Chris Ferguson made his first semblance of public apology for the Black Friday scandal in 2011 in a 42-second video on Vimeo, but refused to accept responsibility for Full Tilt Poker’s inability to immediately pay back player balances after the US Department of Justice shut down the poker site. Reactions to the video were quick and mostly negative.
In “Chris Ferguson reaches out to the poker community,” released just days before the start of the 2018 World Series of Poker, a seemingly contrite Ferguson apologized for his role in the aftermath of Black Friday.
“I deeply regret not being able to prevent Black Friday from happening,” Ferguson says. “After Black Friday, I worked relentlessly to ensure that all players got paid back and I sincerely apologize that it took as long as it did.”
The video, which has comments disabled, received more than 27,000 views in its first 20 hours online, and only one like. (First-time Vimeo user Amy Watson must be proud.) But the one liker he got from the poker community was Phil Hellmuth.
Here is a video from Chris Ferguson. It’s a shame that so many of the younger poker players have JUDGED Chris so harshly. I believe that the whole truth about Full Tilt Poker will come out, and I believe the “Haters” will be surprised #IAmALoverNOTAJudge https://t.co/CABB6MXqS6
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) May 24, 2018
Color the poker community unimpressed.
Most poker fans who responded to Hellmuth’s tweet didn’t agree with Hellmuth, and who could blame them? The US economy rebounded from a recession in a shorter time than it took Ferguson to apologize.
In the past seven years, Ferguson, as a top executive and major owner of Full Tilt, didn’t offer a single apology nor any sort of explanation — not even a prepared statement read and written by his lawyer — until Wednesday, just before the start of the WSOP … where last year’s surprise Player of the Year may have anticipated again being treated like a pariah at the tables.
Not surprisingly, Daniel Negreanu led the chorus of people not buying Ferguson’s sincerity.
It took all this time for Chris Ferguson to come up with THIS apology?
So heartfelt. Had me in tears. ???https://t.co/2fthKNDdqo
My prediction: this doesn’t actually help his cause. Quite the opposite.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) May 24, 2018
Ferguson insists there is more to the story the public hasn’t yet heard.
“One day, the Full Tilt Poker story will be told,” he said. “And, like you, I look forward to that day”
Until then, poker players will still have to sit across the poker table from a man they once called Jesus but who they say led them through hell.