It is difficult to conceive of Phil Ivey even using Facebook, but the poker pro actually turned to the social networking site to speak out for the first time since Black Friday. In a series of statement’s on his official fan page, Ivey not only condemned Full Tilt Poker for the way the site has handled repaying customers since the Department of Justice seizure, he also revealed he was suing the site and sitting out the 2011 World Series of Poker until Full Tilt customers get their funds returned.
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 whole heartedly 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.
Ivey was a no-show at the $25,000 Heads-Up Event on the opening day of the 2011 World Series of Poker prompting many to question where he was. The above statements began appearing on his Facebook page shortly after 8 pm PT Tuesday. BLUFF has independently confirmed that the statements have come directly from the Phil Ivey management team, which includes Joe McGowan.