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Old 05-26-2018, 07:17 AM   #176
venice10
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Originally Posted by Lego05 View Post
But you might want to look into your general practice of how you sell inventory to retailers without getting money immediately and without having a security interest in such inventory. Seems nuts to me to not at least try to put a lien on the inventory you sell for which you do not get immediate payment.
Vendors like 2+2 rarely, if ever have that kind of marketing power. Borders would have told Mason, "no problem, we won't sell your books." While 2+2 is big in the poker world, 2+2 even at the height of the poker boom didn't even represent a rounding error on Borders' sales and profit figures.

As for the thread, I only met Chris Ferguson once. I was playing a donkament at the Aladdin a long time age. FTP must have held some sort of contest to play in a one table invitational event. This was long before the millions came in as evidenced by the fact they were playing at the Aladdin poker room. Ferguson was there to shake hands with the players in the invitational tournament.

He was clearly an introvert. As soon as the initial hand shaking was done, he sat down at another table by himself and started eating a sandwich. However, he was happy to speak with anyone that came up to say hello to him. He seemed like a nice guy overall. A couple of the dealers had known him for years and stated that they liked him because he was kind to dealers unlike many other pros.

As for the FTP debacle itself, it starts with accounting. As people sent money to them, they recorded it as funds that was in their possesion. However, processors started stealing or getting those funds seized. It is a judgement call as to when the accountants decide to report those losses since in theory they could be recoverable. It seems clear now that Pokerstars was far more diligent about recording those losses as they occurred than FTP was.

So when looking at a top level profit and loss statement, no one would have suspected anything was wrong. Even the balance sheet would have looked good at the top level. Someone would have had to dig the next level down to see that more and more of the cash was sitting at the processors and asked why. Since most poker players don't even have a college degree of any sort (let alone an accounting or finance degree), it isn't surprising they never saw this.

That said, someone in FTP knew what they were doing was wrong. Bitar is the most likely culprit, either overtly (don't write those off) or indirectly (we need to show a profit this month).

The best analogy I can come up for the players is while they didn't steal the money, it was as if they wandering around a high crime area late at night flashing millions of dollars and being surprised that somebody robbed them. Very bad judgement on them. And bad judgement on anyone letting them handle their money.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:17 AM   #177
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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As for the FTP debacle itself, it starts with accounting. As people sent money to them, they recorded it as funds that was in their possesion. However, processors started stealing or getting those funds seized. It is a judgement call as to when the accountants decide to report those losses since in theory they could be recoverable. It seems clear now that Pokerstars was far more diligent about recording those losses as they occurred than FTP was.

So when looking at a top level profit and loss statement, no one would have suspected anything was wrong. Even the balance sheet would have looked good at the top level. Someone would have had to dig the next level down to see that more and more of the cash was sitting at the processors and asked why. Since most poker players don't even have a college degree of any sort (let alone an accounting or finance degree), it isn't surprising they never saw this.
This is the argument they will make and I'm not buying it. Not only are many of these people well educated, but they are also very smart. They're the last people you'd want to perpetrate a fraud on. That is if they were paying intention.

You don't need an MBA to see there were no accounting practices and there was massive mismanagement beyond what was going on with the processors.

At best they were willfully ignorant of their company. If they didn't know I can only assume its because they didn't want to be associated with FTP given the legal landscape the company was operating in. I wouldn't fault them for that, but its also not exactly a good excuse.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:39 AM   #178
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

May 2025. Chris Ferguson releases his follow up statement.

"As I said 7 years ago, I am really sorry about Black Friday. I am glad my knowledge of the failure of the Ponzi scheme remained secret, while me and my co-owners quietly siphoned money into our accounts, while publicly we said everything was fine, and then that we never knew what was happening.

Hopefully the true facts will never emerge, but I will continue to pretend I hope they really do. Thanks for all your money guys, it really means a lot to me.".
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:54 AM   #179
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

I think Chris makes a valid point when he says that he looks forward to the Full Tilt story being told. What we have heard/seen isn't the end of it imo. I think there is a major twist/new characters who will arrive if it's told.

