Lederer and Ferguson Suspended from Epic Poker LeagueThursday, September 22nd, 2011 by Ryan
The Epic Poker League has made a move to protect themselves against the major issues going on with Full Tilt Poker. On Thursday, the league announced that they have suspended both Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson indefinitely from playing in the league. Lederer is actually the EPL Commissioner, Annie Duke’s, brother; which shows how serious this situation is, and especially how serious the EPL takes their conduct policy.
Lederer and Ferguson are not only two of the biggest names in the game of poker, but are also 5-year card holders for the Epic Poker League. While both of them do have five year cards, neither of them has chosen to play in any of the EPL events to this point. It has also been pointed out that Lederer has signed the Player Disciplinary Policy and Players’ Code of Conduct forms, but Ferguson has not done so. It wasn’t assumed that either of the two big named players would have participated in any events until the situation with Full Tilt Poker was handled.
Stephen Martin, who is the Standards and Conduct Committee Chairman, posted a statement on the Epic Poker League’s website saying that, “The Committee voted to suspend Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson indefinitely, pending the outcome of the Department of Justice’s action.” There were multiple factors that made up the decision for the league to suspend the players, but one of the key ones was the fact that the government had chosen to name Lederer and Ferguson specifically as members of the board at Full Tilt Poker. The league also stated that if any other members were named in the legal issues with Full Tilt Poker, that the Committee would consider additional action.
The other player who was named in the Full Tilt Poker situation, was Rafe Furst. Furst is not an Epic Poker League card holder currently, but if he was going to attempt to participate in any of the league’s Pro-Am’s, he would likely be banned from any action.
The Epic Poker League has had a few run-in’s with conduct issues to this point, and while some feel that they have handled them well; it is believed that they took control of this situation before anything more could happen with it. The first issue that came up was when their first Main Event winner, Chino Rheem, was outed for having multiple debts to many people. The league handled this by putting him on probation while he paid back what he owed other players. The other issue came when Michael DiVita qualified for the Main Event through the Pro-Am, but was told he could not play in the event due to the fact that he was a registered sex offender. The situation with DiVita and the EPL is still currently going on, and could potentially end up in court.
The EPL’s Standard’s and Conduct Committee is made up of Stephen Martin, who is the Independent Ethics Advisor, Matt Savage, who is the Tournament Director, multiple league members, and also Commissioner Annie Duke.