Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 Four Most Overlooked Aspects of Poker's Black Friday
This week, the US poker community is reflecting on the year that has passed since the Black Friday indictments on April 15th, 2011.
Here at Poker Junkie we've also been looking back over and today present the four most underreported aspects of Black Friday.
1) Absolute Poker and UB
The bulk of coverage and public outrage towards online poker sites has been focused towards Full Tilt Poker, but the fact remains that AP and UB have not only failed to repay players but also have nearly dropped off the face of the earth.
While there have been reports that Blanca Games is in negotiations with the DOJ and they are trying to liquidate assets, nothing further has been reported.
The site is all but dead and everyone seems resigned to the fact they're not getting paid back by UB. Nobody has really even tried to dig that deep into the records or lash out at former UB sponsored players in the way that they have against Full Tilt.
In the end, it appears that UB lived up to expectations and no other explanation was required.
2) Where in the World is Howard Sandiego?
Since Black Friday, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson have laid low while events unfolded regarding Full Tilt Poker. By and large, there seems to have been very little interest in finding out just exactly where these two are or to track them down.
It's sad when QuadJacks has had more success in getting hold of Lederer than the mainstream media - or maybe some of the media is helping to keep them underground?
With the amount of money at stake for some players, it would seem that someone would have hired a private investigator or at the very least a skip tracer to track these folks down and expose where they are hiding.
Maybe we can hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to find them and make it an A&E special event.
3) Does PokerStars Really Have the Cash?
PokerStars paid back all US players immediately after Black Friday and since then, the site has been heralded for its handling of the Black Friday situation.
The fact remains that they still broke the law in the exact same way as the other sites. The difference is that they paid back players. Everyone points to the fact that the funds were segregated and this is the way they were able to pay players back.
Has anyone checked the financial records of PokerStars or pulled them from their licensing body?
PokerStars is the #1 site in the world and it could be entirely feasible that they paid US players back with other funds.
While that is probably not the case, from our research there appears to be no evidence of anyone actually pulling their financial records and seeing just how solvent of a company that they were.
By and large the company has gotten a pass because they paid players back. Forget the fact they broke the law like the other companies.
PokerStars paid us off and that appears to be good enough.
4) Full Tilt Owner Distributions and Player Cuts
Another aspect that hasn't received as much news or investigation as it should have is who the Full Tilt "owners" were that continued to receive distributions after Black Friday.
We all know that "The Board" continued to receive distributions but there were other "owners" who were still getting cuts and it was not made clear who they were.
Also, how much were Full Tilt pros making during the period they were with the company? Some have come forward and discussed certain matters but by and large we have no clue what the players were compensated.
We mention this because it is now clear that they were all being compensated with player funds.
It is surprising that more pressure has not been put on Full Tilt pros to give up some of the money they received from the company to help pay back US players, especially since it now is clear that their money is ill-gotten gains from other players accounts.
We're not accusing pro players and other "owners" of wrongdoing, but the fact that their money is by and large money that belongs to other players, giving some of it back seems to be the right thing to do.