Howard Lederer Apologizes to Poker Community for Full Tilt Poker Debacle

Ever since Full Tilt Poker was shut down during Black Friday, a day of online poker infamy on April 15th 2011, players have been wondering about Howard Lederer. The poker pro was a driving force behind the site when it shuttered, leaving players without access to their online poker funds. Five years later, the poker player has now come forward and is apologizing for what went down in regards to FTP. is a site that features a blog for poker pro Daniel Negreanu. Lederer used the blog to be able to release a statement about Full Tilt Poker and what happened, apologizing to everyone in the poker community. The letter began with Lederer apologizing to everyone, especially the players who had money with FTP on the 15th of April back in 2011.

When the online poker site closed down, there was a shortage of funds which resulted in a distressed sale to try and recover the money. This resulted in a long delay in repaying players who were members of Full Tilt. During this time frame, there was no explanation to players as well as no apology and players felt as though they had been lied to. Lederer pointed out that players trusted FTP, him and that he did not live up to the trust given.

Lederer went on to state that he takes full responsibility for the failure with Full Tilt being unable to protect the player deposits that led up to Black Friday. The shortfall should never have happened and Lederer stated he should have provided better oversight or made sure that others did so. As a founder of the company, Lederer recognizes that players trusted him as he was a face of the company.

After the letter was posted, Negreanu gave a statement on what he thought about Lederer’s comments. Negreanu stated that he felt that the apology was late and should have been made five years ago. The pro stated that he understands that the acceptance of the letter will be a personal choice based on the individual and he feels that the apology is genuine.

The letter was released the very same week that Full Tilt merged with PokerStars, basically marking as an ending to the former Full Tilt site. The letter may be a way for Lederer to be able to get back into poker again but he will have to most likely deal with backlash from players who still have hard feelings about what went down with Full Tilt Poker.

Negreanu stated that he felt like Lederer just wants to be able to play poker again ‘without vitriol sent in his direction’ and he is unsure if the apology will accomplish this. The pro says it does bother him to see Lederer at the table because players have been paid and he seems to be acknowledging his role in the disaster known as FTP.

Players who were members of Full Tilt Poker had the opportunity to fill out a petition to claim funds from a former online poker gaming account. Once a petition was filed at the Full Tilt Poker Claims Site, the Garden City Group would do an evaluation. The Garden City Group was chosen by the Department of Justice to serve as claims administrator in the repayment process.

The Department of Justice had settled with PokerStars on behalf of Full Tilt after the Rational Group decided to buy out the brand and pay off their debt. Amaya Gaming now owns the Rational Group and operates both PokerStars and Full Tilt on the same gaming platform.