The Epic Poker League Standards and Conduct Committee today announced the indefinite suspension of league members Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer pending the outcome of the DOJ’s investigation regarding their roles as directors of Full Tilt Poker.
The suspensions were the result of a committee vote. It is pointed out on the EPL’s site that Lederer’s sister, EPL founder Annie Duke, is “a non-voting member of the committee” and “does not participate in any committee decisions or discussions that involve league member discipline.”
I spoke with most recent EPL champion, Mike McDonald, one of the eight EPL Standards and Conduct Committee members, who explained how the EPL committee reaches its decision: “the committee discusses the issue, everyone voices their opinion, we lay out all alternatives and then vote on what to do with them.” McDonald stated that a simple majority is all that is needed to suspend a player and that just four of the committee members gathered to determine Lederer and Ferguson’s fate. The EPL website states that committee member and Team Full Tilt Pro Andy Bloch recused himself from consideration of the issue.
Suspending Lederer and Ferguson was a smart move by the EPL. Neither man will be participating in an EPL event anytime soon regardless, so nothing really changes on that front, but the EPL does get to maintain its integrity by not granting the men a free pass for their role in Full Tilt’s demise after having strongly enforced their code of conduct against a convicted child molester (Michael DiVita) and a player with significant financial debts to the poker community (Chino Rheem).