Look at Bitar. When he turned himself in and received 0 prison time despite him being found guilty. A judge gave him a sweetheart based on that he's sick?? Comon that seems to be some serious influence been put on the judge and I think that influence comes from a character that has yet to be named.
Did Full Tilt have any hidden investors?
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #180
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

If i run into Chris im gonna ask him what pokersite he prefers to play online.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:14 AM   #181
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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If i run into Chris im gonna ask him what pokersite he prefers to play online.
It will take him seven years to reply to you that he doesn't know anything.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:50 AM   #182
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

I thought stars bailed out most of full tilts players balances? I was very surprised that they did that at the time and thought how lucky the players were.
Being in a family business, I know that when a company goes bust owing you, you usually end up with FA.

Still sucks how that company was run and basically caused black Friday and the end of worldwide online poker sites though.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:15 PM   #183
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Ahh hell no. Shame on Chris and those coming to his defense now. yall soft, dont forgive him; thats a guilt he has to live with.

When i hear reports he is apologizing at every single table he sits at this summer then ill believe his sham apology.
How many people at his table do you think even had a Full Tilt account nearly a decade ago? While time does not forgive things, and it will still be interesting if the full story ever comes out, the reality is that a person who started playing poker in 2014 will not likely have strong feelings about Full Tilt/ Black Friday, and anyone who pats themselves on the back while yelling "You suck" toward the bad guys at the table will just be looked at as weird and bitter by most of the others there.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:45 PM   #184
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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ďI worked relentlessly to ensure all players got paid back, and I sincerely apologize it took as long as it did.Ē ...those of us who were red pros and had a smaller balance than what we were paid rakeback for being a red pro got nothing -- will Chris pay us back our balances out of pocket?

Blood boiling.

Yes, I know red pros such as myself had a cushy deal with the rakeback and hourly and stuff. But at the same time, before being a red pro I almost never played LHE on full tilt, and basically had played exclusively high stakes LHE on Stars, so becoming a red pro def cost me a lot long term when factoring in the amount of hours/hands I traded from Stars to Full Tilt in the name of playing smaller but reducing a tonnnn of variance when getting that red pro deal (that is, until I ended up losing my balance on Full Tilt).

DOJ/GCG paid red pros: Balance - 100% rakeback - hourly = what you get. For a lot of red pros, this was a huge hit, and in the case of many such as myself, the result was getting nothing.

Hey Chris, I'd love it if you made me right out of pocket if you're so sorry. I know you have millions and millions in the bank, and technically, your company owed me that money.
I was fortunate enough to be able to immediately relocate to CA and withdraw my balance following black friday. I doubt I would've seen a nickel of my account balance otherwise due to my WSOP deal and red pro deal.

Sorry to hear this is how other red pros were treated by GCG.
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:48 PM   #185
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Still sucks how that company was run and basically caused black Friday and the end of worldwide online poker sites though.
The way the company was run had nothing to do with "causing" Black Friday. Black Friday merely exposed how the company was run.

Black Friday was caused by Obama's DOJ federally indicting the owners of the major online poker sites, which in turn caused the owners to cease U.S. operations.
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Old 05-26-2018, 01:36 PM   #186
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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At best they were willfully ignorant of their company. If they didn't know I can only assume its because they didn't want to be associated with FTP given the legal landscape the company was operating in. I wouldn't fault them for that, but its also not exactly a good excuse.

Didn't realize there were so many legal people here at 2+2 Is willful ignorance that thing where people try to avoid learning too much, in hopes it will help them avoid getting into trouble with the law if the authorities start an investigation? Like when people agree to transport duffle bags for money, and delierately don't ask what's in them, and stuff?


Guess in Full Tilt's case, not knowing the details may have wound up making a huge difference - didn't Ray Bitar wound up pleading guilty to criminal behaviour, paying something like a $40mil fine, and getting jail time? While Chris Ferguson only had to settle a civil suit for something like a $2.5mil fine, leaving him with maybe over $20mil to keep?

