Howard Lederer, the much maligned former board member of Full Tilt Poker who famously received around $40 million from the site in cash distributions has shown his face for the first time in nearly two years at a poker table. This apparently happened at the Bellagio on Monday night in the infamous Bobby’s Room salon.
He recently gave hints that he wanted to return to the poker tables in his now world famous exclusive interview with Pokernews, though nobody expected it to happen so quickly.
There were many separate reports of sightings at the card room, with the first being a blurry mobile phone picture. That picture was seemingly then backed up by poker reporters with tweets regarding his presence. He was apparently playing against other top pros such as Doyle Brunson, Nick Schulman and Eli Elezra, with other reports suggesting that Phil Ivey may have been there too.
Bobby’s Room is one of the most famous card rooms the world over and regularly hosts some of the highest stakes action you will find. In fact on their website you will find that just to sit at the table, the buy-in is $20k. However, it is not rare for the games to consist of blinds of $4k/$8k which have brought about pots of over a million.
Cash Poor – Really?
What makes this story so ominous for many is that Lederer has often referred to himself as having little cash since Black Friday. There are also current and ongoing civil cases going against him for that $40 million from Full Tilt Poker and he has also said that a few of his bank accounts have been frozen by the DOJ with regards to the case still ongoing.
This appearance has led to quite a backlash from people that feel he has again lied about his financial situation, yet still can afford to sit at a $20k a seat high stakes cash game against some of the biggest high stakes players in the world.
Lederer has also openly admitted that he was not prepared to send back any of his distributions from the site before it had to be closed down. All of this has understandably angered players and fans alike, especially considering that both he and Ray Bitar were the designated managers of Full Tilt Poker at the time.
He may have felt that his recent interviews might have helped to clear the air and that people took what he had said as true, yet after the reaction to his appearance at Bobby’s Room, it really does remain unclear whether this is going to be a common occurrence.