It’s April 2011 and poker in the United States of America has just taken a huge hit. The founders of online poker’s ‘Big Three’ (PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker) have been indicted on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling.
Along with the founders of these websites, restraining orders have been issued against nearly a hundred bank accounts and their payment processors, as well as five Internet domain names used by these poker companies. Millions of online poker players in the country have been left unpaid as player and operational funds were not segregated. Full Tilt themselves owed around $390 million to online poker players worldwide.
Let’s come back to the present. It’s May 2018 and seven years after Black Friday, US poker pro Chris Ferguson finally decides to make a public apology for the incident. You wonder why he owed everyone an apology? The poker pro, known as ‘Jesus’ was one of the founders and a part of the core management group of Full Tilt Poker.
Players from all over the country demanded answers from Ferguson, the 2000 WSOP Main Event Champion, but he remained silent about the full saga. After maintaining a low profile for many years, he decided to come back to playing live poker.
He made a comeback in the 2016 World Series, where he cashed out in 10 events for $253,519 and then cashed out in 15 events in the 2017 WSOP, for $380,200. However, when players and reporters quizzed him, all they ever got was an answer of “I’m just here to play poker” from Ferguson.
Here’s the video he posted yesterday to apologize for Black Friday, seven years after it happened:
He mentioned that he regretted not being able to prevent Black Friday from happening and even said that he has been working tirelessly to ensure players were paid back their money over the years. He apologized to the entire poker community and said that the Full Tilt Poker story will come out in public one day.
Ferguson, who has nearly $9 million in live poker cashes, won the WSOP Player of the Year award in 2017, and part of his prize was a $10,000 seat into the 2018 WSOP. Could this video apology have been only to reduce the flak he will get at the upcoming World Series? Or was this a genuine and sincere apology?
Daniel Negreanu certainly didn’t see any sincerity in the apology:
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