Phil Ivey suing Tilitware and boycotting the WSOP 2011

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    • #24347

      The poker world was shocked by an announcement so stunning that it is sure to have a massive ripple effect throughout the entire poker community. Late Tuesday night, Phil Ivey, largely regarded as the best poker player in the world, broke his six-week long silence regarding the events of online pokerÂ’s Black Friday and the subsequent holding of player funds by Full Tilt Poker.
      On his Facebook account, that Wicked Chops Poker has confirmed to be authentic, Ivey informed the poker world that he will not be playing this yearÂ’s WSOP, and that he has filed a lawsuit against Tiltware, the software and marketing company for Full Tilt.
      Here is IveyÂ’s complete post on Facebook:
      “For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.
      I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm.
      I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.
      My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.
      I wholeheartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.
      I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.”
      This statement is now on Phil Ivey’s website.
      Well all we hope is that FullTilt pay backs the funds and we see Phil Ivey Grinding back 🙂

    • #30639

      I won a $1.10 Rush Tournament last week on FTP and yet haven’t received my money.

      PS > FTP

    • #30641
      Poker Guru

      @Anuj22: The money wasnt credited to your FTP account?

    • #30643

      Other FTP pros like Chris furgusen , Horward ,Patrick etc. shud man-up and support Phil Ivey

    • #30644

      They should make a players union and other players should support Ivey and force FullTilt to pay back.

    • #30650

      @Anuj22: The money wasnt credited to your FTP account?

      No I mean I haven’t received my money on my Neteller account yet.

    • #30652
      Poker Guru

      @Anuj: It comes as no surprise now that Ivey is suing them for delaying payments.

    • #30653
      Jake Witcher

      Guys, before everyone jumps on the,’Oh isnt Ivey a hero band wagon’ may i suggest waiting till alot more info comes out first. ill post more details soon when i have time, but for now,, trust me and wait and watch what happens,, this is NOT what it seems and i have, how to say, doubts over the true motivation of Iveys statement.

      Let me also be clear that if this does get or help get our american friends paid out,, that is great BUT i have my doubts over the true reasons for this bit of PR

    • #30654
      Jake Witcher

      anuj, your win on the tourny shoudl be totally unrelated to this. This only concerns American players and withdrawls, not in game play, if you have an issue i suggest contacting support and they can resolve it.

    • #30656

      @JAKE900 its not about Phil Ivey…its about Poker Players being cheated @ full tilt poker….

      The truth is Fulltilt poker don’t have any answer to why they can not pay money back to poker players and Under same conditions Pokerstars can pay back…..

      Now tiltware is trying to show that Phil Ivey cares about himself and he does not represents any group of poker players… its really Sad to c poker players with whom Ivey used to work together for FTP are now lobbying against him..

    • #30657

      tiltware has released a statement in response to Ivey’s lawsuit

      “Ivey is suing for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, and damages. The first cause of action, injunctive relief, is focused on Ivey’s non-compete contract and making in unenforceable. In the second cause of action, breach of contract, it says the Plaintiff (Ivey) has been damaged by lost business opportunity, lost income, and damage to his personal and professional reputation all in an amount that exceeds $150,000,000.”

      With that said, here is Tiltware’s statement in its entirety:

      “Contrary to his sanctimonious public statements, Phil Ivey’s meritless lawsuit is about helping just one player – himself. In an effort to further enrich himself at the expense of others, Mr. Ivey appears to have timed his lawsuit to thwart pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets. In fact, Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site. Tiltware doubts Mr. Ivey’s frivolous and self-serving lawsuit will ever get to court. But if it does, the company looks forward to presenting facts demonstrating that Mr. Ivey is putting his own narrow financial interests ahead of the players he professes to help.”

    • #30659
      Jake Witcher

      Ok, let me preface this with the following points: I hope this situation does create a response that gets players paid back and brings attention to the poor buisness handling of full tilt poker. (and UB / AP / Cereus for that matter). Also that i do honestly believe Phil Ivey is truely embarassed by this situation as are many many other FTP pros of varying levels. however i do not believe the good of other players is his motivation here, merely the Spin his PR / management company have put on this.

      but i would add i cant see how ANY scenario arising from his non compete action at the WSOP can get the money repaid, Full tilt say they dont have it,, Is Ivey saying they do ? If so where is the money, If he knows then why doesnt he tell the DOJ who are actively trying to release customer funds. If the money isnt in full tilts hands, then why is he doing this ?