Maybe Chris Ferguson never expected things to go so awry with the running of Full Tilt - but if he had the chance to do things over again, wonder what he'd do differently, if anything?
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:19 PM   #187
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Vendors like 2+2 rarely, if ever have that kind of marketing power. Borders would have told Mason, "no problem, we won't sell your books." While 2+2 is big in the poker world, 2+2 even at the height of the poker boom didn't even represent a rounding error on Borders' sales and profit figures.
It is possible that was a problem. I have no idea whether Borders had a general policy that they didnít give security interests in inventory to its suppliers. But it is really pretty reasonable to give someone a security interest in the inventory they provide you if you arenít paying them immediately. And having a purchase money security interest in the books they supplied would put them in a much better place.

I spent a minute on google trying to find out whether amazon gives suppliers security interests in the inventory they supply, but I didnít find anything.

At the least, they should try though, and if they sell to smaller retailers also, they should get it there.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:56 PM   #188
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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How many people at his table do you think even had a Full Tilt account nearly a decade ago? While time does not forgive things, and it will still be interesting if the full story ever comes out, the reality is that a person who started playing poker in 2014 will not likely have strong feelings about Full Tilt/ Black Friday, and anyone who pats themselves on the back while yelling "You suck" toward the bad guys at the table will just be looked at as weird and bitter by most of the others there.
if you go through life worrying about what randoms think about you, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:58 PM   #189
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

FTP hierarchy:

Bitar = codemaker
Lederer = bookmaker/banker
Fergeson = bot maker

The whole FTP story will be told:

Rub-a-dub-dub,
Three men in a club,
And who do you think they be?
The codemaker, the banker, the gto bot creator,
And all of them out to see (you later).
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Old 05-26-2018, 02:59 PM   #190
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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This is the argument they will make and I'm not buying it. Not only are many of these people well educated, but they are also very smart. They're the last people you'd want to perpetrate a fraud on. That is if they were paying intention.

You don't need an MBA to see there were no accounting practices and there was massive mismanagement beyond what was going on with the processors.

At best they were willfully ignorant of their company. If they didn't know I can only assume its because they didn't want to be associated with FTP given the legal landscape the company was operating in. I wouldn't fault them for that, but its also not exactly a good excuse.
Being a smart person who is good at one thing doesn't mean you are going to be good at everything you try. Some smart doctors who are excellent in their field turn out to be horrible poker. Successful businessmen can turn out to be horrible politicians because the job requires different skills.

From what I have read/heard, it sounds like there were some people within the company who had concerns and those people were sidelined because the those at the top suffered from the tragic flaw of hubris, believing that they could handle anything.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:01 PM   #191
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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It is possible that was a problem. I have no idea whether Borders had a general policy that they didnít give security interests in inventory to its suppliers. But it is really pretty reasonable to give someone a security interest in the inventory they provide you if you arenít paying them immediately. And having a purchase money security interest in the books they supplied would put them in a much better place.
Let's use some common sense here. Borders doesn't need to give security interests in inventory to its suppliers. Why would they give something like that away for free?
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:07 PM   #192
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

