Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Full Mess Poker.

The cover story for the January 2013 issue of Bluff is a profile of Erick Lindgren.  Lindgren is a familiar face to many poker players and poker watchers, having appeared numerous times on programs like Poker After Dark.  But as the article reveals he's a man with major problems.  His gambling addiction has put him into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as he owes numerous people several million dollars in unpaid gambling debts, some going back almost a decade.  Yet he's still playing poker, as that's pretty much the only way he has to possibly pay back those debts.  Generally when you think of addicts trying to fight their addiction you think of them having to avoid the addictive activity, but not in this case. 

The article includes discussion about Full Tilt Poker, which Lindgren was a spokesplayer for before the US crackdown.  Some of what's in the article won't be new to anyone who has been following some of the revelations made by people like Howard Lederer online.  But for me it was a surprise just how messed up Full Tilt's management in the months before Black Friday seemed to be, with Full Tilt pros like Lindgren being given loans with little thought put into how such loans might be paid back.  In fact just before the crackdown Lindgren was reportedly give a 2 million dollar loan twice.  In other words the company loaned him 4 million dollars, instead of the 2 million they were supposed to.  It's not hard to imagine that even if the US government hadn't gone after Full Tilt the company would soon have been in the news for screwing up its finances.

Online poker players can only hope that PokerStars, which now owns and runs Full Tilt, has better people running the fnances than the old Full Tilt did. 

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