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Main Target of DOJ Investigation Into Online Poker Breaks Silence for First Time in Nearly 18 Months

September 24, 2012 - LAS VEGAS, NV

Since poker's "Black Friday" in April 2011, Howard Lederer has been in the shadows. An owner and founder of Full Tilt Poker, and a main target of the U.S. Department of Justice, Lederer hasn't said one meaningful word about the case against him, the millions of dollars owed to players or the ramifications his actions had on the worldwide poker industry.

Now, in an exclusive interview with PokerNews Matthew Parvis, Lederer finally opens up.

"The Lederer Files," a riveting 7-part interview series is now available on

Excerpts from Lederer:

  • Lederer, on player reaction: "I 100% understand the anger, the players have every right to be angry. The position they were put in was unconscionable, there's no excuse."

  • Lederer, on who is to blame: "As an owner of Full Tilt Poker, I take full responsibility for what happened. What happened wasn't right and it caused a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, and in some cases just inconvenience for three million customers."

  • Lederer on Phil Ivey and board negotiations: "I think our customers deserved more fight from me, I knew it as a big mistake. First of all, Phil Ivey's going to be on the board. He just sued the company on June 1st, that didn't make any sense to me, that was a really bad idea. I thought Phil Gordon had demonstrated that he was sort of out for blood, and that wasn't going to get our customers paid; and Andy Bloch was apparently a late addition to the board, just sort of as a compromise, so without Andy being on the board, they wouldn't have gotten over 50%."

  • Lederer on former partner and Full Tilt Poker Founder Ray Bitar: "I'm not happy with what Ray [Bitar] did, I don't want anyone to think I'm here defending him or that I'm happy with anything that he did, I'm horrified by, at the very least, the direction the company took under his leadership after I left."

Said Parvis, "Interviewing Howard Lederer was by far one of the most challenging projects PokerNews has ever worked on, and hopefully this interview will help shed some light on the horrific tragedy that effected millions of innocent poker players."

For free-use HD video clips of the interview and to schedule interviews please contacts Justin Simon,

To view a short segment of the interview:

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