WSOP: Danielle Andersen Confronts Howard Lederer Over WSOP Return

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Danielle Andersen found herself sitting across from Howard Lederer on Day 1B of the 2016 WSOP Main Event

In a matter of minutes Sunday night, Danielle Andersen’s 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event went from enjoyable to emotionally draining and it had absolutely nothing to do with the cards. It had everything to do with one of the, if not THE central Black Friday villain, Howard Lederer.

Andersen, whom many in the poker world were first introduced to in the documentary Bet Raise Fold, plays a fairly light tournament schedule, instead choosing to focus her time energy on the lucrative cash games year round in Las Vegas. One event she simply can’t pass up each year is the Main Event.

On Sunday, Andersen took her seat in the Amazon Room and played the first four levels at a fairly fun table – even by Main Event standards, where recreational players tend to fill the tables more than any other event on the calendar.

“There was this woman who just sat there all day and she clearly was an amateur player and didn’t know anything about poker. She told us in the last hour that the only reason she was there was because it was husband’s birthday and he wanted to play the Main Event,” said Andersen. “She goes ‘my butt hurts, I’m tired. I want to go home and go to sleep’ and she’s like ‘Can I just give my chips to everybody and they can be equally dispersed?’ And we all kind of laughed about it, but she was dead serious, she really just wanted to go home.”

The woman seemingly did everything she could to lose her stack as quickly as possible. After accidentally doubling up with K-4 against pocket eights, the unknown woman eventually managed to sent the last of her stack to another player after calling an all in with just to pair against a set of fives. Her departure was met with a hug from Andersen and smiles and kind words from the other seven players at the table.

“She was just a breath of fresh air at the table, it just got super fun. it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a Main Event table in my life. It was hilarious – it was great entertainment,” said Andersen. And then, with a little over an hour left in the day, all hell broke loose as the former Full Tilt Poker executive Lederer filled the empty seat.

“The table was having so much fun and the air just got sucked out of everybody – particularly me,” said Andersen. As those who have seen Bet Raise Fold, the documentary which followed the poker industry in the months leading up to and aftermath of Black Friday, can recall, prior to Black Friday, Andersen was patiently chasing a lucrative online poker sponsorship and the most likely suitor was Full Tilt Poker.

“Everything was euphoric prior to Howard sitting down. I think, obviously the woman that unfortunately busted before he sat down created a very unique atmosphere, unlike anything I’d ever experienced at the WSOP Main Event,” said Garry Gates, who sat on Andersen’s right. “There was laughter, there was joking, there were drinks, there was camaraderie and when Howard sat down it was like the storyboard nobody could have ever dreamt of. You went from one extreme to the other.”

Seeing Lederer at her table flustered Andersen and had her revisiting her emotions on Black Friday over five years after the fact.

“I just admittedly got really rattled and I wish that I didn’t. I wish that he didn’t have that power over me,” said Andersen. “To be honest, at first, I was just like speechless. It took me a little. Then I was like ‘I have to say something’. And I’m not the type to be like you’re a scumbag and you’re .. whatever … that’s not my style. Other people can be angry, but like it just brought me a profound sadness and I felt like I had to say something.”

“I was respectful, I didn’t yell at him, I didn’t do anything like that,” said Andersen, who doesn’t think Lederer recognized Andersen or her back story at all. “My read is that it sincerely does bother him, that everybody hates him and I don’t know the whole story, maybe he’s not as guilty as everybody thinks, maybe he’s a scapegoat but the fact is no matter what, he played a major role in what was for a lot of people the most painful time in their life, a very difficult time.”

Not long after saying something to Lederer, Andersen had to leave the table to help compose herself to be able to make it through the end of Day 1B.

“Shortly after I said something to him and he didn’t really respond I had to get up and walk away and I walked over to my friend and I told him I was just really rattled right now and he just said ‘the more control you give him, the more he wins and it doesn’t really do any good’, and I get all that,” said Andersen. “So I just took a little walk because I wasn’t focused anyways. The people at the table were nice and supportive, the guys next to me were like ‘hey, that was really well spoken, glad you said something. Are you okay?’”

Gates was one of the players asking Andersen if she was okay. Watching another player struggle wit the emotional and physical pain brought on by Lederer’s presence was difficult to watch.

“It actually affected me personally, I lost a big pot kind of playing mindlessly just watching Andersen’s reaction to it all. She looked physically pained by the situation, his presence. You could just tell,” said Gates. “The whole table was silent, there was not one word said for a while, Danielle actually spoke up after about ten minutes. But it took things from a very fun, enjoyable feel to a zero in my book.”

