In a recent blog poston his website, Doyle Brunson (pictured) seemingly came to the defense of the figures allegedly involved with the downfall of Full Tilt Poker. On Monday, Brunson used his official blog to offer his opinions on the Full Tilt Poker fiasco and included inside knowledge he had regarding the situation.
“I feel I was privy to things lots of people weren’t because my best friend, Jack Binion, was interested in buying Full Tilt and did a lot of due diligence,” Brunson stated in the post. Just as quickly, however, the two-time World Series of Poker Main Event champion emphasized what he wrote was simply his opinion on the issue.
“Was Full Tilt guilty of gross negligence and terrible mismanagement? Yes, of course,” Brunson conceded. Brunson then revealed that Full Tilt’s Ray Bitar, who was named in the original U.S. Department of Justice Black Friday documents, seemingly took over control of the company in 2008. This was done at the request of the largest stockholder, Chris Ferguson, and allegedly put Bitar at the helm of every aspect of Full Tilt’s operation.
“The site under Bitar’s direction started paying the stockholders huge dividends as the business grew,” Brunson stated. Then, he looked to the reader for an explanation of what happened to the company: “If you were a stockholder, would you question the management of a company sending you hundreds of thousands of dollars each month? I doubt you would.”
According to “Texas Dolly,” once the financial troubles began to mount for Full Tilt – seizure of money by the DOJ, processors not clearing deposits, and the loss of a way to get money to the site were all mentioned – Bitar (pictured) continued to issue payments to stockholders and attempted to work his way out of the situation. “Bitar might have worked things out, but Black Friday happened and everything came to the surface,” Brunson wrote.
When it came to the stockholders who received windfalls of cash, Brunson offered an explanation: “All of the stockholders said they knew nothing of the financial problems. I’m not defending nor persecuting anyone… Ferguson had a lot of faith in his friend Bitar. I’ve been in contact with Lederer and, when someone I’ve known for years, trusted, and respected looks me dead in the eye and says he didn’t know about the financial problems, call me a big old Texas sucker because I will believe them.”
As a way to end his post, Brunson stated, “All of the Federal agencies will do a thorough and complete investigation. I believe the truth will finally come out when the DOJ signs off on the case.” In September, Lederer (pictured), Ferguson, and Rafe Furst were all named by the DOJ as operating a Ponzi scheme.
In the meantime, Brunson offered some sage advice to the poker community: “I know the majority of the poker world wants blood and believes they did know. I believe time will tell us the answer to that. I don’t want to take a baseball bat and crush their grapes and I don’t want to keep them from rejoining the poker world. Where do you stop the level of responsibility? The most widely read book in the world says, ‘Let someone with no quilt cast the first stone.'”
The final words are probably in response to fellow poker pro Daniel Negreanu, who has made his feelings on the subject well known through outlets like a British poker magazine (where he called the Lederer family “scoundrels”), his own blog at Full Contact Poker (where he said, “Ray is a buffoon, Howard is arrogant, and Chris is a liar”) and in a video blog released last week (where he advocated old school Vegas justice in saying he would have no problem with Lederer being “bashed in the nuts with a baseball bat”).
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