Howard Lederer is a retired professional poker player best known for his involvement in Full Tilt Poker.
In 2000 and 2001, Lederer won two World Series of Poker events. He also has 42 other WSOP cashes on his record and two World Poker Tour titles as well as years of playing cash games at the highest stakes.
Lederer was a founder and board member of Tiltware, the company behind Full Tilt Poker. In the wake of Full Tilt's shutdown on Black Friday, Lederer largely withdrew from the poker world.
Howard Lederer Background
Howard Lederer was born in 1963 in Concord, New Hampshire. He is mostly known in the poker world as one of the founders of the once-popular now infamous Full Tilt Poker website.
From an early age, Lederer was a keen chess player and spent most of his time playing the game.
In his late teens, he moved to New York in his late teens to study at Columbia University. There he discovered some of the biggest chess clubs in town, the Marshall Chess Club and Manhattan Chess Club.
It was at these clubs that Lederer learned poker. Howard Lederer's rise to poker prominence included two WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles, and appearances on poker TV shows like High Stakes Poker.
Howard Lederer Poker History
After learning poker in New York chess clubs, he soon graduated to underground NYC card rooms and eventually to Las Vegas.
In Vegas, Lederer was able to move up stakes and find bigger action in the form of The Big Game, a high-stakes poker game in which many of the most famous names in poker—like Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, and Daniel Negreanu—regularly played.
In 2004, Lederer helped to found the online poker site Full Tilt Poker. In 2011, the US DOJ shut down Full Tilt in an action now known as Black Friday.
Lederer came to a civil settlement with the DOJ in 2012 and largely retired from the poker world soon after.
Howard Lederer Top Five Tournament Cashes
|January 2008||2008 Aussie Millions A$100,000 Poker Championship||1st||A$1,250,000||$ 1,098,785|
|April 2004||WPT Las Vegas $2,600 Championship||1st||-||$ 339,842|
|November 2002||WPT World Poker Finals $ 10,200 Main Event||1st||-||$320,400|
|March 2003||WPT Party Poker Million II $5,000 Limit Holdem||1st||-||$289,150|
|June 2010||WSOP Tournament of Champions||2nd||-||$250,000|
Wealth—What is Howard Lederer's Net Worth?
Having retired from the public eye for well over a decade now, it is hard to make an accurate estimate of Howard Lederer's wealth. While some online sources put Lederer's net worth as high as $60 million, they are unable to cite any reputable sources for this.
We know that he had a considerable poker bankroll (big enough to allow him to regularly play as high as $3,000-$6,000 limit games). And we know that he almost certainly made a considerable amount of money while he headed up Full Tilt through the poker boom.
The DOJ pursued $42.5 million in damages from Lederer, but ultimately settled for two Vegas properties, a 1965 Shelby Cobra, around $1.3 million in disclosed cash, and a pair of bank accounts of undisclosed value. How much of his wealth was in those bank accounts remains unconfirmed.
Howard Lederer Controversies
Not many players have been run out of town by the poker community. Even alleged cheats often find a way to keep playing. However, the collapse of Full Tilt Poker effectively ended Howard Lederer's poker career.
Howard Lederer's Full Tilt Scandal
As a founder, board member, and sponsored pro for Full Tilt Poker, Howard Lederer was one of the focal points for the post-Black Friday fallout. Many poker players felt he was partly responsible for Full Tilt's collapse and resented that the owners of Full Tilt had pocketed large salaries while the players were unable to withdraw funds.
During the DOJ's criminal investigation and the civil suit against Lederer personally, Lederer received further criticism for refusing to issue an apology and failing to take responsibility.
In an interview with Matthew Parvis for PokerNews Lederer talked about the Full Tilt scandal in depth. In the interview, he recounted his side of the affair but was perceived as having dodged responsibility by many poker players.
A full apology, issued five years later on Daniel Negreanu's website, proved to be too little too late. Lederer was unable to rehabilitate his image in the poker community and has rarely been seen since.
Howard Lederer Frequently Asked Questions—FAQ
Who is Howard Lederer's sister?
Lederer is a brother to another famous retired poker player, Annie Duke.
Does Howard Lederer play poker?
Although Howard Lederer was once among the most important poker players in the world, he has not been seen playing poker with any regularity since 2011, when Full Tilt Poker was shut down by the U.S. DOJ.