A full month after Black Friday Full Tilt representative FTPDoug (actually, the real FTPDoug left the company a long time ago and they just use the name since he had some credibility on 2+2) announced:
NOTICE (UPDATE): The comment I made about FTPDoug was made in error. Someone I used to work with at FTP mentioned that he was posting as FTPDoug regarding a specific topic that had come up in conversation. I, wrongly, assumed that he had always been FTPDoug. The person who I thought it was had only used the FTPDoug account to announce some information on 2+2.
The confusion seems to be over the fact that while one individual does do most of the FTPDoug postings the account is an FTP account and thus others have used it to make announcements and answer questions that the actual FTPDoug may be unable to address.
Most of the uproar about who FTPDoug is and references to this post have to do with Michelle Clayborne’s rant about the Phil Ivey lawsuit which was posted on 2+2 under FTPDoug’s account.
Michelle Clayborne is not FTPDoug (though her words were posted under his account). As I mentioned, the account is also used as a general purpose (press) release channel. Also, several people (mostly poker journalists) mention getting this directly from Clayborne’s PR agency before it was posted on 2+2.
Whether someone else posted the Clayborne response under FTPDoug’s account or if FTPDoug was instructed to post it is not clear. However, I do know that FTPDoug is not high enough up the food chain to pen something like that himself. He’s a very valuable member of the FTP organization but the reality is that something like that rant did not go out to the general public without Ray Bitar’s (as well as other high ranking executive’s and perhaps the legal department’s) review and approval.
I apologize for being originally mistaken on this and any of the confusion my misunderstanding may have caused.
When are we getting our money back?
– Here’s the official statement about where we currently stand on US withdrawals:
“Since April 15th and the days immediately following, Full Tilt Poker faced numerous challenges and hurdles to ensuring the smooth operation of its international business and the orderly return of US player funds. FTP has worked tirelessly to address these issues and has made significant progress on both fronts.
FTP’s international business operations are returning to normal while we focus on ensuring the safe and orderly return of US player deposits. We are absolutely committed to making sure that US players are refunded as soon as possible. We apologize for the delay and the fact that we underestimated the time it would take to work through these issues. We will update our US players when we have more specific information to provide.”
So basically the message here is that there is no new information. Full Tilt is still unable to pay players back their balances. As I speculated previously this is looking more and more like Full Tilt has cash flow issues.
But the more worrisome part of this is the constant refusal to disclose what the holdup is or to give any sort of rough timeline. You know the pressure is on Full Tilt right now and they know going out to a crowd like 2+2 with nothing is just inviting all sorts of speculation and flaming but they did it anyway. To me that means that they’re really in a bad position. If you had anything positive to report you would throw it out there as a bone to give people hope. But to build up everyone’s hopes of a major announcement and then drop this turd of an update reeks of desperation and panic.
If it wasn’t a cash flow issue why aren’t they screaming at the top of their lungs that they’re not having any financial issues? The rumors are all over 2+2, here, and other sites. Why not use the big 5/15 update to dispel these rumors? Why word your official statement in such a way as to fuel continued speculation?
Either Full Tilt has the worst public relations people in the world or there’s something going on that Tilt doesn’t want anybody to know about.
This should be a huge, huge wakeup call to the poker community regarding the gaming commissions Stars, Tilt, and UB/AP are licensed under. You’ve got UB/AP’s offices being raided in Costa Rica, accusations that key executives in the company are involved in money laundering and what have we heard from Kahnawake? Nada. Zip. Zilch. A full month after Black Friday you’ve got Full Tilt still issuing statements that sound more nervous than a whore in church on Sunday and Alderney isn’t really saying anything other than they’re keeping an eye on things.
The truth of the matter is that these gaming commissions have very little power to enforce their rules. If UB/AP decides to pocket player money and move to Antigua there’s absolutely nothing Kahnawake can do except revoke their gaming license. That’s it. Then they form a new corporation, hide the involvement of anybody associated with the old UB/AP, and pay their fees and get a new license under a different corporate name.
On one hand that’s not a criticism of the gaming commissions themselves because they were never intended to be a real investigative and enforcement body. On the other hand, it is a criticism of the gaming commissions because they were formed simply to be cash cows for the respective governments forming them and never given the resources to do the kind of job it would really take in order to protect customers.
Right now if a poker room suspects me of cheating or using a bot they can seize all the money in my account. Somehow that’s legal. They don’t have to prove anything. If they feel that the evidence they’ve collected is sufficient then your funds are seized, your account closed, and you have absolutely no ability to refute their claims or present your own evidence. You can file a complaint with the gaming commission but you have very limited legal rights.
If I am suspected of cheating in Las Vegas the police are called and I will be arrested. I can keep my money (though it may be held as evidence). I am also afforded all the rights under the legal system. I have a right to a jury trial. I have the right to an attorney. I have the right to the presumption of innocence until a jury deems that the prosecution has presented a case that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that I actually cheated.
And right now we’re seeing how this lack of representation under the law impacts us. If Full Tilt was licensed in the US federal agents would be kicking in doors and a team of accountants would be figuring out if Full Tilt was still solvent. But Full Tilt is not licensed in the US. It’s licensed in Alderney. None of us vote in Alderney. Nobody is going to get voted out of office if Full Tilt implodes and players lose money.
Same thing in Kahnawake. None of us live on the Kahnawake reservation. We can’t vote. We have no rights there. There’s absolutely nothing we can do if Absolute/UB rip off the players. There will be no outside investigation. Nobody will be held accountable.