Tiltware CEO and co-founder of Full Tilt Poker – Ray Bitar – has broken his silence for the first time since Black Friday, and issued an apology to “all who have been affected by these events”.
Ray Bitar is the first major name to speak out since the US Department of Justice indicted him and other owners of [geolink href=”https://www.pokernewsreport.com/full-tilt-poker”]Full Tilt Poker[/geolink] on April 15th 2011 for violating UIGEA and, in an interview with Poker Strategy´s Matt Kaufman, explained the reasons for his silence.
Working Towards Repayment of the Full Tilt Players
Bitar claimed in the interview that his primary focus had been the repayment of the players and the survival of Full Tilt Poker. When asked why he had not made any public statements in almost a year, Bitar replied that he had been working tirelessly to resolve issues with the Department of Justice and that public statements about the ongoing process may have jeopardised the eventual outcome. He added that he had no intention to “hide” or “ignore the situation”, and he acknowledged that the events surrounding the Full Tilt Poker scandal had hurt a lot of innocent people which “it´s my main job to put right”.
Ray Bitar Attacked for Meaningless Statement
Despite his public apology, reaction to Bitar´s interview was negative. Although the apology was published late in the evening (US time), a head of steam developed on the online poker forums attacking the statement for its lack of information and brevity. It was generally agreed upon that Bitar could had made the same statement at any time in the past eleven months, but failed to do so, and it may have been a staged public comment so that when a deal is concluded with Groupe Bernard Tapie, Bitar can come out of the mess a little cleaner and say “I told you I was working on a deal”.
More Interviews to Come?
The conclusion of the Poker Strategy article hinted that there may be more interviews to come however, should the remainder be as meaningless as the one published last night, the reaction will be to stir more dislike of Bitar and his cronies. As a PR exercise the interview did nothing for Bitar or Full Tilt Poker, whose ex-players still remain pessimistic of ever seeing their bankrolls again and cynical of anything that has to be passed through Full Tilt Poker´s lawyers first.
As one wag on the 2 plus 2 forums put it:-
Q: – Why did it take so long for Bitar to issue an apology
A: – Because requests for interviews have to go through FTP support!