer and took legal action against Full Tilt Poker. Ashton Griffin, a high stakes poker player, said, “I don’t think anyone really has a clue with what is currently going on with Full Tilt, enough to put the blame on Ivey. Until then, we can’t really be critical of him. Although, I’m not really sure what his agenda was for saying what he did last summer.”
Daniel Negreanu firmly believes that his peer Ivey isn’t responsible for Full Tilt Poker’s problems and its inability to pay back its poker players. He says, “Ivey isn’t at fault. It has nothing to do with him. It wasn’t his fault that those people screwed things up.”