Desde o Black Friday que o aproximar das World Series Of Poker faz com que se fale na possibilidade de que este seja o ano em que Howard Lederer regresse às mesas na luta por uma bracelete.
Na quarta-feira à noite, Lederer usou o blog de Daniel Negreanu (FullContactPoker.com) para se dirigir à comunidade, a carta começou com a frase "Estou a escrever para pedir desculpa a todos os membros da comunidade do poker".
Lederer usou esta carta para se responsabilizar pela queda da Full Tilt Poker no dia 15 de Abril de 2011, algo que não tinha feito na longa entrevista que concedeu à PokerNews, a famosa "The Lederer Files".
Embora a assuma a responsabilidade, Lederer sempre vai dizendo que desde 2008 que não estava presente no dia-a-dia da empresa e que falhou ao supervisionar quem estava encarregue de o fazer.
Este pedido de desculpas surge numa altura em que a Full Tilt se une à PokerStars e os jogadores passam a partilhar a mesma pool. Será este um encerrar de capítulo? Não poderia este pedido de desculpas ter chegado 5 anos antes?
Daniel Negreanu comentou a carta, que poderás ler abaixo, e diz acreditar que o pedido de desculpas de Lederer seja sincero, ainda assim critica o timming do mesmo.
Tal como muitos de nós, Negreanu também acha que este pedido de desculpas é o primeiro passo para que Lederer volte a aparecer nas mesas de poker. O Team PokerStars Pro diz ainda que neste momento já não se "chateia" de estar na mesma mesa que Lederer porque os jogadores já receberam o seu dinheiro de volta.
O canadiano termina a dizer que não será seu amigo, coisa que nunca foi, mas que quer encerrar este capítulo e seguir em frente.
"I am writing to apologize to everyone in the poker community, especially to all the players who had money on Full Tilt Poker on April 15, 2011. When Full Tilt Poker closed in 2011, there was a shortfall in funds, a distressed sale to recover those funds, and a long delay in repaying players. Throughout this period, there was little explanation for the delay, and no apology. Players felt lied to. They trusted the site, and they trusted me, and I didn’t live up to that trust.
"I take full responsibility for Full Tilt’s failure to protect player deposits leading up to Black Friday. The shortfall in player deposits should never have happened. I should have provided better oversight or made sure that responsible others provided that oversight. I was a founder in the company that launched Full Tilt, and I became the face of the company’s management in the poker community. Many of our players played on the site because they trusted me.
"Even though I was no longer overseeing day to day operations, my inattention in the two years leading up to Black Friday imperiled players’ deposits. My involvement in Full Tilt from 2003-2008 put me in a unique position of trust—a trust that I disappointed by failing to ensure that Full Tilt was properly governed when I stepped away in 2008. My failure to make sure proper oversight was in place when I left resulted in the situation that began to unfold on Black Friday. Players were not able to get their money back for a minimum of a year and a half, and, for many, it has been much longer. I’ve been a poker player my entire adult life. I know the importance of having access to one’s bankroll. The lost opportunity, frustration, and anxiety many of FTP’s customers experienced in the intervening years is unacceptable. I cannot be sorry enough for what happened.
"During Full Tilt’s rise, I received a lot of praise. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I let the headlines change me. In the first couple of years after Black Friday I made lots of excuses, to my friends, my family and myself, for why I wasn’t the bad guy or big-headed or wrong. In the months immediately following the crisis, I focused a lot of energy on trying to refute allegations that were factually untrue. I convinced myself that I was a victim of circumstance and that criticism was being unfairly directed toward me instead of others. I was missing the bigger picture.
"At a wedding in the fall of 2014, I was sitting with a friend, talking about Full Tilt. I was grumbling about how unfair my lot in life had become. My friend didn’t let me off the hook. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said, “Howard, it doesn’t matter whether you knew about the shortfall or what you did to help players get paid. These players feel like you lied to them. You were the face of the company in the poker community. Thousands of players played on the site because they trusted you. Many pros represented the site because they thought you were in control. And you happily accepted the accolades while falling short of their trust.”
"At the time, my friend’s response felt like a slap in the face, but it is clear to me now that it was fair. An apology is not enough, but it is what I am able to offer to the poker community in the wake of a travesty that I should not have allowed to happen. I am sorry."