One of the best poker players of all time has announced today that he will not play in this year’s World Series of Poker. Phil Ivey has suit in Las Vegas electronically today against Tiltware, the software and marketing firm for Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt was one of three online gambling sites including PokerStars and Absolute Poker that were shut down by the FBI in April 2011. Players were not been able to retrieve their funds from the online poker sites during the shutdown. 11 people were indicted on charges they knowingly tricked banks into illegally processing payments for gambling in the crackdown.
Full Tilt and PokerStars have reached agreements to reopen to let their players withdraw their money. PokerStars has reportedly paid it’s players back but the Full Tilt players have not been so lucky.
In a Statement released by Phil Ivey on PhilIvey.com he says:
“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.”