According to a series of posts on Phil Ivey’s Facebook page, the eight-time bracelet winner is sitting out the World Series of Poker in protest of the ongoing problems at Full Tilt.
Ivey, perhaps the most recognized poker player in the world, made a stand against the site that has sponsored him as a pro for several years.
Full Tilt was among the poker sites whose domains were seized by the U.S. Department of Justice in April. While players have been able to cash out their funds at PokerStars, which was also affected by the seizures, Full Tilt has not been able to facilitate cashouts for Americans. The problem has been going on for a month and a half. Ivey’s announcement came a day after Full Tilt made a statement, in which the online poker site said that it was still working on returning funds to Americans. Read more on that statement here.
Ivey said he will not play in any WSOP events while problems continued for American players retrieving their funds. He also said he is opening a lawsuit. Here’s the full text of what was posted on his Facebook page:
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.
The website wickedchopspoker.com confirmed that the Facebook posts were made by Ivey.
The announcement will likely send shockwaves through the WSOP as the news makes the rounds. Ivey is considered by many to be the best poker player in the world, and his absence at the tournament series in Vegas brings a lot more attention to the issues at Full Tilt Poker. He did not enter the $25,000 heads-up event that began Tuesday.