There’s been a lot of speculation about which pros will be leaving the U.S. to continue their online poker careers. After a heated Facebook rant on Monday, we can say with some certainty that Phil Ivey probably isn’t in any hurry to move for Full Tilt Poker. The home of the Durrrr Challenge continued to disappoint its American members this week after a much-anticipated announcement on Monday turned out to be yet another vague and anonymous apology about delays.
On May 30 an FTP rep known only as “Doug” was making the rounds to all the major poker boards posting a generic message from the site apologizing yet again for delays in processing U.S. funds withdrawals. At Two Plus Two alone, the non-announcement has generated 49 pages of comments to date. Just as anyone familiar with the plight of the site’s American members might expect, those comments have degenerated from the first few vaguely sarcastic reactions to borderline R-rated explosions of outrage.
In case you haven’t read the announcement yet, here are Full Tilt’s answers to the four most pressing questions it’s been receiving from the growing online lynch mob. First, when will the U.S. players be paid? Full Tilt once again copped out by stating they “still do not have a specific timeframe for this.” Doug goes on to say that the site’s employees are “working around the clock to get this done.” Maybe they ought to consult with PokerStars since they have been processing withdrawals for two weeks now.
The second question answered was whether or not FTP is bankrupt. Both the question and the answer were carefully worded. Obviously FTP isn’t bankrupt…yet. Likewise their statement that “FTP’s worldwide business is healthy” fails to directly address concerns about their ability to pay out millions in American funds. The answer to the third question – about what the company is doing to speed up payouts – did little to encourage confidence in the belief that the site has the existing capital necessary to process all the pending payouts.
Finally, Doug did give us one useful answer. Those of us that have wondered why Tom Dwan and others have thus far remained mum on the biggest event in online poker history now know that the opinions of the sponsored pros are “constrained by the pending legal actions.” While Full Tilt’s reps have once again gone into hiding following their less than welcome news (or lack thereof), one notable FTP representative was speaking his mind all over the Internet.
Only hours after Full Tilt’s underwhelming announcement, Phil Ivey issued a press release via both Facebook and his official site condemning Tiltware’s continued non-action and vowing not only to file a suit against the company but to sit out of this year’s WSOP as a show of solidarity for the millions of amateur players that have thus far gone unpaid. While Ivey’s heroic promise to “dedicate the entirety of [his] time and efforts to finding a solution…” may be hard to buy (especially since it was reported that he’d traded the felt for the golf green this week), his statement was nevertheless met with mass approval.
Today durrrr himself briefly broke his own legally imposed silence to tweet that Ivey’s statement was “awesome.” Two hours later, he clarified his own stance on the situation with the following post: “I’ll be playing WSOP. Feel fine about that morally b/c I’ve already said I’ll give back 100% I was paid by ftp if players aren’t paid in full.”