Rafe Furst pens “open letter” after FT allegations

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Sep 22, 2011 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News | No Comments »

On Wednesday the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York put forth an amendment to their civil case filed on April 15th against Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and AP/UB Poker where Preet Bharara termed Full Tilt Poker a “Global Ponzi Scheme”; listing a litany of offenses perpetrated by the company before and after Black Friday.

In the proposed amendment, three new owners of Full Tilt poker were implicated and officially named: The first two, Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson are well-known players and long been suspected of owning a good chunk of Full Tilt Poker. The third owner cited by name was Rafe Furst. Furst has been with Full Tilt poker since the beginning, but as a semi-pro poker player has never been a public face for the company.

Furst was on the Full Tilt Poker Board of Directors according to the amended complaint, owning 2.6% of the company and having been paid over $11 million in dividends over the years. While it’s unclear what Furst’s role has been with the company all along, the fact that he is one of only four people named in the civil complaint seems to be telling (Ray Bitar rounds out the quartet).

Furst took to his personal blog on Thursday, not to defend himself or give a different version of events, nor did he admit guilt or take blame in any way for his actions or the actions of Full Tilt Poker. Instead, Furst’s blog, titled simply “Open Letter” asked for public support amidst the growing legions of disgruntled players and simple trolls besmirching his name. While the comment section of his blog shows his letter didn’t win over any support (some are downright crude and offensive) he had to have seen this coming.

Here is a look at Furst’s blog post in its entirety taken from his blog EmergentFool.com:

By now you’ve no doubt heard about the allegations against me in a Federal civil suit regarding Full Tilt Poker. Because of the seriousness of the allegations I’m not able to comment at all about the pending case, much as I would like to. From a moral, personal and interpersonal perspective I feel I’ve got nothing to hide. And since I trust in our system of justice and have the utmost respect for my legal counsel, I will refrain from talking about the case until it’s resolved.

What I would like to express here is concern for my family, friends, colleagues and supporters who believe in me and who feel my pain as if it were their own. It sucks to have to endure the character assassination and potshots being taken at me in the media and social networks without being able to defend myself. Privately though I have received incredible support from many of you, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me. May you never have to endure something like this, but if you do, I hope you have friends as good as mine.

To the skeptics, please consider that not everything you read is true, and our society is built on a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. It’s difficult to take back hurtful things that you might later regret, when the damage has already been done.

To those of you who have asked what you can do to show your support, I am grateful for the offer. My only request at this time would be to not let the naysayers and haters be the only voices out there expressing their opinion of me. My twitter is @rafefurst, and I’d love to hear from you publicly.

With Respect and Love,


My own opinion on the blog is that it reads precisely the way Rod Blagojevich’s public statements read before he was convicted: ‘I can’t talk at this time because of the ongoing case, but the truth will come out, and I’ll have my chance to speak’.

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