Black Friday and Full Tilt Poker are two subjects that the poker community will never forget, primarily due the $150 million that Full Tilt Poker owes to its US customers. In addition to the missing $150 million, allegations that are far more serious are also being evaluated. Full Tilt Poker has apparently given around $440 million in cash away to other owners and its own board members since 2007. The company is said to have run a “Global Ponzi Scheme”, and for those who are directly or indirectly involved, the nightmare is far from over.
Blair Hinkle a poker pro has faced the dark demons of these accusations when his winnings of $1.2 million from the Full Tilt Online Poker Series in February vanished overnight. Hinkle at that point was unaware of the company’s allegations and their insolvency. Oblivious to the fact that his money was in big trouble, Hinkle attempted to withdraw $48,000 of his winnings only to be denied repeatedly. By the time, Hinkle took measures to contact the company, Black Friday struck and he knew that his money was probably gone. In April of 2011, the United States government forced Full Tilt Poker to shut down on allegations of corruption. PokerStars and Absolute Poker were also pulled into this carnage.
Now, Blair, one of the victims of Full Tilt Poker’s ponzi scheme is once again optimistic about his future with his recent success at the 2012 World Series of Poker events. Among the several million the company owed to its US customers, Hinkle’s funds represented a much smaller fraction (less than 1%) of the total. Hinkle, who is struggling to maintain financial balance in this chaotic time, feels fortunate that he made it to the final table in $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em at WSOP, where he bagged a ‘decent’ amount as a cash prize. The Kansas native feels fortunate about his exit at the 4th place and his $192,734 prize, even thoughhe fell short of winning his second career bracelet.
Hinkle is known for his unconventional playing style, an ability that gives him maximum value from hands. He has long since established himself as one of the best No-Limit Hold’em tournament players in the world. During his poker career, he has outlasted 1,344-player field to win his first bracelet in 2008 and ousted 14,479 on Full Tilt to score a seven-figure cash prize.