Having survived last week's reaching and passing 666,666 views of my blog, I'm ready to tackle a new subject...
Tuesday the poker world buzz surrounded the release of the first two parts (Part 1, Part 2) of Howard Lederer's first interview in nearly two
years covering the Full Tilt Poker saga. There are seven total planned interviews to be posted this week. There are many ways I could
share my thoughts, but I decided to analyze the interview process
by asking even more questions.
Who - Mathew Parvis, former Editor in Chief of PokerNews and current Head of Product/Chief Creative Officer, conducts the interview.
- Why was Parvis, not a regular or experienced interviewer, chosen to conduct the pivotal extensive interview?
his credit, Parvis has seemed well researched and prepared to ask many
detailed questions. To his detriment, his phrasing, challenging
Lederer's answers and pertinent follow-up questions have been lacking so
Lederer looks considerably older and grayer. He is still heavy set and
was dressed in jeans and a striped button down shirt.
- What does his casual attire with seemingly no makeup indicate about his current or desired image in the poker community?
On Twitter, respected ex-FBI agent and nonverbal communications expert, @navarrotells, weighed in with some thoughts.
- Who else was in the room?
a camera person, extra crew, witnesses and possible Lederer support
there could have affected the atmosphere. Logistically it might have
been more difficult, but having everyone kicked out, cameras concealed,
and the interviewer positioned on a couch to the side might have
presented a more conducive environment for a more revealing Lederer.
A nearly seven-hour interview was conducted that breaks Howard
Lederer's silence over Full Tilt and Black Friday. The first two half
hour edited segments have been presented with the rest to follow
throughout the week. Having such a long interview seemed like a great
opportunity for the poker community to get many longed for answers.
Unfortunately, despite Lederer trying to answer all questions, he is
often found 'couching' criticism of any other people, professing
ignorance of some key details or forgetful of key issues like his
contract, dates and important company governances.
Why is Lederer allowed to pull his punches, when the graphic truth or
his honest perceptions would go a long way to attributing proper
responsibility and possibly begin to heal the poker community?
- What were the parameters for the interview?
- What subjects were off target?
- Did all questions have to be pre-submitted or approved?
Making clear from the outset what subjects could and couldn't be talked about would be helpful to the viewers.
Where - I initially remarked on Twitter at the odd choice of the hotel room at the Palazzo as the setting.
- Why have the reflective window be Lederer's background?
found the reflections of lighting equipment, interviewer, and cameraman
quite distracting and awkward. As Lederer, who suffers from back pain,
leaned consistently in his chair the Venetian casino signage was
regularly visible in the background, almost as a not so subtle ad.
Why was the 43rd floor of the Palazzo chosen, when the owner, Sheldon
Adelson, has been a very vocal opponent of online poker and any
legislation to advance the cause?
- The interview was conducted on Saturday, September 8th. We are told
that now that Full Tilt has been sold to PokerStars and a company
settlement with the DOJ has been made, it's finally an appropriate time
for some long awaited answers.
Why now when there are ongoing civil charges to be resolved against
Full Tilt owners (e.g. confiscation of assets and damages) that may
prevent Lederer from being more revealing?
- What are the explicit reasons for no communications until now?
- Why couldn't some reasonable if compromised communication have happened in the interim?
How and Why -
Each person who views the interview series will come away with
different impressions of the interview technique or Lederer's veracity.
Lederer's answers have already ranged from transparency to obliqueness,
clarity to forgetfulness, acknowledgment to denial.
have seen Lederer admit what he considers his greatest regret; that
Full Tilt Poker was a California LLC, but a Dublin company utilizing a
2003 start-up operating agreement that was badly in need of updating.
Lederer admitted that the poor structural oversight was a result of
inexperience and laziness. I think most people's assumed "Lederer's
greatest regret" would have been the hundreds of millions of dollars
from players and customers that was badly managed and wrongly kept from
them since Black Friday. Hopefully he will address that issue in future
extensive Lederer interview is an opportunity for the poker community.
Interviews can serve many purposes. Some are conducted to inform and
educate. Others are there for entertainment alone. Interviews can reveal
great truth or advance propaganda. The final impact is on each of us,
as none of us knows the full truth. Evaluating each question and answer
along with their corresponding motivation can bring us much further to
getting the most out of any interview.
be checking out the final five interview segments to see if my
impressions evolve or more questions surface. I've heard that TwoPlusTwo
has been granted a follow-up interview opportunity with Howard Lederer
that could fill in many of the missing holes from this interview series.
For the poker community, at the very least, the interview is better
very late than never.
*** Update - Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 are now up.