This is the finale to the four part series titled "The Annie Duke File". If you have not read the first four parts, please begin reading from the beginning HERE
Late in 2010, Annie Duke and Phil Hellmuth left as the faces of Ultimate Bet -- because even a rat has sense enough to abandon a sinking ship. The poker public has always wondered who owned what when it came to ownership at the sites -- and the first look we received at how ownership may have worked was when Clonie McGowen sued Full Tilt Poker claiming they screwed out of her 1% ownership (and they did). We learned from Phil Ivey's divorce, he was making a $1 million a month from his stake in FTP. Then Black Friday happened, and we got a peek at ownership at the Big 3.
"More and more of the Excapsa ownership picture circa 2007-08 begins to emerge, thanks to information gleaned from court documents connected to the ongoing Excapsa/6356095 Canada liquidation", wrote Haley Hintze in February 2010. Hintze is a former Editor-in-Chief at Poker News and her blog, Haley's Poker Blog has a wealth of information concerning UB and AP not found in mainstream poker news. From this post we get a look at the UB ownership, and Haley reports Annie Duke's Fluffhead, LLC owned 2,975,839 shares. There were around 200 million shares of stock at the time and Annie owned nearly 1.5%. Other notable owners included Russ Hamilton, Ted Forrest, Mansour Matloubi, Fred David and it was startling to see The Jack McClelland and Elizabeth McClelland Trust on this list. "At least another dozen blind trusts exist as well, designed to shield the identity of the owner(s) of those shares...Among the several individuals who may be among the owners of some of these trusts are original Iovation honchos Greg Pierson and Jon Karl, longtime UB spokesman Phil Hellmuth, and perhaps even one-time Excapsa CEO Jim Ryan, who is now with PartyGaming." UB was valued at nearly $200 million.
The Montana connection. I have often wondered how the Frat Boys at Absolute Poker became the "sister-site" of Ultimate Bet. What was the connection? Does the connection go back to Annie's days back in Montana? I think it must. In 2010, Doyle Brunson said in his blog, "I know some of the former owners are still in the office at UB". Tom Scott (at-large) and Brent Beckley (plead guilty) were indicted as part of Black Friday, and it is clear they were involved in UB/AP interests post AP/UB scandals -- and the sale to Tokwiro. Garin Gustafson and Hilt Tatum IV, also owners at Absolute Poker, somehow escaped being indicted. At the Best Damn Poker Show in 2008, I learned Gustafson was the Vice President of AP Marketing. Everyone was kissing this asshole's ass. Despite the fact this was an Ultimate Bet production, Gustafson was obviously the behind the scenes boss on the set. Obvious is obvious...
Daniel Negranu. Number One Annie Hater. When Annie was nominated, but not elected to the Poker Hall of Fame, Negreanu told PokerListings.com at the 2011 World Series of Poker Europe in Cannes, "For what? Robbing people at UB? Owing Russ Hamilton money and never paying him back? For stealing money from people at the poker table? For representing poker in the worst light imaginable when she was on Celebrity Apprentice?” This fued dates back to the Rec.Gambling.Poker community days in the late 1990s. This is a good article from Poker Listings titled:
"Great Poker Rivalries: Daniel Negreanu vs. Annie Duke" and it is a complete, chronological look at this cat (cunt) fight. Danny would go on to call Duke a "cunt" in a 2010 interview with PokerPlayer.com/uk in response to Annie Duke claiming she is "The Best Female Poker Player in the World" at her blog. Even I have to draw the line here, despite I have been a Negreanu fan from Day One. Here is an open letter, from myself to Negreanu, here and now: "Dear Daniel, Please calm down. You're better than this. Use your money, influence, PokerStar's influence and media connections, and gather up the dirt on this women to expose her fully. Strike while the iron is hot, and in the wake of the EPL failure. Please quit being a cunt about it and get it done. To date, you have only lowered yourself to her level. Carpe diem, Scotty"
The Epic Fail Poker League owes over 100 creditors over $5 million dollars, and had only $15,000 when it filed for bankruptcy protection. Jeffrey Pollack named Annie Duke the Commissioner despite many objections in the Poker World. The formation of the EPL was announced before Black Friday, and in a fitting twist, on September 20, 2011 the Epic Poker League voted to suspend the membership of Howard Lederer and deny membership to Chris Ferguson. Daniel Negreanu was right when he said the Epic Poker League was destined for failure,
but he was simply wrong as to the reasons it would fail. * When the name "Annie Duke" comes up in your poker discussions, I want you to tell the others involved, "Scotty said Annie Duke is the #1 Asshole in Poker".
Annie Duke: Top Asshole in Poker "Yeah, I said it", and this is ultimately why. UB and AP players will not be paid anything. You can take it to the bank, unless you are a Cereus customer owed a balance. Annie was a major force at Ultimate Bet from Day One, brought onboard early on by Greg Pierson. For those of you who do not know, Pierson hired an outside contractor to develop the "God mode" used in the UB and AP scandals. Annie was at Ultimate Bet before Hellmuth, before the creation of Full Tilt Poker and had a vested interest, along with a responsibility to the poker community she represented in Congressional hearings. Imagine what those Congressman think now, she deceived us all. Annie has been proven to be the following: a liar, vindictive, ruthless, rude, an accomplished cocksucker (confirmation pending), angle-shooter, stock holder in Excapsa (UB), cheat and the most dangerous half of The Lederer Sisters. She replaced Linda Johnson as the top female Poker Ambassador, and ESPN, Jeffrey Pollack, the WSOP, Bluff magazine, and Ultimate Bet aided her cause.
And is it possible, Howard learned the online poker game from his little sister? Yes.
If you are a former Full Tilt Poker player who is owed a balance, I believe there is a small glimmer of hope for you. Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker have nothing anyone wants to buy, FTP does. If in fact, Full Tilt Poker does not pay player balances 100%, Howard Lederer may surpass his sister as the top asshole in poker. Why? He stole more money than his sister. I am going to break it down like this: If FTP pays out more than 80% - Annie is the Top Asshole in Poker. If FTP pays between 79-40% the Lederer Sisters/FTP investors are Co-Top Assholes. If the FTP returns 40% or less of the players balances? Howard Lederer, the three other FTP Board members, CEO Ramond Bitar and the nineteen anonymous asshole investors at FTP will be the My Top Assholes in Poker. No excuses will be accepted, you are simply asshole thieves.
* CORRECTION Actually Daniel was spot on 08/11/11 READ HERE