      Lets start with a good little quote from a friend ‘Still its great to see someone at FTP taking the moral high ground on all this but it is definitely a strange thing to do as a part owner’

      lets look abit deeper now.

      There are several FTP pros who have ‘interests’ in the company, if you go back to the Clonnie Gowan law suit, she filled not only on Ray Bitar (owner) but also on Ledderer Ivey Fergusson and one or two others as Defendants, notice that wasnt as witnesses.

      Ivey has an upcoming Poker academy launch in the near future and is looking for a poker site tie in but one that isnt exclusive.

      Noone in the industry believes that the inner core of FTP pros who do have dealings with the company over and above affilate or standard appearance monies dont know whats going on and its been going on for years. From multiple accounts (Antonius having more than 8 being a obvious example) to hidden 100% rake back accounts (generally available at $50k each from the developers) but used by sponsored pros on the site. so at the moment whilst Ivey is a HUGE name he isnt in the best bargaining position for the best deal, so he has to distance himself form this mess.

      Ivey apparently is NOT being put into the WSOP this year with company money at the usual paid to play but no return rate. (if my friends who are red pros at tilt are being themselves given acurate info) but was freerolling previous years

      By doing this Ivey is in breach of his contract with FTP, as he has a certain amount of ‘must play’ events and then some optional others. This is a nice ‘out’ as it were. In his lawsuit hes addressing the issue of this breach and sayign its unenforcable.

      Prior to Iveys announcement, it was heavily rumored (from inside FTP sources) his accounts (plural) had been frozen at FTP, now what is unclear is are these DOJ frozen or site frozen but certainly this creates cash flow issues.

      Ivey as probably the foremost figurehead of FTP (Ledderer perhaps also) is now a very public figure at the WSOP, even his lawsuit states he is in physical danger due to the actions of FTP, and i find it very believable he has recieved some very serious threats from some poeple out large sums due to this.

      so, not being put into events, and his accounts frozen, hes recieving serious threats and then he makes this statement. (anyone connecting the dots yet ?)

      FTP have a probelm paying back people, now if FTP are to be belived, this is because they creddited monies to US players accounts without actually recieving the money from the payment processors,, (due to UIGEA regulations or some variation thereof) now do you really believe that over $60 million (they are now saying its nearer $150 million unofficially but im still waiting on confirmation on that). can have been created as a shortfall and the company just ignored it,, not a chance, not a chance in hell, thats years of deposits, or to put it simpler, EVERY day EVERY cash player deposits the average deposit (which across the industry is just under $50) and do so EVERY day for 3 months. however the DOJ has unfrozen several of the company accounts so the sites can repay players. oh, wait,, they arent (well ‘stars are but not the others). And given permission for the payment processors to pay any funds outstanding. however, the payment processors cant keep the money,, they have laws on them to, so they either hand it back to the players (havent done that) or hand it to DOJ, well they claim they have done the propper things, so its one of those two. and if they have handed to DOJ then its accounted, and evident to whom it belongs (or once belonged).
      There has been recent developments where some private accounts are being asked to be unfrozen to repay monies (reeeeeeallly !)

      FTP is looking for new business partners to inject monies into the site, so however we want to look at this in a business sense, (a sale of the company, new share holders) so this is another variation on where is the money, is it in an account, do they need more busines partners, we know the payment processors cant just keep it, and players havent been playing for free all this time (we would have known how to join in long ago on 2+2) so where is the money ?.

      its all getting very messy,

      now a little extract from Iveys law suit ‘Ivey also filed suit Wednesday in Las Vegas against Tiltware LLC, a company tied to online poker operator Full Tilt Poker, saying it didn’t tell him Full Tilt executives had been repeatedly warned that they were operating illegally in the United States, as federal prosecutors claim’

      seriously, he didnt know, !! no chance in hell i believe that.

      at least Durrr has truned round and said he is willing to repay all monies he has earnt from FTP from his asscoiation with them to the players if a repayment solution cannot be found. quite hows hes going to do that is unclear but at least hes offered to repay monies he feels now guilty about having,, not mr Ivey though, who also has brought ALOT of money onto the site both via his contacts and affil schemes where he recruits and by him leading campaigns.

      seriously how is Iveys statement going to help players. lets look at possible extensions to this situation.