“Nobody else talked to him, but after I said it a couple of guys said ‘that was Three people spoke out in support of what I said,” said Andersen. “it is what it is, and maybe some day I’ll be able to not be bothered by it. It still feels raw.”

28 COMMENTS

    • Not a Lederer fan at all but not a fan of some lady trying to clearly get publicity out for herself by being a jerk to him either.

      Knowing what I do about Danielle, I’m about as certain as can be that’s not what was happening here. And she’s not “some lady,” she’s a well known member of the poker community.

    • Don’t know her but at least someones confronting him. He shouldn’t be anywhere near the WSOP ffs. absolute joke. well done Danielle!

    • Not a Lederer fan at all but not a fan of some lady trying to clearly get publicity out for herself by being a jerk to him either.

      I don’t think I’ve posted on this site in a decade but I had to come out of retirement to tell you this.

      You’re an idiot.

    • I don’t think I’ve posted on this site in a decade but I had to come out of retirement to tell you this.

      You’re an idiot.

      Nice to have you back?

    • I don’t think calling WAR an idiot is going to hurt his feelings much. My guess is that he’s just not informed regarding whom this lady is. That said, earlier this month there were posts regarding the fact that Chris Ferguson decided to show up at the WSOP and any number of people confronted him about various Black Friday issues that were stuck in their craw.Lederer on the other hand is depised by many on a whole different level because of his leadership/ownership role at FTP and his utter silence for so long. When millions of dollars that FTP was suppose to be the custodian of suddenly weren’t available for return when they should have been, that was unacceptable. When you make yourself the face of an organization or business and then the shit hits the fan, you’d better expect to be held accountable. Frankly, I’d think the WSOP could have done without these guys. If not banned by the host at least continue with their self banishment. This stain on their reputations will follow them the rest of their lives. I’d doubt this would be the last person to comment but perhaps the bravest.

    • If nothing else, I praise her sincerity. Doesn’t seem like she was trying to make a big show of it all, just airing a legitimate grievance.

    • Sure. I remember her reaction in the documentary “bet, raise, fold” when she sees all her assets frozen on Full Tilt Poker. She lost quite a bunch of money…..

    • On another note, I highly recommend that movie to anyone who’s into online poker and particularly those who lived through Black Friday. It’s a quality documentary. The Danielle Anderson thread was the most interesting to me, followed by Tony Dunst who was a known player for a while and all around good guy. I found the Martin Bradstreet thread less interesting, but still relevant

    • To WHITEALROKER—-Well I do know the LADY. She is the epitome of class, was not acting like “a jerk” and doesn’t “seek” out publicity. So your cryptic comment is wrong on many levels. Dan Burke

    • whitealroker…STFU!!! What a complete JACKASS you are! Nothing I’d rather do than punch someone in the face who speaks on subjects they are CLUELESS about.

    • whitealroker is one of the most respected people in poker to everyone jumping all over him. i think it was negreanu or mercier or someone like that who said “the poker community needs more people like whitealroker” or something like that

    • Lederer seems like the type that would just use people getting angry and flustered as a advantage to take their chips.

      As for my orginal comment. I am, as people have pointed out correctly, uninformed. I am sorry.

    • I just finished the documentary, it was interesting if you were part of the online poker community during that time. The online poker community is a subculture, it would not be appealing to those outside of it.

    • I get that people lost a lot of money during that time, and FTP had a responsibility to have enough assets to pay everyone out. But, you really I think what gets people mad is their own failure to adequately protect their own assets. These sites aren’t federally insured banks, they were gambling sites, clearly acting in defiance to the spirit of US law at the time.

    • I paid whitealroker $10 for a HJ one time and he not only put it in his beak on his own accord but also took the end in his beak instead of getting it on my belly. #respect

    • Mr Al Roaker, of the white variety, is a well respected member of the docking community. Lay off.

    • I paid whitealroker $10 for a HJ one time and he not only put it in his beak on his own accord but also took the end in his beak instead of getting it on my belly. #respect

      hard as fuck

    • whitealroker is one of the most respected people in poker to everyone jumping all over him. i think it was negreanu or mercier or someone like that who said “the poker community needs more people like whitealroker” or something like that

      Whitealroker pulled me from a burning car wreck. Thanks buddy.

      whitealroker rescued my cat from the tippy top of a 350 foot tree…hero is an understatement

      I paid whitealroker $10 for a HJ one time and he not only put it in his beak on his own accord but also took the end in his beak instead of getting it on my belly. #respect

      hard as fuck

      <3 OT