Sunday, February 12, 2012

a couple of thoughts on the FTP thieves...

this is a series of posts I've recently made on 2p2 relating to the topic of FTP and it's theft of player money. Essentially several players and myself have made posts suggesting a boycott of organizations in the poker and gambling community that hire or deal with these thieves. most of it will make sense in that context, although obviously some of the posts are responses and initially it might seem confusing what I'm discussing:

noah I kind of get why you locked the "view: FTP pros are getting off too light thread" because it is something that can be discussed in the other threads. However if that topic was to morph into an action plan to protest sites and casinos that do business with these players would that thread warrant reopening?

My opinion is that regardless of whether I ever see my 62k on FTP (and I feel like I probably won't) these guys are going to get away with what is amounting to theft because enough of the people that were wronged either weren't hurt significantly or aren't insane enough to do something crazy. However if the community started a movement to ostracize them based on their unethical actions it could actually hurt them were it matters. And if nothing else we could eliminate a very shady element that is sitting at the top of our games publicity pyramid, and is casting an ugly shadow over the entire community and game.

I'm tired of a game I love and play for a living being represented by these lying thieving scumbags. And no one else is going to drag them from this perch simply because no one else either cares or knows better.

Possibly one of the best elements of 2p2 in the last few years is that it has become a self-policing community for the poker world. Almost every scandal that has been broken was broken here and often to the credit of hard working diligent noble people like yourself. And I'm not trying to butter you up, I'm just stating a fact. The rest of the world (journalists included) doesn't care enough about poker to fix the ills of our game. But we do. While this might not be the clear cut blatant cheating that the super-using scandal was, what we're discussing is outright theft of player money by a bunch of lying gamblers that were drunk with power. And it deserves a similar coordinated and focused response from our community.

I'm rambling at this point, but I'd either urge you to consider reopening that thread, or at least consider allowing the original OP to make a similar thread with a focus on taking action as a community instead of simply stating a view.

thanks for considering.

in response to a proposed boycott of events and sites dealing with FTP scum:

I'm with this. Any company knowingly doing business with these thieves before they've done everything possible to make players whole will not be receiving my business.

That includes, online sites, land based casinos, tournament tours, etc. I'll speak with my wallet. If you support the people that stole from me I won't be patronizing your business.

clarifying for someone what I meant by above:
If a company in the poker or gambling world does business with them, or if any company hires them based on their personality or poker resume I will not be patronizing them.

I'm not boycotting grocery stores FTP pros shop at or tv shows they watch. I assumed that everyone in this thread would understand my statement and the sentiment behind it, but you've shown me not to overestimate based on the posts and responses of the majority.

a good poster in MHFR expressed that he thought the WSOP should not be leveraged because of it's history and meaning to the poker community. my rebuttal:
all of below is just my opinion. if it doesn't make sense feel free to rip it apart or whatever. I haven't had my coffee yet...

the wsop is one of the biggest leeches on the poker economy. if the people that owned it really wanted it to have such status they'd try doing a few things without the bottom line in mind. that series of tournaments takes more money out of the economy than just about any other while providing a sub par product. the tournaments have poor structure, bad dealers, constant screw-ups (lost or too many chips, marked cards, etc) and high rake. They make money on player's likenesses by showing the tournaments on tv but none of that money makes it back to the players. They even limit your ability to wear sponsorship logos on tv. And the bracelet is losing it's luster as the history of the tournament has been lost during it's growth and corporatization.

I'm not anti-WSOP as I get that it's a fun way for poker players to hang out for the summer and the tournaments attract lots of rec players. But the holy grail aspect revolved around a smaller series that had buy-ins that were really high (buy-ins aren't that high anymore due to inflation) that attracted a group of old school gamblers that battled it out in old vegas. The last vestiges of that tournament died in 2005, and while it's been replaced with one hell of a spectacle it isn't imo a sacred event. It's a corporate cash grab that owns the most famous name in the game.

my argument for leveraging WSOP as well as any other tournament series or online site is that those are the ways these thieves make their living. If they are going to steal our money I'm not going to support businesses that will give them money. If they are allowed to play major tournaments, accept sponsorship deals, etc these guys can continue to find ways to cash in on the celebrity that they lucked into based on timing and nothing else. Even if such a protest doesn't work it may force news organizations in the poker world to discuss it and in the process inform more people of the actions of the FTP crooks.

someone replied to my boycott plan suggesting that shareholders and loan-takers were largely in the dark and were not to blame for this scandal. While I accept that they make not have willingly defrauded players in the past, I argue that with their current awareness they can't deny that they received ill-gotten gains, and it would be unethical to keep said money:

give me some credit. I get that not everyone is to blame. And people who fail to pay back their dividends or loans could get off of my boycott list depending on their actions and statements. But without saying a word I'm going to assume that someone that accepted millions of dollars of ill gotten gains with no remorse and no desire to make players right is a thief and scum. Just because I don't have a legal recourse (and we actually might via clawbacks) doesn't mean I can't accuse these guys of being ethically bankrupt.

A shareholder is an owner, even if they were unaware they were part of the corrupt structure that defraud thousands of players of millions of dollars. If they now realize the error of their ways and they are willing to do what they can to make amends I would obviously forgive them. For example guys like Dwan, potentially Juanda, and maybe Greenstein have all taken steps suggesting that they want to make right on their debt and repay players. Those guys if they follow through on their promises would not be one of the people I'm attempting to paint with the scarlet letter.

This isn't a movement that I believe will necessarily get any stolen money back in the hand of FTP players (although that would obviously be a great result). I do however expect to black list all of these thieves from this community and the larger gambling world. I want their indiscretions to be the first entry on their wikipedia page and the first thing that comes to mind when they are discussed. I don't ever want to see them on TV playing poker, repping some online site, or pushing DVDs or books. I want their names and nicknames to have the same connotation in our world that Madoff and Ponzi have in the financial world.

If you don't agree with that by all means don't join in here. But if you are even participating in this discussion with me I'm accomplishing my goals. The more people discuss this the more attention it gets the more likely we succeed in besmirching these people's reputation and weeding them out from the world of poker and gambling.

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