De grote meester zelf zorgde vandaag voor opzienbarend nieuws: Full Tilt Pro Phil Ivey boycot de World Series of Poker. De achtvoudig WSOP-braceletwinnaar schaamt zich er diep voor dat Full Tilt spelers maar niet worden uitbetaald en toont zich solidair met de spelers die niet kunnen spelen omdat ze hun geld niet krijgen. Ivey gaat de strijd met gestrekt been aan, want hij heeft Tiltware (het moederbedrijf van Full Tilt) aangeklaagd. Opmerkelijk, want Ivey is zelf aandeelhouder van dat bedrijf.
Op zijn facebook pagina spreekt Phil Ivey krachtige taal over de situatie bij Full Tilt Poker. Hij zegt er alles aan te doen om de situatie op te lossen. Ivey vindt dat zijn naam en reputatie door het slijk wordt gehaald door het uitblijven van de betalingen van Full Tilt Poker. Hij weigert nog langer te zwijgen over de situatie en onderneemt nu namens alle pokerspelers actie. Hieronder de verklaring van Phil Ivey:
For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.
I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm.
I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.
My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.
I wholeheartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.
I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.
Op Ivey’s Facebook pagina stroomt het vol met steunbetuigingen van over de hele wereld. “Nice one Phil. Respect.” en “Thank you for thinking about the players, those who deserve their money back and those who just love the game.” Een Spanjaard merkt terecht op: “You got some big cojones Phil.”
De Australiër Mitch Caton verwoord zijn gevoelens op het prikbord van Ivey: “When I first heard the news that you wasn’t going to be attending this years WSOP I was a bit disappointed but after reading your statement, I and millions of other poker players stand by you 100%. The decision you have made to stand up to Tiltware must not of been easy but it’s a great decision. Hats off to you Phil. Once again you are showing us why you are the best in the world, even off the felt.”