No Forgiveness For Howard Lederer & Chris Ferguson

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?






3 thoughts on “No Forgiveness For Howard Lederer & Chris Ferguson”

  1. It’s just blows my mind how people have no idea what the true facts are. Ferguson is the only person at Full Tilt that went out way and own pocket to help pay us back. The second he heard about any issues regarding players accounts he immediately tried to rectify the situation.
    If you are a poker player or fan over the past 10 years or so, you’ll agree that he was one the true embassadors that made poker what is is today! He was always labeled as a good, fair, kind, and above all best poker player that have ever played. I personally have seen an outpouring Of support and kindness as he walks the WSOP halls. I personally love the guy and hope he makes a run at the player of the year award.

  2. True facts? I don’t know what planet you have been living on the last 5 years but here is the truth.

    Ferguson never made any attempt to get players paid after Black Friday, he hid away for 5 years without a statement, apology, nothing. He has been such a great ambassador for the game that he was a part of ponzi scheme at Full Tilt that nearly took down the whole industry. The response to his return has been overwhelmingly negative from poker players at WSOP.

    I don’t know where these so called “true facts” about Chris Ferguson you are talking about, the truth is already out on him and it’s not a pretty picture.

  3. In a post today (, Andrew Brokos recaps having just played at the same table with Ferguson in the WSOP $888 NLHE event. He starts off highly critical of Ferguson, but initially he bites his tongue:

    > According to Mike Sexton, whom I do consider to be a broadly reliable source, Ferguson actually did more than any of the other principals at FTP to help protect and restore player balances.


    > I remembered some wisdom I picked up from Tommy Angelo, though I’m sure it’s not unique to him: forgiveness isn’t something you do for the person you’ve forgiving, it’s something you do for yourself, because anger and bitterness are poison and you shouldn’t keep them inside of you.

    I agree with Tommy. Mr. Santos speaks for himself.

    But then a player leaving the table told Ferguson he was “Glad to have you back”, and Foucault couldn’t contain himself any longer, responding:

    > “I don’t agree with that, for what it’s worth,” I declared to the table at large. “Anyone else here have money on Full Tilt Poker?”

    Ferguson did actually say he was sorry (that Brokos had his money locked up for a couple years with no interest), and the conversation stalled without escalation. Which was actually surprising after another player at the table complained about not getting his bonuses back.

    At least, we can now say that Ferguson has indeed apologized, at least privately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Brought to you by THETA Poker Pro for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV.