Archive for February, 2012

Parent Company of Epic Poker League Files Bankruptcy

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

In a message posted on their website today, Federated Sports + Gaming, the parent company of the Epic Poker League, announced they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The highly-promoted, invite-only poker league is currently in its first season. The Epic Poker League was created by Annie Duke in hopes that it would be come the “PGA of poker”. Players can earn membership cards based on their performance in major tournaments from around the world over the past several years.

Three events have taken place in the inaugural season of the Epic Poker League. The fourth event as well as a $1 million end-of-season freeroll, which were both slated to be held weeks ago, were postponed allegedly due to player complaints about scheduling conflicts. League commissioner Jeffrey Pollack said today in a statement that, “it is our full intention to complete, as planned, Season One of the Epic Poker League. However, we do not yet know when Event 4 and the Season One Championship will be staged.”

In August, we posted a blog with thoughts on why the EPL will fail. That prediction came true a bit quicker than we could have expected. Here’s one more prediction so long as we’re on a hot streak: that $1 million freeroll EPL members were promised… it’s probably not going to happen.

Matt Glantz: Move On, Your Full Tilt Money is Gone

Monday, February 27th, 2012

High-stakes poker pro Matt Glantz recently took to his blog to share some whispers from Full Tilt. The revealing blog includes details of conversations he has had with “a number of FTP shareholders”. According to Glantz, “most of the insiders seem to conclude that there is almost no chance of [the deal between Full Tilt and Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT)] going through at this point.” He also advises players with money on Full Tilt to, “move on as if the their funds are gone.”

While Glantz admits the blog entry is opinion pieced together from various conversations with members of Full Tilt, it is about the closest thing the poker world has had to hearing from the Full Tilt camp in months. The company has remained almost entirely silent since the U.S. Department of Justice called their operation a Ponzi scheme last September. Glantz shares his belief for the reasoning behind this silence:

The common theme is anyone making a public statement from the inside will be “at risk” in being blamed for the Tapie deal falling apart. This is why nobody is speaking publicly. Let me clarify: It is not because they are worried about the deal falling apart. It is because they are worried that if they say anything they will eventually be blamed for the deal falling apart. Even though most of the insiders seem to conclude that there is almost no chance of this deal going through at this point, they don’t want any perception that their words caused the deal to fail.

Glantz said he believes based on his conversations with Full Tilt insiders that, “it is inevitable that Tapie will be backing out.” He gave an example of how players could receive some of their Full Tilt money back one day by saying, “I expect the company to shut down and for the US Government to eventually disperse the assets under its control. A reasonable expectation under the circumstances is for the players to receive between 20%-40% of their account balances back from the government somewhere down the line.” But Glantz also speculated that, “There is also a remote chance that the U.S. does not treat this situation like a poker site and sticks with its original assertion that it was just a Ponzi Scheme. In this case the account balances won’t matter. You would only get your deposits back. Any money won on the site would be fake profits from the government’s perspective.”

Finally, Glantz advised players to, “move on as if the their funds are gone. Think of any money you may receive back from the FTP debacle in the future as found money.”

Nevada Gaming Control Board Rules on EPL, Sex Offender Dispute

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Last fall, Michael DiVita won a $20,000 seat to an Epic Poker League (EPL) Main Event through a $1,500 Pro/Am satellite. Before he could participate in the tournament, DiVita was confronted by EPL Standards and Committee Chairman Stephen Martin and informed he would not play the Main Event due to a prior sex offender conviction. DiVita initially refused the deal and stated he wanted to play but, as his side of the story goes, was told he would be stopped from playing in a very embarrassing and public fashion. He then demanded his $20,000 seat be awarded to him in cash, but the EPL refused and gave him just $1,500 as a refund for the satellite. DiVita claims Palms security was used to intimidate him into taking the deal.

In the aftermath, DiVita filed a complaint with the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB). The team at QuadJacks.com acquired a memo from the NGCB to George Maloof, President of the Palms Casino Resort which hosts the EPL, dated January 12th of this year. In the memo, the NGCB decided that the EPL wrongfully barred DiVita from play and ordered the Palms Casino to award him $18,500 to compensate for the value of the seat he lost.

This seems like a suitable outcome to the dispute. If the EPL and/or the Palms Casino had an issue with a sex offender participating in their poker tournament, they should have prohibited him from registering or even entering the premises in the first place. Once he won a seat to the Main Event, the $20,000 cash value of the seat should have been credited to him upon the decision to bar him from the tournament. By mishandling this, the EPL and Palms Casino have now allowed a child molester to come off looking like a victim.

Tell Us How You Really Feel, Mr. Negreanu

Friday, February 10th, 2012

In his most recent blog entry on FullContactPoker.com, Daniel Negreanu didn’t pull any punches regarding his thoughts on the trio of men chiefly responsible for the downfall of Full Tilt Poker. His aim was to set the record straight on some ways in which he feels Poker Player UK misrepresented him in a recent interview. One thing the poker publication allegedly did was tone down the sentiment he shared towards the Full Tilt Poker kingpins. Negreanu clarified that by saying:

They edited down my comments about Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson, but they definitely got the gist of my vitriol towards them. I’m disgusted by them and what they’ve done to smear the game with putrid decision making. Ray is a buffoon, Howard is arrogant, condescending, and incompetent, and Chris is a liar and has the warmth of a snow pea. These were never my friends, I never cared for any of them. I never trusted them for a second, and my “read” was always that these were not my kind of people. Why are they different from the rest of the group? These three were on the board, admittedly making all the decisions, and jeopardizing millions of dollars worth of players money that still hasn’t surfaced. You guys suck. I hope to never see any of your faces at the WSOP anymore, and I hope you live with the shame you deserve for the rest of your lives. Your own personal, private hell. You deserve all the wrath you’ve received from the poker world, and much more. You are scum and each of you absolutely deserves a few swift baseball bat swings to the groin area, old school Vegas style.

Classic Negreanu shock value delivery. But it’s hard not to appreciate someone of his visibility speaking their mind about the Full Tilt crooks. He’s right: they suck.

Speaking of those guys… don’t they owe some people some money? In our Weekly Shuffle column for this upcoming Sunday, we’ll recap the latest drama behind Full Tilt’s efforts to sell their assets to Groupe Bernard Tapie in order to repay players worldwide.