In an interview with PokerNews at the Aussie Millions, Tom Dwan answered some tough questions after coming out of “hiding” since last September. When asked where he’d been over the past few months, Dwan said he was in Macau and Vegas playing “a decent amount of poker.” He also said he may have been in London playing… “I’ve played a lot of live poker since, obviously, there’s no online [poker], but I plan to start that soon.”
When asked about his thoughts on 2011 as a whole, he said, “Well obviously the whole Full Tilt situation still makes me sick to my stomach every time I think about it.” He went on to say that other than Full Tilt, he had a pretty good year, “but it still sucks that we can’t play online poker in the US anymore.” Dwan also made the point that he went on a USO Tour and met soldiers who were allowed to play poker anywhere they were in the world, but players in the US were not allowed to.
“When you asked me how poker was in 2011, that’s the first thing I think of. It’s hard to get past that one. A pretty sour note on the year for me and a lot of other people obviously,” said Dwan.
On moving to another country where online poker is legal, Dwan explained that it’s “a lot of effort…” and he prefers to stay in the US with his family anyway.
Regarding his absence on Twitter, it was apparently a simple loss of his password and misplaced cell phone or two, not a planned hiatus. He did say he was under a nondisclosure agreement for a few weeks, but overall, “it’s been some combination of me being an idiot and my phones breaking. Maybe they break because I’m an idiot. I’m not sure.”
On Full Tilt and their buyout by Groupe Bernard Tapie, he didn’t want to say too much. He stated, “I probably shouldn’t comment on that too much only because it’s in my best interest and the players’ best interest, but I do think there is a pretty decent amount of hope left. I’ll just leave it at that and hope that’s right.”
His goals for 2012 are to “win all the money [online]…” after taking about eight or nine months off.
When asked if he thinks online poker will be available in the US within the next 12 months, he said, “I sure f***ing hope so. I think it would be hard to see like a countrywide online poker solution in the next 12 months, but I really hope there will be.”
Dwan said, “Obviously I’m really happy to hear that the DOJ announced their interpretation of the Wire Act…but it definitely bothers me a bit that the DOJ’s new interpretation wasn’t used when convincing banks that what Tilt and Stars [were doing was illegal], but then eight months later they say, ‘Oh, wait, now that we got Tilt and Stars, [the Wire Act doesn’t apply].’ Now we are going to say our interpretation of the Wire Act is no big deal. That didn’t really sit right with me.”
He continued, “In hindsight, it is hard to be too upset with the DOJ because Full Tilt didn’t have all the money, which is one of the things that’s made me the sickest. I wish I could be sitting here cursing the DOJ, but realistically I can’t do it that much because they knew things were wrong. I think the way they pressured Tilt and Stars, only to then relent in ways that were really good for other businesses, wasn’t really right. That said, Tilt didn’t have all the money so you can’t fault [the DOJ] too much.”
Dwan further feels that PokerStars did do the right thing, and he says he trusts them because player money was their top priority. While he doesn’t blame himself and is trying to let it all go, he does wish he would have asked more questions being in the position he was with Full Tilt Poker, though he believes it is unlikely it would have change anything drastically.
His final quote, “People asking me questions about Tilt is just a reminder of how many people got screwed over. I don’t really mind people asking me. I wish the situation didn’t happen. I wish I wasn’t being asked. But since the situation happened, I think it’s only fair that people get to ask me about it.”
Full interview at PokerNews.com