By Wendeen H. Eolis
The publication of my bulletin, “Full Tilt Poker Stars Negotiations in the Can,” Friday July 27th has been linked by more than one hundred thirty websites, and PPN (Poker Player Newspaper) has counted more than 10,000 visits in the past forty eight hours. But, to answer one cynical poker forum poster’s question over the weekend, driving traffic to the website did not figure in my decision to submit the item for publication.
The purpose of the three point bulletin was to provide my readers with concrete news of significant interest to the worldwide poker community at the earliest possible time.
The breaking story emanated from a highly knowledgeable source, who allowed the word to get out, on the condition it could not be traced back. Before pulling the trigger, I hesitated for a moment, thinking through the worst case scenario—of being duped, betrayed and set up for a giant burn at the stake. There was absolutely no rational basis for such concern.
Based on the facts as presented to me Friday morning, I was convinced the day had arrived when one could reliably assert that Full Tilt Poker players would regain control of their player balances at the site, in a finite time frame.
The over- the-top media frenzy and passionate discussion of the article on poker forums this weekend has created two overwhelming challenges: first, keeping up with others’ interpretations and reinterpretations of the article and second, responding to related questions and comments.
Since Thursday until late this evening I had only intermittent Internet and telephone connectivity during travels through the Berkshire Mountains and a visit in the mostly cell free zone of Stockbridge, MA.
This resulted in my dictating the article and subsequently two related tweets from my personal Twitter account. The article was published precisely as directed; and I continue to stand behind it. The related tweets left opportunity for improved clarity and further explanation; forthcoming in a fuller upcoming article.
Meanwhile, many emails have asked for my comment on the posts of corroboration and criticism from various poker media and specific poker reporters who took an active part in the Friday fray. The following were notable among them:
Jennifer Newell: freelance poker writer with known connections to PokerStars.
She tweeted after the PPN posting, her independent confirmation of the substance of the PPN story, noting cutely that I was not her source. She bolstered her insider status claiming the announcement would come Friday or Monday, and then updating it to Monday for sure. I refrained from time stamping the anticipated announcement in my article for fear that any delay beyond the date noted would cause needless further frustration.
Gambling 911: Chris Costigan, publisher (a site I read frequently).
Several hours after the PPN bulletin, Gambling 911 corroborated the substance of the story and added an interesting nugget. Costigan explained that he had retained the national law firm of Arnold and Porter to pursue a Freedom of Information Act request in connection with the FTP probe, noting the judge who granted his motion.
Gambling 911 headlined its article: Eolis: Full Tilt Poker Software to Relaunch in November, a reasonable interpretation of my weekend tweets. To be clear, the planned date for re-launch is not known to me and may not yet have been decided. However, there is a strong basis on which to believe it will be before November 1.
DiamondFlush: whose best known association was Subject: Poker which morphed into the writer’s own website.
This writer offered a semi corroboration of the article in a tweet that effectively disregarded the PPN bulletin in favor of hyping his/her own planned upcoming report, “Long awaited news coming …next few days. No speculation, no rumors, real news." I have often been impressed with this writer's high quality FTP reporting, and I’ll still be interested in seeing his/her news report- whenever it may come to light. Given recent debate on a popular poker forum as to the identity of DiamondFlush, suffice to say it is not I.
While the writers referenced above all weighed in on Friday, there have been thousands of posters similarly energized in the aftermath of Friday's firestorm.
I appreciate the confidence that has been expressed toward my research and my judgment in reporting on it many poker media colleagues and poker forum participants. I also respect the criticism and skepticism put forward by others in the media, on the forums and elsewhere. At the end of the day, however I believe I made the right decision for the right reasons in putting out the news, as I understood it.
The next edition of Poker Player Newspaper will have more coverage of this story, thanks to a short extension provided by our printer.
Author Note: This posting has been prepared without the benefit of a copy editor in an effort to respond substantively and expediently to the massive e-mail and telephone calls received.