      1> if FTP is telling the truth then hes deff hurting any negotations as their headline players is now essentially in breach of contract and is unlikely to be part of any package that keeps current management, a sale may then be the only option but would the new company be obliged to take on the old ones debts,, and before anyone argues that,, no they arent if they dont want to, why take on up to $150 mil debt if you dont have to. a new buyer can simply buy the database, software and hardware, offices etc but shut down and restart under say, fully tilted poker,, or some such.

      2> FTP are lying and they do have the money and Ivey knows this ,, WELL THEN TELL THE DOJ WHERE IT IS AND SORT IT QUICKLY FFS, remeber the DOJ are interested in having customer funds and balances repaid and have proven so by unfreezing accounts to aid this process.

      3> Ivey leaves FTP and goes to a new site, seen as the ‘champion of the poeple’ the ‘Black Robin hood’ the ‘Poker Protector’ or whatever you want to label him. hes percieved as clean by the public, his training site can get a nice multi site affil deal. he comes away clean and the likes of Ledderer and Bitar take the flack

      here i a question for all of you ,, If ivey wins his case and gets the $150 mil ,, is he giving that to the players ????

      i am happy to debate this and to some extent i am also happy to be wrong as i would like to believe that Ivey can be a good man and not just the self centered player hes been right up until this point but all of a sudden he has this one time massive change of attitude, heart and orientation

      a nice little video to finish with :

    • #30660
      Jake Witcher

      a few more intreresting and IMO revealing statements from others:

      Andrew “Good2cu” Robl:

      “My thoughts about Phil Ivey’s Statement + FTP’s non-payment

      I’m in the midst of WSOP madness so this going to be brief and full of spelling/grammar mistakes:

      I normally hesitant to gossip or make comments about other poker players and companies as I try to avoid causing drama or creating drama at all costs. But due to the fact that I have a large sum of money on Full Tilt and the fact that I have much more information about this matter than the general public I feel obligated to comment.

      Phil Ivey’s statement was solely self-serving. He is trying to cover his own ass and unassociate himself with full-tilt’s current legal situation/non-paying of players. Phil Ivey is one of the primary equity holders of full tilt and has profited off their business more than almost anyone. If he really cared about the players he would pledge to return every cent of the TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars he’s made from Full Tilt to the players as Tom Dwan (who is not a owner) has done.

      Instead he made a public statement that dramatically hurt Full Tilt’s reputation and brand at a critical moment. Full Tilt has been searching for a bridge-loan/investment to cover all player funds and Phil Ivey’s statement has hurt their chances to do so. It is a lot harder to sale an investment in a poker site who’s most marketable player is making damning public statements against them.

      Phil Ivey used this statement all to save his own ass and his own money. He has servely hurt the US players chances of being paid in a timely fashion under, the guise of helping them.

      As Phil is one of my personal heroes I have to say I’m shocked by his actions.

      There has been a lot of speculation on why Full Tilt hasn’t paid. The information I have suggests Full Tilt didn’t have their funds fully segregated as Pokerstars did so while the DOJ unfroze a large % of pokerstars assets as pokerstars could say these are player funds and we need them to pay the players – Full Tilt was unable to do so, as a result a much bigger % of Full Tilt’s assets remain frozen. On top of that they have many more owners who they paid out very aggressively (*cough* Phil Ivey *cough*), so they had much less of a cushion in case like something like this happened. In spite of all of this and Phil Ivey’s damaging statement I remain optimistic US players will be paid out.

      Disclaimer: Most of the my statement is coming form limited information/sources and I could be wrong – and Phil Ivey could be in the right. But I believe strongly enough in what I’m saying to make a public statement.”


