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June 29, 2011

You’ve undoubtedly read today’s news about the Alderney Gaming Commission temporarily suspending Full Tilt Poker’s license and, essentially, shutting the company down until they hold a formal hearing next month. And, like me, you undoubtedly have strong opinions about Full Tilt Poker and how a seemingly successful company has fucked up so badly in such a short period of time.

Before I continue, let me be clear that FTP has been very good to me – and to a number of my friends – over the past few years, and that I have personal reasons as to why I want to see the company succeed. I also want to say that I don’t believe that either Ray Bitar or Howard Lederer have ever intentionally set out to screw over the FTP player base.

That aside, I also need to point out I don’t agree with everything that Full Tilt’s management has done – or is doing – to manage this ongoing crisis. Platitudes and half-hearted statements about how they’re working to make their US players whole again just don’t cut it anymore, if they ever did. In short, FTP needs to come clean with its players, employees and shareholders about the true state of the company and what management is doing to settle the company’s debts and address its legal issues. Without specifics, it’s simply too hard for anybody to trust, let alone believe, that the company’s management has any plan at all.

Part of me still wants to believe that those who are running the company haven’t really screwed things up as badly as the news suggests, but I’m cynical enough and realistic enough to know that’s probably not the case. The company looks like it’s fucked and even if its management does finally take the high road, I don’t really believe there’s anything they can do to save it. Hell, I don’t know if there’s anything that anyone can do to save it at this point.

So, is Full Tilt Poker dead? I think it’s too early to say, but as things stand now, I have to believe the company is most definitely on life support.

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