News Update: March 7th, 2012

March 7, 2012, Posted by Daniel.Smyth

News Update: March 7th, 2012

In today's new's update we finally hear from Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar, see why Erick "E-Dog" Lindgren is in hot water and get details of Shuffle Master's takeover at Ongame. 

Bitar Breaks Silence

Down at Full Tilt HQ the only sound more frightening than the call of the DOJ in recent months has been the deafening silence. Since Black Friday turned the lights out at Tilt, the men behind the scenes have resigned themselves to the shadows, content to hide from the glare of the poker community.

However, ducking the spotlight could only last so long and like a bear emerging from hibernation, Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar has stepped blinking into the sun to answer some questions. Thanks to PokerStrategy, the poker community has been given a glimpse – and we mean glimpse – into Bitar’s current situation.

Taking time to answer just three questions – with the caveat that PokerStrategy focus specifically on his apology – Bitar described how he’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure players get paid and deals are signed. He also made it clear that his silence is due to the continuing legal situation surrounding Full Tilt.

By far the most poignant part of the interview, however, was Bitar’s apology to everyone affected by the saga. There is no doubt that his statement is in part a PR exercise designed to deflect some of the vitriol aimed at him and his company. Indeed, while he offered an apology there was a distinct absence of the word “sorry” in his plea. Is there anything you would like to say to the online poker community?

Ray Bitar: I would like to offer my sincere apology to all who have been affected by these events and to clarify that my silence was not an attempt to “hide,” or “ignore,” the situation. It was done out of necessity to ensure the focus remained on the continued efforts to reach the best outcome for the players. My entire focus is on obtaining a successful resolution for the players. I hope that before long I can provide some good news for all of the players involved.”

Whatever the motivation behind the interview, it’s clear that all is still not well at Full Tilt. When and if the situation will ever be resolved is unclear, but for now we’ll have to content ourselves with this murmur from Bitar.

Debts for E-Dog

Details emerged last week of a series of outstanding debts owed by Erick Lindgren. The former Full Tilt pro is a familiar face on the circuit and well known for his penchant for gambling. However, it seems his love of betting isn’t matched by his desire to settle his wagers.

The first rumblings of discontent started when 2+2 poster “$kill game” started a thread which claimed Lindgren owed him and others over $60,000 in fantasy league bets. The outstanding cash continued to pile-up as more respected members of the community disclose details of their dealings with Erick.

Most notable were Haralabos Voulgaris and Daniel Negreanu. Both summed up their thoughts on Erick, with Daniel promising to release a vlog next week with more information.

Contained within his post, Daniel said: “I'm not defending Erick. For a long time I've given him crap about the way he handles debt and I think it's completely awful and inexcusable.

This one looks like it’s going to run for some time as more pros chime in on the debate.


A Reshuffle at Ongame

It was announced this week that Shuffle Master are set to purchase the Ongame Network from

The company, who are primarily known for providing automatic card shufflers to casinos across the world, have entered into an agreement which will see them take charge of the network for €19.5 million.

Although the company will remain as a business-to-business outfit and not directly provide content to players, they hope the move will extend their influence in the regulated online poker market.

Commenting on the acquisition, Gavin Isaacs, CEO of Shuffle Master, said: “I am confident that Ongame will fit seamlessly into our ongoing interactive initiatives of delivering our renowned brands to online gaming operators, partner web sites, social networks and mobile platforms.”


Side Action

They’re now battling across the internet, but before the virtual bluster the pair were locked in combat across the felt. In today's Side Action we relive this classic hand from High Stakes Poker between Erick Lindgren and Daniel Negreanu. 

Have Your Say

Tell us what you think...

(will not be posted)