Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2013 Contents The federal case against the former
owners of the Full Tilt Poker brand
has come to a rather unsatisfying
end. Raymond Bitar, founder of a
company that was once the sec-
ond-largest online poker site in the
world, pleaded guilty to two charges
of gambling, bank fraud and money
laundering. Even though he faced
up to 35 years in prison, Bitar avoid-
ed prison and was sentenced to time
served, due to a heart condition that
may require a transplant, along with
a $40 million fine.
He was the final person in the old
Full Tilt ownership hierarchy to settle
what the United States Department of
Justice labeled "a $350 million Ponzi
scheme" on April 15, 2011. Howard Led-
erer, Rafe Furst and former World Series
of Poker Main Event champion Chris
Ferguson all settled their civil charges
earlier in the year, agreeing to large
financial penalties in exchange for zero
admittance of any guilt or wrongdoing
in company affairs.
The original charges stated that the
company used funds to pay board mem-
bers and other owners of Full Tilt more
than $440 million. So, what really hap-
pened to all that player money---an
alleged figure exceeding $180 million?
The truth is unlikely to ever surface,
but facts remain.
When the federal government pulled
the plug on the online poker business
in the US two years ago, Full Tilt didn t
see it coming. The company failed to
keep its business and player accounts
separate, counting on the constant infu-
sion of fresh deposit money to cover
cash-outs. Many of the high-stakes
players kept large balances in their
accounts. The idea of deposited money
being "safe and secure," as advertised,
was a lie.
At face value, Full Tilt was construct-
ed brilliantly, with its focus on hiring
some of the biggest names in poker to
promote and expand thebrand. "Learn,
chat and play with the pros" was a
catchy marketing platform, and you felt
safe on the site because people attached
their name to the product.
It was incredibly addicting to watch
high-stakes cash games, where guys
like Gus Hansen would play single hands
for $100,000 or more.
Full Tilt endorsements were lucrative,
with plenty of perks, including a regular
salary and an assortment of high-profile
tournament buy-ins. Big wins brought
greater exposure, too.
The company treated its people well---
too well---with compensation that went
beyond services rendered, especially the
people in leadership positions.
In an exclusive interview with pok-
ernews.com, Lederer (himself forced to
pay more than $1.25 million in settle-
ment fines) said that it was common
practice for the company to loan out
big money to its employees, and that
even after the federal US shutdown,
Bitar was earning in excess of $200,000
If you are an American player who
had money frozen up in the old Full
Tilt (the company has since been sold
to former online rival PokerStars.com
and relaunched), it has now been two
years since you had access to it. State-
ments from the Department of Justice
that it is nearing a repayment process
contain elements of insincerity.
And the case may be permanently
closed with player money embedded in
Bitar s final settlement and the knowl-
edge that everybody involved in the
scandal dodged a prison sentence.
Fine tracery in gold or silver
A greenish rust on copper
An inhabitant of the Philippines
Solution to Friday's puzzle
The word may sound familiar, but do you know
what it means?
Complete the grid so that every row, column and 3 x 3 box contains every digit from 1 to 9 inclusively.
Better be ready
Are you ready for aflood?
Source: The T&T Red Cross Society
Contact the Red Cross: Headquarters - 627-8215/8128, Northern branch - 627-8214, Southern branch - 652-2024, Tobago branch - 639-2781
Floods are the leading cause of
disaster-related death in the
Caribbean, but since most can be
forecast, you should have time to
prepare. Your Red Cross urges you
to get ready. There are simple
steps you can take to help protect
your family from a flood.
Know your area's flood risk. If
unsure, call your Red Cross or
Emergency Management Agency.
If you are in a risk area, investigate
the feasibility of flood insurance.
Know the location of the main elec-
trical breaker and the gas and water
valves in your home and ensure you
have a clear path to easily access
them so that you can shut them off
When a Flood
Warning is issued:
Monitor the radio for weather
updates and evacuate immediately if
you are told to do so.
Move your furniture and valuables to
higher floors of your home or place
them high if possible.
Bring in all loose items from outside,
like garbage cans and yard furniture
for safe keeping.
Turn off the main electrical switch
and other utilities.
Place important documents and
valuables in plastic and store them
in a safe place.
Flood water dangers:
Do not walk through flowing water.
Just six inches of moving water can
knock you off your feet.
Never attempt to cross a swollen
stream, river or gully by foot or
vehicle. The force of these water-
ways can have deadly consequences.
If your vehicle stalls in rising water,
abandon it immediately and climb to
higher ground. A mere two feet of
water can float a large vehicle, even
After a flood:
Clean and dry everything water-
soaked. Flood waters can pick up
sewerage and chemicals from roads,
farms and factories. Spoiled food
and flooded medicines are health
hazards. When in doubt, throw them
Check appliances and motors for
damage and do not use them until
they have been cleaned and dried.
Watch out for wild animals. Snakes
and centipedes that have been
flooded out of their homes may seek
shelter in yours. Use a pole or a
stick to poke and turn items over
and scare them away.
If your home was seriously affected
by the floods and you suspect your
electrical wiring may have been
damaged, have it checked by a quali-
fied person before turning on the
main electrical switch.
Punch holes in all containers left
outside to prevent water from set-
tling and these from becoming
breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Purify water before using. Use chlo-
rine bleach or water purifying
tablets. Boil tap water for ten min-
T&T Red Cross Society
A leading Auto Body Repair Company is looking for skilled
and efficient individuals to fill the following positions:
• Aluminium Welders
• Mechanical and Fitting Technicians
• Buffing and Polishing Technicians
• Service Advisors
All vacancies require a minimum of two years experience
in a similar position within the Automotive Industry as well
as Skills Training evidenced by certification from a recog-
Please send Resumes along with Certificates to:
Only suitable candidates will be acknowledged0501052
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 4, 2013
CASED CLOSED ON FULL TILT, WITH LITTLE SATISFACTION
1 Fair attraction, coconut . . .
7 Texas, California and the
8 Nod off
9 River loam
11 Initial golfing area position
13 Daily event book
1 Troop of soldiers
2 Ornate or swish
3 Subject for discussion
5 Fix hard
6 French for road
10 Without moisture
ACROSS: 1 Shy 2 Fat 4
11 Tee 13 Diary 14 Crazy
DOWN: 1 Squad 2 Fancy 3
Dry 12 Etc
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