WWJD? Forgive. I forgive you Jesus.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:24 PM   #193
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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WWJD? Forgive. I forgive you Jesus.
WWCFD? wait 7 years and then release a video where he expressionlessly reads a 45 second prepared remark off a teleprompter in a move best described as a PR disaster.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:41 PM   #194
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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WWCFD? wait 7 years and then release a video where he expressionlessly reads a 45 second prepared remark off a teleprompter in a move best described as a PR disaster.
I agree it was a bad move. He should have made the announcement while throwing playing cards through asparagus. Then rather than skewering him we'd all be talking about how gifted this man is.
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:53 PM   #195
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Let's use some common sense here. Borders doesn't need to give security interests in inventory to its suppliers. Why would they give something like that away for free?
It is pretty pointless to blindly speculate whether, as a supplier 10 years ago, it was possible to get Borders to give you a security interest in the inventory you supply to them. So Iím not really going to keep trying. It would be commercially reasonable, but I have no idea what is the industry standard and how much these large retailers throw their weight around to be unreasonable. Should definitely get it from smaller retailers (do those still exist?).
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Old 05-26-2018, 03:59 PM   #196
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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It is pretty pointless to blindly speculate whether, as a supplier 10 years ago, it was possible to get Borders to give you a security interest in the inventory you supply to them. So Iím not really going to keep trying. It would be commercially reasonable, but I have no idea what is the industry standard and how much these large retailers throw their weight around to be unreasonable. Should definitely get it from smaller retailers (do those still exist?).
Let me put this another way. If it were possible to get a security interest, I hypothesize that either 2+2 would have done so or Mason Malmuth is an idiot or incompetent. It's not absolute proof, but I believe this makes it highly likely that it is not possible.

It's a lot easier to believe that people involved with FTP were incompetent because we have more evidence towards that idea.
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Old 05-26-2018, 04:10 PM   #197
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

He was waiting for the statute of limitations to run out as even an apology could be viewed as an admission of guilt in court. As for “the whole story” he’s referring to, I wouldn’t be surprised if he and others are shopping around the story to Hollywood to get a movie made. If Molly’s Game can become a major film, this story certainly can.
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:54 PM   #198
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

I'm pretty sure that's not Chris Ferguson in the video, and it is, in fact, a robot imposter.

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Old 05-26-2018, 06:19 PM   #199
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Let me put this another way. If it were possible to get a security interest, I hypothesize that either 2+2 would have done so or Mason Malmuth is an idiot or incompetent. It's not absolute proof, but I believe this makes it highly likely that it is not possible.

It's a lot easier to believe that people involved with FTP were incompetent because we have more evidence towards that idea.
Most of them were poker players... of course they were incompetent. To expect otherwise is just foolish. If you're looking back from 1018 and expected FTP a site owned and operated by poker players to be run like a real business then the joke was on you. It was on me too as I lost money but people bitching and moaning about trusting their money with poker player... they need to take responsibility to the fact that they trusted a bunch of card players to be able to be businessmen over night.



IMO this thread is filled with a bunch of really stupid people bitching and moaning about something that in hindsight was basically inevitable. Blame it on Chris, blame it on Lederer, blame it on Bitar. The real blame to me is that I and many others trusted some uneducated, cardplaying, non business minded. famous people with my money and expected them to run a half illegal operation and didn't expect them to **** up at running said half illeagal business.


If you're still blaming the other instead of blaming yourself for not doing due diligence in a business operation than that's on you. We ****ed up for trusting a bunch of degens to run a business like a business. Maybe grow the **** up and realize you made a huge mistake in trusting gamblers to not **** up this operation. Any adult could see the bullpoopy coming from 1000 miles away. I was in my mid 20s and was dumb as **** and was totally naive.


To me this is like trusting a 16 year old to do a roof job correctly. WE ****ED UP. GET OVER IT. If you keep on playing the blame game you're just filling NVG with nonsense cuz you couldn't see a failure from a mile away. Learn and move on cuz the bitching and moaning is from something that is 7 years removed and it was just money. You ****ed up, and if you do the same with a site like WPN then you ****ed up again and laughs will be had.

Last edited by Sir Huntington; 05-26-2018 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:46 PM   #200
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Re: Chris Ferguson Is Really, Really, Really Sorry

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Hi Leggo:

It doesnít work that way. Even if Borders sold every one of our books, once they declared bankruptcy we would only get pennies on the dollar. In addition, in the book business, we get book returns all the time, and theyíre often not in shape to be sold again, so we just throw them away.

Best wishes,
Mason
Sounds like you ought not to get these ones and they should be going to your publisher (in the event that your publisher is still operating). Unless these books are coming back to you in disgust and wanting a personal refund from you for it.
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