Professional poker player Phil Ivey, who once formed part of Team Full Tilt Poker Pro and made headlines owing to his association with fallen online poker giant Full Tilt Poker (FTP), will participate in his first US live poker tournament after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) charged him following the events of April 15, 2011, commonly referred to as Black Friday.
It may be recalled that a number of online poker players in the US could no longer access their online poker funds after the DoJ seized the domain names of FTP, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker and arrested key people associated with these poker sites.
Ivey has played on the first day of the Main Event of the 2012 LA Poker Classic, a live poker event that he won in 2008.
When the US federal government cracked down on major online poker rooms Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars on April 15, 2011, Phil Ivey had publicly criticized FTP’s failure to refund its ex players in the US. He had also stated that the online poker room had not managed its accounts properly.
Following the events of Black Friday, Phil Ivey sued Full Tilt Poker, demanding $150 million, which was the total amount of money that FTP owed its former poker players. When Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) began expressing interest in purchasing FTP, Ivey withdrew the case.
It was later revealed that Ivey is one of the professional poker players associated with FTP, who actually owe the company money. Allegedly, Ivey has to pay the company around $4 million, and poker media reports claim that debts owed by Ivey and many other online poker players to FTP is delaying the successful completion of GBT’s acquisition of FTP.
Ivey again made headlines when he stated that would not participate in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) of 2011 as a mark of protest against FTP’s failure to refund thousands of ex players. However, Ivey participated in the Macau Main Event of the Asian Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) a few months back, his first poker tournament after Black Friday. Later in January, he participated in the Super High Roller event of the Aussie Millions, in which he won a large prize of $2.1 million.
The first day of the Main Event of the 2012 LA Poker Classic commenced on Feb 24.