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Dissecting the Bitar Apology -- Robbie Davies Blog

Full Tilt Poker

PokerNews CEO Robbie Davies shares his thoughts on the recent apology by Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar.

On Tuesday, Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar issued an apology to players worldwide. This is the first substantial communication Bitar has offered the poker community since Black Friday.

This apology could have been issued in the days after Black Friday and it would have changed nothing.

I appreciate that Bitar finally realizes he has to work on his relationship with the poker community and stakeholders. I also appreciate how complex a situation he has landed himself and FTP in, and do hope they can resolve it for all the players. I want people to get their money back!

There are four points to me with his "interview" that I wish to touch on:

  • Waiting this long to drop a well-crafted PR statement, which tells affected customers nothing, is just short of worthless. If this is simply the start of a PR campaign. Fine. I get it. But it is still not sincere. Too much damage has been done. The sincere thing to do is to respect your customers. Explain the mechanics of working toward refunds with a method that reverberates with each affected individual. Couple that with an honest strategy for a commercially viable future, and the damaged company could be getting somewhere.
  • With Bitar releasing something now, it makes me expectant that this is a small step, of a thousand, to the genuine recovery of Full Tilt Poker and player funds. I believe we are getting closer to a resolution and that there is a business tactic to this blog. Don’t make me eat crow.
  • Deciding to state he has not been "hiding" or "ignoring" the situation is underestimating his audience.
    Who can hide from a federal indictment and such a collective of intensely angry individuals? We know you are not hiding.
    We have all heard the rumors about how much money is missing and owed, and it is a big chunk of dough to make up. I feel that this silence and protectionism from camp FTP has been rooted in the logical fear of not being able to pull off this refund and recovery.
  • How could this happen to begin with? How can this be overlooked and how can anyone put faith in this leadership to get it back on track? To run a successful business one has to be aware of the external and internal situation around them at all times. This includes getting hubris in check. Claiming "business as usual" and taking deposits after Black Friday was not responsible. Where is an apology for that?

Good intentions are better than silence, but only barely. I wish everyone who is dedicated to the return of player funds has success. I hope that Bitar is working harder than he ever has to fix this, as he says he is, and not only to save his business. Do it for the players, and if you do pull this off, don't make the same mistakes again.

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