Top poker player Phil Ivey pulls out of WSOP in protest

Jun 2, 2011 3:51 PM

World Series of Poker mainstay Phil Ivey said on his website that he is sitting out this year’s event as a protest against Full Tilt Poker, whom he is suing for not paying online players.

"I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed," Ivey’s statement said on his Facebook page. "I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm.

"I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible."

Ivey has won eight bracelets and $5.3 million at the World Series of Poker. He has been a commercial spokesman for Full Tilt Poker and said his "name and reputation have been dragged through the mud."

Ivey added that he filed a lawsuit against Tiltware, the company that owns Full Tilt Poker. In April, the FBI shut down Full Tilt and two other online gambling sites and indicted 11 people on charges of duping banks into illegally making payments to online gamblers.

Full Tilt was allowed to re-open to repay gamblers but has yet to do so. Its website says, "Please know that your funds are safe and secure we are working to resolve the distribution of these funds."

Ivey decided he had waited long enough and filed the lawsuit, partially because he is aware that online players may have used Full Tilt because of his affiliation with the website.

"I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly," his statement said.

This year’s WSOP began Tuesday and will run through July 19, with the main event final table survivors returning in November.

(Editors note: The orginal source of this story was www.covers.com)