Scotty71
Scotty71
Joined: Mar 5, 2011
  • Threads: 19
  • Posts: 289
September 20th, 2011 at 10:17:13 AM permalink
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576582741398633386.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I dont play poker online just saw the headline, interesting and seems like a ponzi scheme would be unnecessary assuming they have a rake.
when man determined to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because." — E.E. Cummings
Tiltpoul
Tiltpoul
Joined: May 5, 2010
  • Threads: 32
  • Posts: 1573
September 20th, 2011 at 10:31:13 AM permalink
I don't play online poker (just live), although I almost started to right before Black Friday. Guess I dodged a bullet on that one!

Anyways, after reading that article, it seems to me that the government is grasping for straws to find a way to convict innocent people of something that the government couldn't tax and had no control over. If Full Tilt was a Ponzi scheme and judging their ability to pay players PERHAPS it was, then I agree that certain professional poker players have SOME liability.

There are a couple of dangers in this though. First, it will be EXTREMELY tough to prove that the leading players (Ferguson, Lederer and such) were truly involved on the business end and KNOWINGLY took money from players. Professionals keep extremely accurate records of time played and money won, so I think the government will have a problem proving that the money earned was specifically from the "scheme."

If the government is unsuccessful in prosecuting the players, then I can see those individuals filing a counter lawsuit for libel and slander, which they would almost certainly win. This will take money from taxpayers to cover expenses and what will likely be a HUGE payout. I'm sure the lawyers for Lederer and co. are drooling at the possibility of more money coming their way. Think about it: They can say that because what the government did to the reputation of the players, they had a harder time signing new endorsement deals and what not. To me, it's an open and shut case IF the government can't prove the Ponzi scheme.

The prosecutor better be DARN SURE they are going to win, because ANY chance for failure (and to me, it seems like a lot) and they just opened a new can of worms.
"One out of every four people are [morons]"- Kyle, South Park
buzzpaff
buzzpaff
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
  • Threads: 112
  • Posts: 5328
September 20th, 2011 at 11:44:52 AM permalink
These players are guilty of the one crime that government will not allow to go unpunished,
RECREATION WITHOUT TAXATION
pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
  • Threads: 649
  • Posts: 7895
September 20th, 2011 at 12:09:40 PM permalink
Quote: Scotty71

I dont play poker online just saw the headline, interesting and seems like a ponzi scheme would be unnecessary assuming they have a rake.



The government is making a poor choice of words. A Ponzi scheme is inherently unstable since it depends on exponential growth which can only last a short time. They are accusing Full Tilt of a more old fashioned issue, spending the escrow money in the hope that the players won't ask for it all at once.

In an effort to use a word that is negatively loaded, they are confusing the public. It makes it harder to convince people they are in a real Ponzi scheme.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
  • Threads: 290
  • Posts: 8093
September 20th, 2011 at 12:14:52 PM permalink
Howard Lederer and Christopher Ferguson are specifically named.

edit: I see Tiltpoul beat me to it. But just in case you missed it [g]
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1221
  • Posts: 20285
September 20th, 2011 at 1:27:10 PM permalink
Quote: Tiltpoul

If the government is unsuccessful in prosecuting the players, then I can see those individuals filing a counter lawsuit for libel and slander, which they would almost certainly win. This will take money from taxpayers to cover expenses and what will likely be a HUGE payout. I'm sure the lawyers for Lederer and co. are drooling at the possibility of more money coming their way. Think about it: They can say that because what the government did to the reputation of the players, they had a harder time signing new endorsement deals and what not. To me, it's an open and shut case IF the government can't prove the Ponzi scheme.

The prosecutor better be DARN SURE they are going to win, because ANY chance for failure (and to me, it seems like a lot) and they just opened a new can of worms.



I'm not a lawyer but I don't see any grounds here for a counter-suit. If they could claim libel and slander, why couldn't anybody do the same who beat a criminal case? For example, OJ could claim that his reputation was slandered by the LA District Attorney's Office after the jury in the criminal case found him not guilty.

I won't point any fingers, but if the players don't get their money back then somebody should be help responsible. There should have been plenty of money for everybody.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
  • Threads: 290
  • Posts: 8093
September 20th, 2011 at 1:29:59 PM permalink
money.cnn.com is blazing their pictures

the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
PerpetualNewbie
PerpetualNewbie
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
  • Threads: 3
  • Posts: 88
September 20th, 2011 at 1:31:14 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The government is making a poor choice of words. A Ponzi scheme is inherently unstable since it depends on exponential growth which can only last a short time. They are accusing Full Tilt of a more old fashioned issue, spending the escrow money in the hope that the players won't ask for it all at once.

In an effort to use a word that is negatively loaded, they are confusing the public. It makes it harder to convince people they are in a real Ponzi scheme.



This accusation is (reported to be) slightly different than the other accusation, made on Black Friday.

On Black Friday, they were accused of not holding player funds in reserve accounts dedicated to that purpose. Whether that would have been in its entirety or via some fractional reserve system. This article accuses principals of the company of receiving these funds that should have been held on behalf of the players. There's a subtle difference here: If it were just investments made with fractional reserve funds having gone bad, then that's just the risk you take in an unregulated industry and would form the basis of a call for more regulation and transparency </American Government>. When the heads of the poker company are literally raiding the pockets of the players - and unbeknownst to the players, at that... This speaks to a much more sinister state of intentions.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
  • Threads: 261
  • Posts: 13787
September 20th, 2011 at 1:31:39 PM permalink
Quote: buzzpaff

Guilty of the one crime that government will not allow to go unpunished, RECREATION WITHOUT TAXATION

I would agree that the term Ponzi is being mis-applied and thats is use is for its emotional impact value and bears no relationship to the actual financial transactions involved.

It is clear that the government prompted the chokehold on Full Tilt's finances and basically caused what would be termed "a run on the bank" by players anxious to get their funds out of Full Tilt after all the government seizures from Full Tilt and from associated payment-processing entities.

To the extend Full Tilt made statements about Safe and Secure... it seems they never said just how safe or just how secure or why safe and secure was applicable.

It is likely that star players have about as much knowledge of day to day operations or financial projections as any movie star has when appearing at some business or charity event. Movie stars appeared at Enron Events but were not charged with knowledge of fraud. Stars appear at casinos that are financially troubled but are not charged just because the star received their customary outrageous fees for strutting around half naked or something.

Its well known that the poker world involved various entities and political jurisdictions and so is inherently suspect. As are the cheating allegations that arose about superusers who supposedly were former employees.

Its akin to the government tipping over the pig trough and then suing the spokesmen claiming its a mess. Yes, its a mess. A mess that was contained and controlled prior to the government tipping it over.
rxwine
rxwine
Joined: Feb 28, 2010
  • Threads: 158
  • Posts: 8983
September 20th, 2011 at 1:49:01 PM permalink
Isn't there a tendency to accuse much but negotiate a plea over one or two charges eventually? (or some version of that)
Quasimodo? Does that name ring a bell?

  • Jump to: