One of the biggest stories (if not the biggest story) of this year’s WSOP has been the return of Howard Lederer and Chris “Jesus” Ferguson after a six year absence. They both received chilly receptions upon their return; one player went up to Ferguson with his phone recording the incident and told him to “Go !@#$ yourself”.
Lederer issued an apology through Daniel Negreanu’s blog but it’s increasingly clear five years after “Black Friday” the majority of the poker community are having a hard time forgiving Lederer and Ferguson for their roles in the Full Tilt fiasco, and with good reason. It has taken Lederer five years to apologize and finally admit blame for his role in the downfall of FTP.
What took so long? Why, after 18 months of silence in 2012 while the poker world was waiting for answers on what’s the status with their funds, did he spend over 7 hours either lying or deflecting blame? (Check out An Oral History of the Lederer files by Quad Jacks which was the poker community’s response on the Lederer interviews). Ferguson has yet to issue any kind of apology. The fact that he has totally kept silent shows you what he thinks of the poker community. What about the grinders who trusted FTP to keep their money safe and needed the money to build their bankroll and survive. Don’t they deserve an apology?
Lederer’s motives for issuing the apology when he did is clearly returning to the poker community with little backlash, but the fact it has taken five years for him to issue the apology after hiding away post Black Friday when his customers wanted answers on why the company failed, their customers who had millions of dollars collectively locked away in the site and wanted to know when they were going to see their funds.
Obviously (and especially in Ferguson’s case) they have little to no remorse, so why should we as collective show any sympathy for their actions that led them to being pariahs?