Full Tilt Poker: Like the Occult

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Full Tilt Poker

Ever since the folks from Quadjacks.com posted that Full Tilt Poker’s female public relations specialist Michele Clayborne assumed the identity of a fired male company representative, she appears to be living her 15 minutes of fame.  Gambling911.com received a few hundred searches for “Michele Clayborne” over the past 24 hours, making her almost as famous as long time FTP pro and now a dissatisfied employee, Phil Ivey. 

Clayborne’s “consulting” role with Full Tilt Poker at first seemed limited to that of a handler for the FTP poker pros.  Most of her job consisted of “shutting them up” and ensuring they didn’t “make fools out of themselves” by speaking to reporters from media ventures like Quadjacks.com, Pokerati.com and Gambling911.com. 

Full Tilt Poker has not paid its customers since indictments were handed down against the company and two of its founders by US federal authorities on April 15.  Over this period of time, players have been comforted by a gentle calming voice of reason in the form of one FTPDoug, a long time popular representative of Full Tilt Poker who would regularly keep customers informed via community forums like TwoPlusTwo.com and even “his” own Twitter page.  But the “real” FTPDoug appears to have gone on sabbatical and somewhere along the way, Quadjacks.com noted, Ms. Clayborne “took over his identity”.   Whatever became of the “real” FTPDoug, we may never know. 

Even stranger, a month following the indictments of April 15, FTPDoug’s updates on the situation seemed to mirror those of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) statements, practically verbatim. 

Message from the PPA to poker players: 

We are now more than one month past Black Friday and there are still many concerns among poker players. Chief among those is the return of player funds. As recently as this week the PPA has communicated with Full Tilt Poker and shared with them player concerns about payouts.

....We are very encouraged by our communications with them. It is clear that progress is being made and that Full Tilt Poker remains committed to playing players as soon as possible. This is a top priority and we are confident that they are working toward a solution to return player funds.

It is important to note that Full Tilt Poker has always paid out their players even in the face of similar legal obstacles or factors not in their control, such as payment processor defaults and prior actions by the US government to seize US players' funds. The PPA will continue to communicate with Full Tilt Poker until the matter is resolved.

And the message from FTPDoug (errr…Ms. Clayborne):

"It is important to remember that Full Tilt Poker has always paid out our players, even in the face of previous legal obstacles or factors not in our control, such as payment processor defaults and prior actions by the US government which resulted in US player funds being seized."

“Almost feels like either someone from PPA is doing PR for FTP and drafting/editing update messages,” one astute reader noted.

The idea of someone assuming the identity of others, especially people of the opposite sex, and writing statements/posts under these different names is just a little too creepy for some of us to comprehend.  Their secretive covenant type nature is all the more discerning.  At least one Quadjacks.com host on Thursday compared the Full Tilt Poker operation to the occult.  Maybe a bit of a stretch, or perhaps not, especially considering that several thousand players appear to be getting sacrificed like goats. 

TILT, in fact, refers to Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance.  A little word play and you get "FUTILE" the way that Gambling911.com would spell it "FUTIL". 

Things that make you go Hmmmmm.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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