Howard Lederer and Friends Put WSOP on Full Tilt

June 7th, 2017 | by Kaycee James

Players at the 2017 World Series of Poker (WSOP) were put on full tilt in recently after the appearance of Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Andy Bloch.

Howard Lederer plays at WSOP.

The appearance of Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Andy Bloch at the 2017 WSOP has frustrated some players. (Image:

Because the WSOP is the premier tournament festival in poker, thousands of players from all levels of the game make the trip to Las Vegas for a shot at a bracelet.

As pros rub shoulders with satellite qualifiers, the atmosphere inside the Rio is always jovial, but on June 6 three players made the mood a little less pleasant for some.

The Boys Are Back in Town

Doubling down on 2016’s shock return to the poker world after the demise of Full Tilt, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson returned to the limelight this year the $1,000 Tag Team event. In 2016 when the two former executives of Full Tilt made public apologies just weeks before the WSOP, few thought they would actually sit down and play.

As it transpired, both players did take to the felt and Ferguson even made it to the final table of the $10,000 Six-Max Championship and, despite being needled throughout, he finished 4th for $183,989.

Regardless of their apparent skills, the community wasn’t happy that the two men partly responsible for the downfall of Full Tilt (before the Rational Group stepped in and bought it) were at last year’s WSOP.

That message clearly didn’t register with Lederer, Ferguson or the third partner in their tag team, Andy Bloch. As Event #10 of this year’s Series got underway on June 6, the three players took their place in the $1,000, much to the surprise of those inside the Rio.

Community Responds with Anger

When news broke that the trio were not only taking part in the WSOP event but that they were bagging chips ahead of Day 2, the community didn’t hold back. As well as barbed comments from table mates and railbirds, Twitter became a sounding board for the community’s discontent.

“Bagged 2.6m for day 3 of colossus and I publicly harangued Howard Lederer twice gotta say it was a good day,” tweeted @slaymerica.

Reading through more tweets, the three men were called everything from Team Black Friday to Team Full Guilt, which suggest players were tilted by their presence. Attempting to sum up his own thoughts as well as those of the community, Twitter user @pushallin said that Lederer et al’s decision to play was like a slap in the face for all those who lost money during the downfall of Full Tilt.

“How insulting. Pkr community doesn’t want you guys,” wrote @pushallin.

After making it through to Day 2, the trio was finally eliminated by John Hulett and Deepinder Singh when the former’s A K beat Bloch’s Ad Q. For many, including David Worden, the exit short of the money was a just result for the former Full Tilt executives.

“#wsop10 says farewell to the team of old full time scammers of Bloch, Lederer, and Ferguson #seemsfitting,” tweeted Worden.


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