Saturday, Oct 13, 2012 5 Reasons Howard Lederer Should Be Allowed Back in Poker
The much-maligned Howard Lederer returned to the poker world recently after a year and a half of semi-self-imposed exile.
While many feel that Lederer has no place in the poker world, some take a bit of a different view on the matter.
Here are five reasons why Howard Lederer should be allowed to return to poker.
1) Full Tilt Players Will Be Repaid
Poker players have gone without their funds from Full Tilt Poker for over a year and a half but that wait is about to come to an end thanks to PokerStars.
With the exception of the US, players will have access to their funds starting next month.
US players will have to file for their funds through a remission process with the U.S. Department of Justice, but they will be able to access their funds in time.
Howard doesn't have your money. PokerStars does.
2) US Players Knew Online Poker Was Illegal
Online poker players in the United States that claim they thought everything was on the up-and-up are either lying or just didn't pay attention.
The UIGEA made it illegal for banks to process online poker deposits and withdrawals and at some point players were going to have problems.
While that doesn't excuse Full Tilt for mismanaging funds like it did, it still should not have surprised anyone paying attention to the situation.
3) Howard Will Still Pay
While it is true that Lederer will not face any jail time in connection with Black Friday, he still faces a civil suit from the DOJ.
Considering that everyone the DOJ has gone after has paid some type of price for the crimes they committed, odds are that Lederer will be forced to forfeit at least a portion of the proceeds from his work with Full Tilt Poker.
Will it replace $390 million? Of course not. His proceeds do not equal anywhere near that. But it should suffice for the poker public's pound of flesh.
4) Poker Players Have Committed Worse Crimes
No matter what you think of Howard Lederer, the fact remains that his crimes do not stack up to some other poker players in the past.
At worst, Lederer looks to be guilty of being incompetent and that cost people money. That is a far cry from what Russ Hamilton allegedly did over at Ultimate Bet.
Neither did Lederer plead guilty to a charge to prevent prosecution on child molestation ala Amarillo Slim.
Slim was welcomed back into the poker community with semi-open arms. Hamilton realistically cannot play on the circuit anymore without incident, but he has been spotted in card rooms from time to time.
5) Banishment Lets Him Hide From What He's Done
There are many out there that think Howard Lederer should never be allowed to play in the poker community again because of what he's done.
What would that accomplish? Sure he will not be able to play the game he has played his entire life, but it effectively lets him hide from what he has done.
Banishment would mean that Lederer could go about his life and not worry about being questioned by a majority of the people in his life.
He will not have to be made uncomfortable or face up to his past.
Allowing him back into poker changes that. Every day he steps in a poker room, people will stare, whisper and even make their thoughts known to him.
He will have to face what he did at Full Tilt Poker every time he steps inside of a poker room for the rest of his life.
Howard won't be wearing a scarlet A, but instead a scarlet FTP.