Canadian superstar Daniel Negreanu has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Phil Ivey’s decision to boycott the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2011 in protest at website Full Tilt Poker’s slow return of money to their American customers.
Negreanu has actually come out in support of Ivey as the feud continues between the eight-time WSOP bracelet winner and Full Tilt Poker following the US Department of Justice (DoJ) decision to shut down several poker websites – including PokerStars and Absolute Poker – on what has become known as ‘Black Friday’.
Ivey, who said he was “deeply disappointed and embarrassed” by the online poker site’s slow action to allow Americans access to their online poker accounts, is also suing Full Tilt for alleged damages done to his reputation by their lack of positive activity, only for the company to counter by suggesting the 35-year-old’s comments are “sanctimonious” and his upcoming lawsuit “frivolous” in an angry response.
However, Negreanu reckons Full Tilt’s retort was “shocking” and particularly unprofessional and added that he admires the fact that Ivey is “willing to give up something like the WSOP – that I know is so important to him – for what he thinks is principally right”.
The 36-year-old is confused by Full Tilt’s “statement about Ivey being selfish” as they “had a month to release a statement about funds”.
Additionally, Negreanu – who also wouldn’t sport any advertising for a firm that had failed to support its customers – said he was shocked by “how low class” Full Tilt appeared when criticising their former star pro, although “it wasn’t surprising”.
Meanwhile, struggling Full Tilt has come under added pressure this week following a ruling by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a breach of contract claim from Texas poker star Clonie Gowen.
The original case was rejected by Robert Clive Jones – a US District judge – but that ruling has now been discounted as incorrect by the Court of Appeals, while they are also set to look into Gowen’s additional claims that Full Tilt should be charged for negligent misrepresentation and fraud.
The 39-year-old – who can now resume her case – alleges that Full Tilt guaranteed her a 1% stake in the company when it became profitable as part of their deal that made use of her promotional skills and celebrity standing.
But, says Gowen, this guarantee has never been honoured, which resulted in her taking out the lawsuit.