Annie Duke’s day job is as a promoter, and she’s clearly good at her job. Epic Poker is yet again in the headlines; although, to be fair, not for the best of reasons. The Epic Poker League (EPL) has suspended two of its most prominent players: Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson. U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara just called Full Tilt Poker’s financial operations a “global ponzi scheme” and amended the April 15, 2011 law suit to specifically name Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.
Thanks to this Bharara’s suit amendment, the EPL Standards and Conduct Committee head Stephen Martin handed down the suspension. “We’re not acting as judge and jury. We’re not barring them permanently from the league. All we did is take action to suspend them pending the outcome of the case,” Martin said. “For us it’s very difficult to understand the facts of what has occurred. We’re not in a position to view that, but with the types of allegations, especially since they involve directly the poker community, we believe this is going to be the best course of action.”
The committee did not wait for a complaint to be lodged, and instead proactively issued the suspension. “The League took it upon themselves. I was the one that informed the committee that the Department of Justice had taken this action against these two individuals. So then convened a meeting of the Standards and Conduct Committee to review it,” said Martin. “This is one of the situations where, if we don’t take action, we face the same criticism. You’re not taking action because it’s Annie’s brother or these are famous poker players. What we try to do is be neutral in these issues. We think any time there is action by the Federal Government that involves criminal issues that then translate into civil asset forfeiture and allegations of involvement then we’re going to address the situations.”