Saturday, February 04, 2012

Strange ultimatum

In the January 30 issue of Poker Player Newspaper, publisher Stanley R. Sludikoff has an editorial about the Full Tilt Poker mess that has been dragging out for almost a year now.

The principal players--Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson--have, of course, remained essentially silent, undoubtedly on the advice of their legal team, given the hefty criminal and civil penalties potentially hanging over their heads.

Here's how Mr. Sludikoff starts his editorial:
In this segment it is my intention to take up the issue of the alleged illegal activities of poker celebrities Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, et al. I say "alleged" because no indictments have been handed down, and everyone should be granted the supposition of innocence until proven guilty.
I pause here to note the wild factual inaccuracy of saying that "no indictments have been handed down," but let's go on.
On the other hand, Howard, Chris, and their cohorts have been publicly silent, apparently hiding from their usual public exposure. This activity tends to support the proposition that they are guilty.
Oh really? So, Mr. Sludikoff, if you are ever accused of a crime, and you heed your attorneys' advice not to make any public statements, we should take that as evidence of your guilt, right? To put it another way, the accused enjoy the presumption of innocence, unless they fail to issue statements to the press--is that your view, sir?
So in the interest of justice, I will delay subsequent editorials for two more weeks and invite the named parties to communicate with me, lay out their position, and tell our readers what happened. And I will print their statements exactly as rendered.
Wow. How big of you. Because, after all, these people surely would have spoken out by now if only they had some media outlet that would give them space to do so!

It's so ridiculous. I can't imagine why Mr. Sludikoff thinks that these guys will feel so threatened by the specter of his coming tirade against them that they will reverse course and suddenly open up in his pages. What could he possibly plan to say about them that hasn't already been said ten thousand times before over the past ten months?

To pick just the most recent example I've seen, earlier today Daniel Negreanu unleashed another torrent of hatred on the FTP gang:
They edited down my comments about Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson, but they definitely got the gist of my vitriol towards them. I'm disgusted by them and what they've done to smear the game with putrid decision making. Ray is a buffoon, Howard is arrogant, condescending, and incompetent, and Chris is a liar and has the warmth of a snow pea. These were never my friends, I never cared for any of them. I never trusted them for a second, and my "read" was always that these were not my kind of people. Why are they different from the rest of the group? These three were on the board, admittedly making all the decisions, and jeopardizing millions of dollars worth of players money that still hasn't surfaced. You guys suck. I hope to never see any of your faces at the WSOP anymore, and I hope you live with the shame you deserve for the rest of your lives. Your own personal, private hell. You deserve all the wrath you've received from the poker world, and much more. You are scum and each of you absolutely deserves a few swift baseball bat swings to the groin area, old school Vegas style.
Does Mr. Sludikoff have in store rhetoric that is so much worse than that that the possibility of seeing it in print will cause the accused to open up to him, with the risk of handing more ammunition to a federal prosecutor who has his missiles radar-locked onto them, just to avoid another round of name-calling? He might as well say, "Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

I am really baffled at what combination of arrogance and ignorance it takes for Mr. Sludikoff to believe that his pulpit is so fearsome that threatening to use it will pry an explanation out of defendants who are lawyered up six ways to Sunday.

As they used to say on Seinfeld, "Good luck with all that."


Rob said...

Ok, Daniel, now, don't hold back. Tell us how you REALLY feel.


ManInBlack said...

SLudikoff even a few months came out and blamed us players for the fall of FTP. After that I canceled my subscription to his magazine. He is now just a senile old dude who is losing it.

Gary said...

Holy Jeebus, that's an angry little Canadian right there.