FTP – a Pro Se Future?

September 1, 2011 - 2:01 PM EDT

Full Tilt Poker attorney in the pending class action lawsuit, Jeff Ifrah, has asked the court for permission to step down, citing “an unreasonable financial burden on the law firm.”

In a motion filed with the court on August 31, A. Jeff Ifrah, David B. Deitch, and Ifrah’s law firm, Ifrah PLLC, have asked to be relieved as attorneys for the defense. Ifrah has been acting as attorney for Tiltware, LLC; Vantage, Ltd.; Filco, Ltd.; Pocket Kings Ltd.; Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd.; Howard Lederer; Chris Ferguson; Jennifer Harman-Traniello; Erick Lindgren; Erik Seidel; Andrew Bloch; Mike Matusow; and Allen Cunningham in the class action suit.1 In his motion, Mr. Ifrah cites that continuing representation, facing numerous new and renewed motions by the plaintiffs, based on information from his clients, would create “unreasonable difficulty to carry out his employment effectively and would result on an unreasonable financial burden on the law firm.”

The suit, filed in late June, is brought by four American Full Tilt Poker players on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated in the class, to recover US players funds stranded on Full Tilt since Black Friday. The suit alleges numerous RICO violations and requests damages for US players that were harmed by the alleged illegal activity of Full Tilt and those involved. Crucially, the suit names many alleged owners of the poker site and allows for the addition of more owners as they are discovered. In doing so, the suit attempts to pierce the corporate veil in order to lay blame on the owners of the poker site for the poker site’s actions and to recover damages from them as a result.

Jeff Ifrah could not be reached for comment.

Full Tilt Poker’s money woes are not new to the poker-playing public. Their license was suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission on June 29th, and they have been searching for investors to help them dig out from under for the last few months without success. Subject: Poker is working to learn more detailed information about Full Tilt’s financial situation, and we hope to have a feature article published shortly on the topic.


  1. Ray Bitar has no listed lawyers in the public documents and has not filed an answer to the complaint. Ifrah represents Bitar in other cases. It is not clear whether he ever represented Bitar in this case and, if so, if he will continue to. Some other defendants have not filed an answer to the complaint and do not have lawyers as well, including Nelson Burtnick, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius. Some of the defendants chose different representation, including John Juanda.

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7 Responses to FTP – a Pro Se Future?

  1. Rhubabrwp
    September 1, 2011 at 5:31 PM EDT

    Why is there no mention of Phillip Ivey in either the motion, being a non-repsondent or having retained separate counsel? Or is he directly mentioned as one of the separate companies like, Filco?


  2. Diamond Flush
    September 1, 2011 at 6:40 PM EDT

    Afaik, Phil Ivey has a different attorney, although no appearance was noted yet in the court docs.

  3. Rhubabrwp
    September 1, 2011 at 6:50 PM EDT

    Thanks, appreciate it. Presumably the representation he had in his own case against FTP before they resolved it?

  4. Larry
    September 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM EDT

    Has anyone heard any word from UB/Absolute? Should i just give up hope with them?

  5. Ivan
    September 2, 2011 at 12:55 PM EDT

    Is it the end?

  6. Mike
    September 2, 2011 at 9:37 PM EDT

    Misleading article title. In the United States, a corporation cannot represent itself (pro se), with the common exception of small claims court.

  7. Percival
    September 7, 2011 at 4:40 AM EDT

    The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) had an obligation (as per what is written in its own mission statement) to enforce what they call, PLAYER PROTECTIONS, with Full Tilt, and all of its licensees.


    So it seems extraordinarily pathetic, and a conflict of interest, that the AGCC would be ruling on ANYTHING at all relating to Full Tilt. Shouldn’t the AGCC be held equally accountable to poker consumers that have been duped by Full Tilt?

    Alderney Gambling Control Commission’s promise to players that played on it’s gaming sites was a commitment to prevent EXACTLY what has occurred. So they were either inept, or in on it. Either way, the AGCC should be held accountable. And this means that the AGCC has put itself into a political quagmire, and it seems more likely that the outcome of the hearing will not compromise Full Tilt’s status in the marketplace any more than it already is.

    Why is there no focus on the AGCC to bear any financial responsibility for not honoring it’s own mission, regarding player protections?

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