Howard Lederer Appearance at Negreanu PHOF Induction Causes Stir

November 11th, 2014 by Philip Conneller
Howard Lederer at PHOF induction 2014

Former Full Tilt boss Howard Lederer crept out of the shadows to attend Daniel Negreanu’s PHOF ceremony this week, causing tongues to wag. (Image:

Howard Lederer’s appearance at Daniel Negreanu’s Poker Hall of Fame (PHOF) induction ceremony earlier this week was sort of reminiscent of Maleficent’s showing at Sleeping Beauty’s christening: startling, slightly disturbing, and curious.

Negreanu and Jack McClelland were inducted into the PHOF ceremony at Binions Horseshoe on Monday night, but while they winked for the cameras and delivered their acceptance speeches, more than few nervous glances were directed towards Lederer.

The notorious pro had chosen that moment to make his first public appearance since the infamous “Lederer Files” interviews over two years ago.

As a founder and former president of Tiltware, the previous owners of Full Tilt which ran the company to the ground while owing its customers millions of dollars, Lederer’s hardly a fan favorite these days, and certainly garners no love from one of the outspoken inductees.

Negreanu, who has been engaged in a long-running feud with Lederer’s sister, Annie Duke, has been hugely critical of the actions of the Full Tilt board that lead to the Black Friday scandal, and of Lederer’s reluctance to come forward in its aftermath. It would be “justice,” Negreanu once said, if Lederer went to jail for his role in the debacle.

Why Now?

“In neither of the two interviews that you did did you give a legitimate reason why you thought it was important to completely shun the poker community for 18 months and just leave them hanging,” Negreanu said, following the Lederer files interviews of 2012. “There’s only two real possibilities for what’s really going on here. Either A) you’re completely lying and you know a whole lot more than you let on, or B) you really don’t know of the answers to these questions but you should.”

While Lederer has been spotted playing poker at the Bellagio from time to time, this is the first time we are aware of him attending an official poker event, and the timing may have something to do with the completion of the Full Tilt remissions payment process. Perhaps he’s hoping that sufficient time has passed and that it’s now time to forgive and forget.

Finding Jesus

Sightings of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, meanwhile, also a FT founder and director, have been few and far between. His partner in crime, however, former Full Tilt CEO Ray Bitar, was described by former Red Pro Allen Cunningham earlier this month as almost broke and dying of a serious heart condition.

“To all the conspiracy theorists,” Cunningham told the TwoPlusTwo forums, “according to my sources, Ray Bitar is unlikely to live more than a couple years and is nearly penniless. He didn’t get away with anything. I feel like that’s not getting away with it in a karmic way, at least.”

However, despite Lederer’s surprise appearance, the day belonged to Negreanu and McClelland, who become the 47th and 48th poker people, respectively, to take their places within the Poker Hall of Fame.

“There’s something about winning tournaments and player of the year awards that’s fabulous, but when you’re voted for by your peers and recognized by the media and those that are already living members of the Hall of Fame, that’s irreplaceable,” said Negreanu.

“I’m in the 40th year of my life, I’m physically and mentally in the best place I’ve ever been, so to top it off with this is extra special. Once you’re in the Hall of Fame they can’t kick you out! It’s the epitome of acknowledgement for what we do.”

At least Lederer didn’t put a 100-year curse on Negreanu before he left.

21 Responses to “Howard Lederer Appearance at Negreanu PHOF Induction Causes Stir”

  1. nevadanick says:

    This appearance by Howard begs that the next dealer at his table knows how to deal Aces and Eights ….

    • UncleConRon says:

      I agree aces and eights are good. It becomes hectic with a queen of hearts kicker. Sometimes the king saves you. That’s a relief. Well anyways, they wanted two battling the final table. One year it was Scottie Nyguin and Gus Hanson. Then there was the Scott Fishman and Doyal Alexander battle during the tournament of championship. Big slick versus a pair of queens. Your sister patty duke one that. Well it would be nice to see the match up between Danial Negraneau and Howard Letterer to see who has the most composure under camera.

  2. okeedokalee says:

    the guy has no conscience or shame

  3. IoutplayedYou says:

    I never did like him but I like his sister what’s the feud with her and Daniel?

    • detroitjunkie says:

      Anne Duke has been accused many times of shameful activities in and around poker, including the operation of a God Account on Ultimate Bet. Daniel is a smart guy and knows she has done unscrupulous things, and with her creating the Ethics League or whatever the hell it was, just made Daniel flip out even more – good thing that fell apart. Daniel in his years has always been open and honest about everything, and is a true ambassador for poker, loved by millions and for good reason. He has always kept his closet clean of skeletons (as far as anybody knows) and is extremely thankful for his fans. If you ever see him play he is always taking time out to talk with rail birds and take photos, even during play. He speaks out against people who have shamed the game, and if he thinks Anne has done this then more than like she has, he also never liked Howard, and we all know now that he was right in not liking him.
      What a wonderful man and him being in the PHOF is long overdue – even for someone who is only 40, I mean damn he still has at least 40 more years of play left in him. GOOD FOR YOU DANIEL, GOOD FOR YOU!

    • feco1555 says:

      A húgát én is szeretném!))))))

  4. hitides says:

    I’m curious as well what the feud is all about. Also curious why he would try to bring a dark cloud over the event with hims showing up. Would like to know his thoughts or motives. The drama continues LOL

  5. Frontiere says:

    Lederer and couple of others from black friday must be banned from all events . FOR GOOD

  6. Riley2112 says:

    This is Howard Lederer….please hit me with your car when you see me. And my good buddy Chris Ferguson too.

  7. Pococurante says:

    I have to agree with Negreanu on his two point analysis about Lederer’s silence.
    Lederer allegedly is one of the smartest guys on the circuit. For him to not know about the finer points of the FTP scandal is highly unlikely.

  8. zkel1980 says:

    THis has clouded over a great day for Poker – KidPoker getting inducted in to the Poker Hall Of Fame. Negreanu’s story is a brilliant and inspiring Poker story. Respect to him and may he keep playing and winning at the highest level. Definitely in the Top Five Greats Ever

  9. skaterick says:

    great entrepreneurs often make poor businessmen .its what is known as ‘the peter principle’: you rise to the level of incompetence .

  10. sightgasm says:

    i personally love DN’s rant and rave when the full tilt scandal first went down. I used to look up to Annie and Howard, but I dunno… i just don’t know

  11. BRADYboy2 says:

    I have also admired Daniel as a pro and for his stance after Black Friday against HL and CF, etc, he has done his best to try keep the game positive also and is a great ambassador for the game also.

  12. Tuyaga says:

    People have been wondering where Chris Ferguson was. I didn’t know he was involved with this scandal.

  13. he should go hide forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I’m not going to hate someone over one article. congratz to Daniel for making hall of fame.

  15. Uncle420 says:

    To those wondering about the Annie Duke / DN feud it’s old stuff. He accused her of cheating (or trying to at least) and she pretty much called him a whiny brat. It predates the poker boom and can be seen in his posts in from 2001-2002.

  16. dbchristy says:

    Its a wonderful time, to see my favorite poker hero be inducted!

  17. gleepzork says:

    Gotta love Daniel’s class!

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