Chris Ferguson is at the WSOP and Daniel Negreanu Doesn’t Like It
We’re more than two weeks into the 2016 World Series of Poker already and, as usual, all of the poker pros, whether they focus live or online, are in attendance. There are two men who have made appearances, though, who we have not seen for a number of years: Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson.
Both Lederer and Ferguson were co-founders and board members of Full Tilt Poker and were indicted by the United States Department of Justice for their roles in the Black Friday scandal of April 2011. As we all painfully remember, when the DoJ froze Full Tilt’s funds, millions of dollars in customer deposits went up in smoke because Full Tilt executives had been using customer deposits to pay themselves. They were able to get away with it for a long time because there was never a rush on the bank, so to speak, but Black Friday went down, the scheme was discovered. Lederer and Ferguson eventually settled with the DoJ, but they essentially voluntarily exiled themselves from the poker community after that.
Lederer tried to explain what happened a few years ago in a terrible interview with PokerNews (not PokerNews’ fault), but he just laid blame on everyone but himself. In May, he finally issued a formal apology for Black Friday, an apology that looked like his way of trying to get himself back into the poker mix. Sure enough, he has made his way back to the WSOP.
Ferguson has been silent for five years, but he, too, has been playing at the WSOP this year, having achieved four small cashes so far. Amongst the many that are upset with him showing up is Daniel Negreanu. In an interview with PokerListings, Negreanu lashed out at Ferguson, saying that Ferguson, “…has hid for five years when they [Full Tilt’s owners] really needed him. They needed him to help get the sale done so players could get paid. Now he kind of weaselly comes back without saying a word and not acknowledging anything, taking zero responsibility, and now he’s taking pictures with people in the hallway.”
“I would just assume that any human being with a shred of decency would own some of it and at least have some sort of apology.”
“If you’ve had five years to think about what you want to say and you come up with nothing, that’s shameful. I find it shameful,” Negreanu added. “I’d expect that he’d have some remorse but the way he’s handled this, he’s shown none. I don’t know if he’s even sorry because he hasn’t said anything.”
At this point, Negreanu is ok with Lederer playing, since he did apologize (the apology was posted on Negreanu’s website) and at least made an effort in the PokerNews interview. Negreanu isn’t happy with Lederer, by any means, but, “He’s come back and I don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve put that behind me.”
But Ferguson not saying “boo” for five years and then just showing up at the World Series of Poker like nothing happened, “It’s like saying, ‘Hey I robbed all you guys, how you been?’”
“Any human with a shred of decency would say sorry. Even if it doesn’t make a difference, it’s still the right thing to do. Even if you feel like you didn’t do anything wrong, say that.”
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