Tag Archives: Poker

Incredible Insight into the Criminal Mastermind & Poker Pro: Howard Lederer

I’ve just completed the 3 hour interview called “The Lederer Files” (you’ll find all 7 parts on youtube), created by a suspect journalist at PokerNews.com. I say suspect as he was obviously very passive in his questioning which was disappointing. Louis Thereaux would have been much more enteratining!

For those of you who aren’t aware who Howard Lederer is, or what on earth I’ve been posting messages about the past few days, let me summarise in a few short sentences for you:

Howard Lederer was a co-founder and shareholder of Full Tilt Poker along with a few other pro’s. Full Tilt engaged in some very dodgy dealings, and were operating for a large period of time when they knew they didn’t have funds to cover player deposits (which is highly illegal and against their licensing regulations) – Even when the owners discovered this, they CONTINUED to accept deposits from European players which is comparible to a pozni scheme, as these covered withdrawl requests from other players to cover any issues up.

Finally, the world came crashing down as the Department of Justice indited certain share-holders, and the reality of the situation was exposed. Who lost out? Well, any US player with a Full Tilt Poker account containing funds, as these people are still today unable to retreieve their money (some accounts containing substantially large sums).

Howard Lederer is hardly the only person at fault, but since the problems began, no major player has come out to give their account or reasoning behind what happened. No apologies, no explanation, nothing. Now that FTP has been sold to PokerStars, Lederer agreed to do this interview to try and clear his name.

However, in a 3 hour interview, no apology to Full Tilt Poker players was made. In fact, Lederer used this interview to try and push his colleagues under an already fast moving train and try and get himself away from it. The unfortunate thing for Lederer is that this was incredibly transparent to anyone with 2 brain cells… Bad decision Howard!

I’ve never been an owner or shareholder of a business, especially not one that has $500 million being paid out in dividents over a few years, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, I’d have an idea of the businesses finances and how well it’s doing. Howard completely denied knowing that the company had a difference of $250 million between player accounts and what the company actually had in terms of cash in the bank. Not only were they crediting poker accounts BEFORE the money had been withdrawn from a players bank account (to the sum of $146 million!), but they were giving out loans wrecklessly to “friends” within the game.

Let me give one good example of the disaster that was full tilt. Erick Lindgren supposedly received a $2 million loan from full tilt. However, without being known to the share-holders, this was double credited. Yup. The guy recevied $4 million by accident, and no one even attempted to retrieve this or even knew about it until the ship came crashing down…!

Lederer continued to justify this as a company that grew out of control, which is true, but yet there was still no apology, and just a string of excuses as to how he himself is the good guy in all of this.

The title of this blog could, in a way, lead to some liability issues for defamation of character. I mean, he’s not been found guilty in any court (yet!!!!), but he is at least guilty of an incredibly moral crime if not a legal one. He was ultimately responsible for this, and even had the cheek in the last part of the video to almost ask for sympathy for when he returns to the poker world so that he is accepted by the poker community. HA! I think if anything, this interview has made him even more hated…!

The world of poker has a lot of negative stigma associated with it, and this situation will re-iterate that but also bring it into the 21st century due to taking place in the online world rather than the physical one. It’s ashame as with business such as PokerStars, PartyPoker, Betfair Poker and more, they don’t deserve to be hurt by the actions of criminals, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It will also harm the chance of the a US turnaround in reintroducing the legalisation of poker within the US.

One thing I’m surprised at is the lack of press this interview has got. Nowhere in the UK’s paper or news media have I seen a mention of what’s happened?! I mean, this is a company that was worth billions of dollars, with one of the men primarily responsible giving a 3 hour interview! For an industry that’s worth over $100billion, you’d think it would get at least some publicity?!

Final thought for the day: Ivey, Lindgren, John Juanda, and other players associated with this horrible situation.. They made judgement calls. Some right, some wrong, most with their own profits in mind, but these guys were NOT decision makers, they did NOT know about what was going on, and when they did they quickly showed their unwillingness to “help” these crooks. Ivey suing FTP may have been counter-productive but completely understandable, and Lederer’s stupidity in commending this as disgraceful shows how deluded he is in terms of considering himself as a “good” player in the mess….

Online poker may never be the same again.. Sad times. Anyway, here’s part 1 of the Lederer Files. I really recommend watching this even if you don’t want to brave the full 7 parts!

Tweet me @thejsug !

Gala Casino Problems – Typical of England?

Hi All,

Had a recent trip to the local Gala casino in Leeds for a cash session. My experience was, well, to be blunt, horrible. There’s a clear difference between how UK casinos see poker in comparison to the rest of the word and it simply leads me to ask the very simply question, why? My session was a winning one, yet I walked away feeling pretty angry, on tilt, and in fact went home at 4am and watched Rounders in HD to make me feel good about poker again..!

The night started off with a shambles of a waiting list. There was a piece of paper and a pen on an empty table, so my friend Dave and I wrote our names down (10th names downish) and decided to wait and see what would unfold. There was no floor manager walking around, and simply 2 £0.50/£1 tables (resembling $1/$2). On table 2 there was an empty seat… We decided to watch for a while, see what happens. 20 minutes later that seat was still empty, and in fact another one had opened up as well. There was no one stood around, no one claiming any of the empty seats, and the dealer not doing anything to signal it was reserved. Naturally, Dave and I decided to sit down.

