The final installment of “The Lederer Files” was posted today over at PokerNews.com. In this final installment, Lederer tells us about the days leading up to the announcement of the deal, why he chose to stay silent so long, and ultimately whether he will try to be a part of the poker community in the future.
Leap of Faith
The final installment of the interview kicked off with Lederer discussing the final days leading up to the closing of the Full Tilt deal. During June of this year, Lederer says that they were told that the deal would be closed by July 2nd and that they needed to take a “leap of faith” and do what they could to reduce liabilities.
This meant that if the deal did not happen, the company would essentially be penniless and when the deal was pushed back to July 9th and beyond, they began to get nervous. At this point, Lederer reached out to Tom Dwan. Dwan had said that if Full Tilt did not repay players, that he would give the $1.5 Million he received from the company to players.
Lederer asked Dwan whether he would consider giving the $1.5 Million to the company so that they could survive through August. They did a math analysis and he determined that Dwan’s $1.5 Million would be worth at least 10% of the money that players would be repaid, or around $39 Million globally. Dwan agreed with the math and told Lederer that if the company needed the money in August, he would give them the $1.5 Million.
Fortunately for players, that never happened as the deal was announced at the end of July. When asked why the deal took so long and whether it could have been done back in June 2011, Lederer believed that a deal back then would not have been possible because of the uncertainty with the DOJ legal action. Once that was negotiated, PokerStars then was able to move into trying to acquire Full Tilt Poker.
Silence for the Good of the Players
The discussion then transitioned into why Lederer had chosen to be silent for so long regarding what was going on with Full Tilt Poker. He admitted that he felt that he owed the poker community his silence and that his talking about the deal would not have helped players get paid any quicker.
In fact, his silence may have helped save any potential deal. Back in September of 2011, there were a number of leaks regarding negotiations with the DOJ and they outright told Full Tilt Poker that if there was one more leak, they were walking away from the discussions. Lederer also admitted that he 100% understood the player’s position and that they were angry over his silence.
“I Will Play Poker”
Parvis asked Lederer about the claims that he and Chris Ferguson should be banned from poker and that even Ferguson’s 2000 WSOP banner should be taken down. He then asked if Lederer would be a part of the poker community and play poker again.
Lederer responded that his having an active role in the poker community was not up to him but that he would continue to play poker. He said that the was an owner in a company that got in a bad situation and one that he did not actively help create. He said that when he found a problem that he committed himself to fix that problem. Finally, he said that if the poker community felt that he should be banned from the game, he would disagree with that assessment.
“I Take Full Responsibility”
Parvis then asked Lederer’s opinion on the September 10th amended complaint which was still upcoming at the time that the interview was taped. Lederer felt that a new statute would likely be used against them in the complaint seeing that a court recently ruled the IGBA did not apply to poker. After the taping of the interview, the DOJ revealed on September 10th that the Travel Act was added to support the forfeiture claim.
To close the interview, Parvis asked Lederer whether he had any final words for the poker community and Lederer said that “As an owner of Full Tilt Poker, I took and I take full responsibility for what happened.” He continued, “That wasn’t right and for that I am deeply sorry. I look very much forward to the reopening of the site under PokerStars Leadership.” Lederer also said that he will be rooting for the company every day.
There has been much discussion as to why Lederer chose to do this interview and whether it was even wise with the legal action that he is facing. Now that the interview has been seen, at least in it’s edited version, players can now make their decisions whether they want to believe him at his word and ultimately whether they will welcome him back into the poker community.