    • #30661
      Jake Witcher

      Legal analysis from ncpokeresq on 2+2:

      “I am going to opine on the complaint filed by Phil Ivey vs Tiltware. The statements below are in no way intended to be an attack on Phil Ivey (“PI”) or to question his personal intent as expressed in his posting.

      That said, the lawsuit basically seeks to free PI from his non compete clause so that he may pursue business opportunities. There is no cause of action nor claim for relief which does or would seek return of US player funds. The use of the $150M both for PI’s damages and the amount of funds due US players is more than coincidental but there is no claim that the payment of such a sum to PI would result in his paying same to US players. While Mr. Chesnoff has an excellent reputation, the complaint frankly is neither technically nor theoretically impressive from a legal standpoint, and the typos suggest a hasty drafting. The allegations also suggest a focus on PR and perhaps an attempt to satisfy the desires of the client rather than succinctly pleading in compliance with the rules of Civil Procedure. In short, the complaint almost certainly will be amended multiple times unless a settlement is reached and should be viewed as a first draft.

      The FT response suggests that there are additional disputes between the parties. The contract between PI and TW is a key piece of evidence without which it is impossible to fully analyze the litigation. Based solely upon the PI complaint, it would appear that a major asset of TW and FT would be the lifetime endorsement deal with PI. In other words, in attempting to raise funds via a loan or investor, a major selling point would be the guarantee that PI would forever be tied to FT. This probably explains the vehemence of the response from FT, which interestingly almost concedes that TW and FT are inextricably linked.

      An interesting item is that PI alleges an infinite non compete, which ordinarily would not be enforceable as Courts generally do not forever deny a person the right to work. The failure to give detail on that issue is intriguing from a legal perspective. A general rule for someone seeking an injunction, which is an equitable remedy, is that one seeking equity must do equity. A judge may question whether either PI or TW/FT has done equity in this case.

      Both parties would have potential risks from full discovery in this case simply because it could force disclosure of contracts and connections which currently are suspected but not confirmed. The lawsuit almost certainly has as a goal the release of PI, by his lawyers acting in his best interests even if that is not PI’s prime motivation. The risk of disclosure of details of the involvement of Howard L and Chris F in actual decisions could be a pressure point the lawsuit threatens in the hope of a settlement which results in PI becoming a free agent.

      This Is the most important part, the settlement resulting in Ivey being a free agent, and at the end of the day whats this all boils down to

      If he becomes a free agent, he can promtoe his upcoming academy better, he can multi brand himself he can still lead up tilt, he can become more valuable to the European market in the short term and long term. (he currently has no value as hes totally tied to FTP) It would not surprise me to see a future anoucnement that Ivey has spoken with FTP and recieved assureances that players will be looked after finacailly and hes happy with the situation, and in doing this tilt allow him the free agent status he wants above, this does nto mean Ivey actually has recieved a 100% garantee that tolt will pay all players on x date at x o’clock.

      Based on my initial reading of PI’s post, I wondered if he was filing a class action. While I do not think he would be suitable as a class rep (and yes I have been involved in nationwide class actions), his lawsuit in no way attempts to set up a class structure. It does open the possibility for some potential discovery and possibly would subject PI to extensive involvement should a class case be filed. FWIW, it appears that it may be time for someone to consider a class case against FT. Again, I express no opinion but would be interested in the thoughts of any other lawyers on that issue.
      I post this in the hope of providing a somewhat impartial legal analysis.”

    • #30662
      Jake Witcher

      TheRanch is also an attorney. He says:

      “The following are merely my opinions and not meant to be legal advice.


      Ivey clearly sees that FULL TILT is sunk. There is no future with Full Tilt. Secondly, Ivey has to be concerned about any possible future indictments.

      So his attorney seems to have come up with a plan to hopefully save Phil Ivey (the individual) and Phil Ivey (the brand).

