Last night Team Phil Ivey released a press release via the popular social networking site Facebook which left many in the online poker world scratching their heads and wondering if his account had been hacked. The press release is real and Mr Phil Ivey will not be playing in the 2011 WSOP unless all US and international Full Tilt Poker players begin to get paid. Ivey also announced that he has filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker parent company Tiltware for $150 million seeking repayment of player funds.
Overnight Ivey took a lot of heat for his statement from organizations like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Bryan Spadaro, of the PPA has this to sat via twitter “Never lost more respect for a person from a Facebook post than what Phil Ivey did today. Nice way to see short term and backstab. #jumpship” Once again the PPA doesn’t get it and at this point never will. Holdem Poker Chat privately pulled all support for the PPA following their post Black Friday comments. Now we’re doing it publicly. This organization has run it’s course and has achieved nothing but give poker players false hope.
Shortly after Ivey’s release went viral his good friend and fellow Team full Tilt Pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan also hit twitter offering him a pat on the back by saying “Yo @philivey poker isn’t a sport… Rest of your statement is awesome though.” Dwan will be playing the WSOP, but he has also gone on record as saying that if US players do not get paid that he will give back 100% of the income he received from Full Tilt Poker.
Here is a full copy of Phil Ivey’s Press Release:
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 whole heartedly 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.