Full Tilt Poker has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons this week. On April 5th, the world’s second-largest poker site became the subject of a grand jury investigation for money laundering, as reported in an article by a Financial Times reporter in San Francisco.

One day later, the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed suit against Full Tilt Poker’s owners Pocket Kings in the Franklin Circuit Court, asking that the site refund the state “the amount of money lost between March 25, 2005 and September 25, 2009 by persons located within the borders of Kentucky.” The complaint charges that Full Tilt conducted “tortuous acts” inside state lines for which it has a “substantial and compelling interest in exercising personal jurisdiction.”

The developing stories leave a lot to be answered regarding the future of Full Tilt and online poker in the United States. The poker community is searching for answers and forums have been lighting up with reactions this week.

“I for one would absolutely love to see this go to court,” said TwoPlusTwo forum member “Pilkain” about the Full Tilt money laundering investigation. “I could care less about Full Tilt, but what I do care about is the hypocritical stance in the USA regarding gambling. This going to court would force a decision and thus leave the decision open for appeal.

He continued, “Online poker cannot be illegal in the USA while states run lotteries and gambling is legal all over this country. You cannot make something illegal simply because it occurs on the internet. The sooner all the dense politicians in the USA can get this point, the sooner online poker will be fully regulated and legal.”

Poster “sactownjoey” responded, “Having worked for two U.S. Senators and a governor, I am firmly in the ‘be careful what you wish for’ camp when it comes to inviting Congress to regulate a multi-billion dollar industry. I understand the point, but a federally-regulated online U.S. poker industry would look nothing like the marketplace does today.”

One popular topic of discussion surrounds the cause behind the grand jury‘s sudden interest in a potential Full Tilt money laundering scandal. Many believe it could be the result of a disgruntled former employee revealing inside information about the company. Or, maybe it came from a former customer that had funds seized for using automated bot software, such as “pokergirl z.”

“Could be Clonie Gowen, pokergirl, Silly Sal, the guy who sued because they took his concept and made ‘Face the Ace’, among a number of other people,” theorized TwoPlusTwo moderator “Kevmath.”

Gowen recently had a lawsuit dismissed in a case over 1% ownership of Full Tilt Poker that began in late 2008 after she was removed from Team Full Tilt. It was the third amended complaint against Tiltware, Ray Bitar, and Howard Lederer, but United States District Court Judge Robert C. Jones found that the suit was without merit. The belief among several truth-seekers is that Gowen exacted revenge by snitching on her former colleagues.

“Hell hath no fury like a women scorned,” Jordan “scarface_79” Smith said in a thread on PocketFives.com. “They shoulda gave Clonie what she wanted, now she may get the last laugh.”

Another case involving Full Tilt that was recently dismissed was an investigation involving the FBI over the television series “Face the Ace” that centered on copyright infringement. Brandon McSmith had a lawsuit pending in the Eighth District Court in Nevada charging that Poker PROductions used his idea for the game show without compensating him.

Until disclosures on the recent events come to light, theories will continue to surface in the community. Professional poker player Paul “Beanie” Nobles explained it best: “There are so many people who have no idea at all sprinkled in with a few people that have 10% of some idea. Most of the people with no idea have some sort of weird agenda and so do a lot of the people that have some idea. One thing I learned a few years back is that panicking doesn’t help much. For a lot of people this would really suck, a few people seem to be rejoicing in the idea for whatever reason. Speculate all you want, but just admit that no one really knows what is going on and that fear is unsettling. Maybe that is the intention.”

13 Comments

  1. RealZionKid says:

    Its an organized agency… Whether its Government, Religion, or Etc. the point and goal is to instill fear and therefore submissiveness…

  2. PokerFacist says:

    Gotta love it…online poker, another industry spawned by American enthusiasm and entrepreneurism which was forced offshore and will be killed by politicians. The two places the gubmit has no place… in the bedroom or in the decisions I make how, when or where I choose to spend my money on entertainment that has no direct detrimental or positive result upon anyone but myself.

  3. Joe says:

    This could get serious…

  4. RealZionKid says:

    It’s BEEN Serious!

  5. Wil says:

    FTP is a crooked site, and i would love to see lederer and furgerson and the rest of the cheatign , bot using sucker site pay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. mike romanos says:

    Anyone who does not believe that full tilt & pokerstars are two of the biggest money launderers of drug money in the world are either in denial or have their heads under the pavement or are just plain ignorant. It was only a matter of time before the feds said enough is enough.

  7. about time says:

    Some people will be going to jail for a long time, hopefully for life.

  8. Spartan Shane says:

    THUMBS UP to “PokerFacist”!!!! GREAT COMMENT!

  9. setzer says:

    lol the USA sucks major ass

  10. 7for3007 says:

    THUMBS UP TO POKERFACIST!!!!!! i dont care what thay are or what thay do if i want to spend my money there thats my business!!!!!!

  11. gg987 says:

    so does anyon know what they are doing with the money that people have in accounts lets say me , does FT just get to close all US players down and keep the money, with out even havin to cheat us in a game to get it now! how does one get there money they have in!!!!

  12. chico says:

    ferguson and his clowns have been setting us up.. i lost 61 out of 70 hands due to the river all on cash games ..I was winning each time they called needing one outters .yet they someone hit it 61 times outta 70 hands.. rigged????? U tell me ..usa players should all be issed full refunds for the last year of play.

  13. joe says:

    Same things with me . The owners know exactly whats going on they need 2 pay for their crimes. All the owners. usa players need 2 ban together we may have been set up with rigged cards the whole time..Refund all usa players for all money lost for the past 6-12 months or we should sue these clowns..In others words we cheated but not with the cards u or other players got.. Y a right i demand the thousands that they set me up on back..We been set up boys time for revenge ..Call your lawyers ..Ferguson must pay 4 his sins.. Or make it right with refunds …

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