      Chesnoff, his attorney, set about to accomplish 3 things:

      1. Distance himself from Full Tilt. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM. His attorney probably advised him that a lawsuit against Tiltware would be the best preemptive strike. Maybe they heard that there will be further indictments and thus this lawsuit would show that Ivey was not on board with all of the illegal activities taking place at Full Tilt. He states in the lawsuit that he was unaware of the activities taking place. Will this stop the DOJ from indicting him? No. If they are going to indict the owners of Full Tilt this will not stop them. However, this lawsuit does serve the purpose of putting Ivey’s story out first…that he was not involved in any of the illegalities.

      2. Allow Ivey to seek other endorsements (perhaps an online casino like ARIA). Ivey is asking the Court to void the non-compete clause in his agreement with Tiltware. This would make Ivey a free agent once again whereby he could find big money sponsorship elsewhere.

      3. Win the Public Relations battle. Ivey’s statement issued prior to the lawsuit was a brilliant public relations move. Ivey sought to put himself on the side of all those players who have not been paid by the evil corporation that is Full Tilt. Ivey went even further by boycotting the WSOP. This showed that Ivey “really cared” about the average joe poker player.

      Now the truth is that Ivey’s lawsuit is really all about protecting Ivey’s interests, WHICH IT SHOULD BE. Ivey cannot sue on behalf of others. Those that are saying that Ivey is looking out only for himself are right. THIS IS THE BEST OPTION TO PROTECT PHIL IVEY…and that is his attorney’s job.

      David Chesnoff is known to be one of the best attorneys in Vegas. He also has connections to the poker world as he has represented or advised many including Doyle Brunson (SEC investigation), Shawn Sheiky Sheikhan (on deportation charges), the Jamie Gold lawsuit, Mike Matusow and others. He has also played in the Big games at Bellagio.

      At these stakes it is all about protecting your own ass and Chesnoff is doing what is best for Phil Ivey.”

    • #30663
      Jake Witcher

      for those wanting to see the full complaint as submitted by Ivey’s Lawyers

      a very short summary of the above link:

      -Ivey requested to be let out of his non-compete agreement and was denied
      -FTP received repeated warnings from the DOJ that they were in violation of US laws, Ivey was never informed of these warnings
      -Ivey was unaware they were using fraudulent banking methods
      -Approx $150 million owed to US players
      -FTP breached agreement w/ Ivey (to provide software and support) by doing the above, therefore he is not bound by non-compete agreement
      -Sounds a lot like he’s avoiding WSOP because of fear of player backlash, multiple 2+2 posts quoted saying he should pay etc.
      -Ivey says damages to him, his reputaiton etc more than $150 million

      so this is all to allow Phil Ivey out of his contract, to alow him to go elsehwere as it appears he think FTP is sinking.

      Im going to leave you al with one question to answer with soem fact and prrof when you do

      What is ivey actually doing for the players ? , yes hes is in effect highlighting soemthing that is happenign that is bad, HOWEVER he isnt actually doing anything about it, his legal actions are about himself and his brand and his way otu of his FTP poker contract. Please do not be fooled that he didnt know what was going on for ages, and ages. what you think he never had a chat with the UK pros that mentioned to him that the Euro companies woudltn go into the US as they saw it as illegal ? that no lunch or dinner meeting with Ledderer, Bitar or Fergusson brought up the point in all those years that the US market was illegal, and that at the WSOP for years they couldnt wear ‘.com’ badges as that was an illegal site under US law,, hang on itsnt gfull titl a .com ,, yes it it,, but they use a .net for the freeplay swerve roudn the law route. no Mr Ivey never questioned or thoguht about that,,, noooooo

      lets also not mention the T+C 8.9 in full titls cotnract with the players which is in breech of UK gaming laws (Liscence out of Alderney) which states players funds cannot be mixed into coorporate funds . (this is why stars have money to pay out funds even with some accounts still frozen)

      and ill make this point on its own : If that is proven to be the case then the Alderney liscence will be revoked (they are under investigation now) then FTP is a dead duck.

      anyone stil believe this is Ivey doign this because his motivation is for the players ? or hes protectign himself ?

    • #24348
      Jake Witcher

      I also highly recommend people listen to Tony G’s podcast on Quad Jacks makes some interesting points.

      very much recomend people listen to that.

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