Black Belt Poker pro Kevin Williams

Black Belt Poker pro Kevin Williams

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Black Belt Poker pro and Nottingham Live II Champion Kevin Williams shares his views on the Lederer Files with Adam “Snoopy” Goulding.

What were your initial thoughts after watching the interview?

My first response was that a lot of what he said made a decent amount of sense. Generally, it seems that the crime that prevented the players from being refunded was one of incompetence, rather than the owners just stealing everyone’s money for themselves.

Did anything strike you as suspicious?

The number one thing that he failed to adequately excuse is why business continued for the rest-of-the-world players after they found out about the massive shortfall. His response was that it wasn’t his responsibility to say when it was okay to continue doing business. I don't think he was drilled enough on the personal ethics of that decision. Regulators aren’t supposed to be there as the only thing that stops us doing things.

Why do you think he asked for the interview?

He wants his life back. If everything he says is true, then he’s spent 15 months being vilified by the community on little information. People watched the interview having already determined that he’s guilty and some refused to watch it, saying he shouldn’t even have a platform. These people just want to rant rather than get to the bottom of what actually happened.

Do you think he should be welcomed back?

Not with open arms. He definitely needs to re-earn that trust, but I don’t think he should be completely outcast forever. I’m not a Lederer fanboy or anything, and I’m not condoning what he did, but his mistakes were ones of mismanagement and negligence. There are way more shady criminals in poker than Howard Lederer.

What are your thoughts on Phil Ivey?

I thought it was commendable that he nixed the World Series as he’s been very public about wanting to secure his legacy, but I can’t help but think that his lawsuit was impractical in terms of the company getting a deal done. The reaction to Ivey is indicative of how people make up their minds without the appropriate information. They lauded him as a hero at first.

Did you have money on Full Tilt Poker?

A little. I withdrew most of it. We all knew it was coming. It’s just that the standard was so soft after Black Friday that many European players decided to gamble on their money being “safe and secure”. They knew it was a risk.

What’s the future for Full Tilt Poker?

The only move that could have installed instant reintegration into the poker world is what actually happened. Stars got it completely right. It’s a weird concept having two previous rival sites under the same umbrella.

Image courtesy of Anne Laymond.

Tags: Kevin Williams, Adam Goulding, Snoopy, online interviews, Lederer Files, Black Friday