Upon sitting down, 2 guys came up to us, and started complaining as they were a few names above us on the waiting list. I exclaimed that the seat I’d taken had been open up 20 minutes and no one had claimed it, to which the response was simply “it doesn’t matter, I was earlier than you on the list.” I ask Maddie, the dealer at the table, what her thoughts were as I’d imagine this decision is up to the people running the place to which she replied in quite a moody tone:
“It’s not up to me… Though he’s earlier so you should move”

I was a little stunned in all honesty. What she was saying in essence, was that empty seats are reserved indefinitely, and that players on the list have priority even after a seat has been taken…. To prevent alienating myself further, I gave up the seat and continued to wait.

Shortly after, a man with a stud earing who looked more like he was ready for a night out rather than running a casino floor walked past. He seemed to be some sort of boss as he mostly sat behind a desk next to the roulette tables… (If this is the poker desk, why is it in the roulette area..?). Anyway, I asked him about the waiting list and he explained higher people have priority. I explained the situation and how it was quite unfair, to which he replied “ok” and turned his back to me and walked off… To be fair, I was very friendly and trying to provide some constructive criticism, to which he was simply not interested.

Unfortunately the night got worse…

When sat at the table, 3 quite drunk men came and sat to the right. I’m used to drunks at a poker table from my time in Vegas, so this is nothing new. I knew I’d have to put up with some swearing, a bit of abuse, and a bit of blatant cheating… What I didn’t exepct was for these 3 things to happen almost every hand for 2 hours with no repercussions.

I’m going to repeat just a couple of phrases that were used without any response from one of the 2 dealers that dealt (one of them being our earlier Maddie):
1) “If you fucking call I’m going to fucking knock you out”
2) “This dealer is fucking shit. He’s not cut out for this fucking level” (due to one mistake talking about dealing a 0.50/1 game at a local casino in Leeds…. not the WSOP final table…)
3) “FUCK, I folded XX”

Now, I like to think I’m fair, and I can ignore the odd statement, but it was literally every hand, and for 2 or 3 hours not one dealer said anything… If a player complained, maybe something would be done about it, but why should I have to publicly complain and alienate myself to enforce that rules are in place?

Let’s compare this to a recent trip to Edgewater Casino in Vancouver, Canada.

I went into the place – There was an LCD screen with the waiting list on and all the tables for that cash game. I went to the clearly marked poker desk and added my name. I was given a buzzer and when a seat free’d up, it buzzed and I could take my seat.

When at the table, it was friendly and there were a few drunks. Every now and then the odd profanity slipped out. After 2 or 3 times, the friendly dealer explained we’re here for fun but try not to swear. The drunky apologised, had a laugh, we all had a good time and it was fun. What a huge difference……

Is the above just a pipe dream for what could be in England? Or will the casinos listen to the players and one day create a fun playing environment where we don’t walk away feeling like we’ve just played at the local police station holding area…. Hmmm

Disappointing, but at least it was a winning session right? 🙂

Anyway, that’s a wrap for this post. Folding time, see ya!


@my_casinos is the Gala twitter handle. After tweeting about my issues it appears Gala are going to follow this up and maybe take some action… Quite interesting, another reason why twitter is just brilliant. Anyway, I’ll update with any further details that may come out of this! And well done to Gala for embracing twitter but let’s hope it actually does cause action to be taken!

Tweet me @thejsug !

Final Vegas Summary

Hello Everyone!

I’m now sitting in my hotel room in LA (there for work) after a crazy week… Pulled an all nighter at The Venetian for my last night in Vegas thanks to Wendy’s brilliant idea! It was VERY worth it too ;). The game got incredibly soft at around 3am, and won most of my profit from the week in the next few hours!

So in total this weekend I made $1801, which is $1 more than the last Vegas trip.. so my bankroll is up a healthy $3601 after my last 2 Vegas visits.. (put together the money I made from my first Vegas trip and it’s a plus of over $5000!). This is all for poker though and I’m still trying to build by bankroll to play 2/5 No Limit. The max buy-in is $500 usually, which means I need a minimum of $15,000 (30 buy ins) if I’m going to be rolled for that game. I’m still a good few thousand away from that, but hopefully I can get there by the end of the year…!

I plan to go back in July sometime… Need to try and get some time off work first. Next stop after LA is England May 13th. I have somebody to sue mwahahah. Still need to find out 1) Where I’m staying and 2) Whether I’m going to rent a car or not.. hmmmm

The one big hand that I’d like to share is posted at 2+2:
(I’m PazzoRilancio)
Basically, some guy goes all in against my 99, but he’d done it a couple of times so a weaker pocket pair or just a random connected hand could be in his range. Took me frickin ages to call, but I did… He had AQ and my 99 held up for a $200 pot at 4am… That feels good haha…

So yes, Vegas was good. REALLY good. I’m playing well, and though I’m positive I’m missing a lot of bluffing opportunities, for my level and sticking to what I know best poker, I’m still making a huge profit. Next time I go however, I’m going to step it up a bit and start taking a few more risks. It will mean higher variance and quite possibly a loss but I need to get myself enough experience for the higher levels, and picking times to bluff is an important one. The first thing I need to do is open my range against loose players, and next thing I need to do is attack tight players a little more if they C-Bet etc…

Lastly I’ve made a change to my blog. You can now login using your facebook/twitter/msn/gmail account! That means you don’t have to sign up to leave a comment. Not that my blog is very comment provoking, but it was just a nice little feature.

See you all real soon..!!!

Tweet me @thejsug !