Hit and Run: Lederer Apologizes, Baazov Won’t Return Or Will He?, GPL Announces TwitchCon Playoffs

Alex Weldon : May 20th, 2016
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Howard Lederer issues a public apology for his role in Black Friday. David Baazov says he won’t seek reinstatement on Amaya’s Board of Directors. Haley Hintze is unimpressed with Justin Bonomo. GPL playoffs will be held at TwitchCon.

To forgive, or not to forgive?

The poker world tolerates a lot of borderline behavior, but by the same token tends to carry grudges for a long time once someone’s actions have been deemed a bridge too far. That didn’t stop Full Tilt co-founder Howard Lederer from attempting to repair those bridges this week, issuing an apology by way of Daniel Negreanu’s blog.

It’s the kind of thing one would expect to be polarizing, with many rushing to condemn him all over again, and a few devil’s advocates arguing the water-under-the-bridge side of things. Instead, most articles on the subject have mostly stuck to the facts and either sat the fence or seemed entirely apathetic when it comes to editorializing.

PokerNews’s reporting on the subject took a typically neutral angle.

PocketFives’s article likewise sticks to the facts.

Peter Amsel at CalvinAyre makes his personal feelings known with some overt sarcasm about Lederer’s past behavior, but stops short of expressing any opinions about the apology itself.

Earl Burton at PokerNewsDaily begins by saying what everyone is thinking, that the apology is far too late, and likely self-serving, but gets at an even deeper truth towards the end of his piece, that there’s just enough credibility to the apology that no one wants to be the first to do a real hatchet job.

Myself… well, as usual, I think things are complicated.

Twitter, on the other hand, has not been so kind to Lederer.

Quick Hitters

- Surprisingly, my own favorite grumpy poker journalist Haley Hintze hasn’t yet taken her hatchet to Lederer, but probably only because she’s still cleaning Justin Bonomo off of it. As deep as resentment for PokerStars runs, Bonomo’s decision to make a big deal out of posing for a winner’s photo in an EPT event proved unpopular, and Hintze was unimpressed with his attempts to press the issue.

- Another not-so-popular man in the poker world is Amaya CEO-in-exile David Baazov. He stepped down voluntarily from his positions as both CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors in the wake of charges pressed by Quebec’s Autorité des marchés financiers, and has now announced that he won’t seek re-election to the latter position. What exactly this signals is up for debate, since Baazov had already suggested he might take the company private before the charges were laid, which would likely dissolve the Board of Directors in any case.

- The Global Poker League will switch to a live-in-studio format during the World Series of Poker this summer, creating a break in its regular season. We’re headed into the final week of those online-streamed matches, and PokerUpdate takes a look at how things are shaping up.

- Meanwhile, the GPL has finally announced some preliminary info about its post-season. The playoffs will be held live at TwitchCon 2016 in San Diego, California, and will be the world’s first introduction to both “the Cube” and GPL’s much-hyped “3v3″ format, though as usual with GPL, we’ll likely have to wait a while for more detail than that.

- Much was made of the introduction of shot clocks at this year’s World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions, and the lack of buzz subsequently might be taken as a bad thing. Given how critical poker players can be, however, no news may actually be good news, and Jen Newell at PokerUpdate has gathered some opinions on the experiment, with the conclusion that those who’ve experienced the clocks seemed more keen overall on the idea than those who haven’t.

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