Wednesday September 19,2012 : AN INSIDER VIEW OF THE FULL TILT POKER DEBACLE (Update)
Something to look forward to this week – an extended on-camera interview with Howard "The Professor" Lederer
Veteran professional poker player Howard "The Professor" Lederer has been much in the news lately as one of the key figures in the complicated series of criminal and civil cases that have grown from the Full Tilt Poker debacle.
As an allegedly major shareholder who reportedly reaped tens of millions of dollars from his Full Tilt Poker interests, Lederer is widely viewed as a key insider in possession of important information on the decline and fall of what was once the world's second biggest internet poker provider.
Certainly he appears to have been one of those targeted by the US Department of Justice in its quest to seize what it appears to regard as ill-gotten gains, and he has featured in several of the Department's judicial actions.
This week the public will perhaps have an opportunity to hear the Lederer perspective from the man himself following an announcement by Poker News that it has secured an exclusive seven-hour on-camera interview with the poker ace, conducted by respected PN exec and top writer Matthew Parvis.
Under the title "The Lederer Files", Poker News will be presenting the September 8 interview in a series of videos in which, the publication claims, Lederer "…breaks his silence on the events leading up to and surrounding Full Tilt Poker and Black Friday."
The interview was set up at Lederer's request, according to Parvis, who reveals that The Professor agreed to break an almost two-year silence on his involvement with Full Tilt.
In setting up the interview, Parvis made clear to Lederer that "…if he was looking for an outlet to make this easy on him in return for the opportunity to run a story, then we were not interested. This was a non-issue, as Lederer mentioned he was willing to sit down at length, and answer all questions I had as candidly as he could.
“I also made it clear that my team and I would need adequate time to prepare in full, and that he would need to prepare for quite a long sit-down to cover everything we were hoping to cover," Parvis reports.
"Lederer agreed, and ultimately we decided on a video interview so there would be nothing lost in translation. The poker community deserved not only to read what Lederer had to say, but they deserved to see and hear the answers directly."
Parvis's preparation for the interview appears to have been extensive:
"I poured through as much information as I could in relation to Full Tilt Poker's rise and fall, Lederer's relationship with the company, and the indictments and complaints from the Department of Justice. I scoured online poker forums to learn what was most important to the community, in addition to trying to speak to people relevant to the story, most of whom declined to speak or comment. I also spent some time with Lederer to get a better feel for the story itself, and the man with whom I would be sitting face to face with in an attempt to find the truth about the failure of Full Tilt Poker," he explains in a pre-publicity piece this week.
Among the subjects discussed are payment processing, segregation of player and operating accounts, Ray Bitar, Phil Ivey, player loans, Black Friday, and the eventual forfeiture of Full Tilt Poker assets to PokerStars.
Because the interview was conducted on September 8, it does not embrace the latest "amended complaint" moves by Lederer and the Department of Justice .
After editing, the interview will be released in six or possibly even seven 30-minute video segments. It will all begin with part one and part two on Tuesday, September 18, and the remainder of the segments will be released throughout this week.
Given the intensity and heat in the current legal environment around this issue, it's a possibly risky move on Lederer's part, but it will certainly attract plenty of industry – and DoJ – attention.