April 15th, 2011, known as Black Friday to the poker world, started the earthquake that rocked the foundation of online poker. The ongoing news of more poker domain names being seized, frozen player funds, statements from poker sites and silence from others that were named in the Black Friday indictments, have all been rolled into one catastrophic bundle that have continued the aftershocks of the original earthquake. It's not over. A massive aftershock hit when Phil Ivey, regarded by most as the best player in the world, sent a message to everyone.
Ivey's message, announced on his Facebook account, states that he will not be playing this year's World Series of Poker and he has filed a lawsuit against Tiltware, the software and marketing company for Full Tilt Poker, related to the unsettled player accounts. Wicked Chops Poker has confirmed the Facebook account to be authentic. Ivey's post on Facebook:
“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.”
Phil Ivey's website began with a simple statement that he would teach the world to play poker; it now carries the above statement.