The Diamond Flush Howard Lederer Fizzle

The Diamond Flush Howard Lederer Fizzle

Are you still waiting for those irrefutable iotas from with inside information condemning Howard Lederer, late of Full Tilt Poker, as a gargantuan liar and thief?  You’re not alone, and the poker world has been waiting for well over a month now for whatever the erstwhile “Diamond Flush”* has regarding Lederer’s role with Full Tilt, and his knowledge regarding payment processing and the nine-digit Full Tilt shortfall, assumed to plentiful.

Tomorrow, according to the latest reports, is when the seventh (and final?) segment of her examination of Howard Lederer’s interviews may appear.  As someone who’s more than familiar with the ways advanced publishing plans can go astray and how extended delays occur, it’s hard to be too hard on DF for the delays, but I still wish she’d just get it over with and let the series die a whimpering death, if that’s to be its fate.

There’s even the chance that some of the thunder here might be stolen by the sudden and unexpected appearance of Black Friday indictee Chad Elie this weekend on Twitter.  Elie, who’s scheduled to go to prison on January 3rd for five months for his role in falsifying the true nature of online poker transactions going to and from US banks, has suddenly shown up with a few bombs of his own, targeting Lederer, some of the scurrilous lawyers behind the scenes, and well-known online telemarketing fraudster Jeremy Johnson.

We hope we’ll have a fuller story regarding Elie’s potential bomb-dropping in a few days, even if now it’s mostly a wait-and-see situation to see what he’s going to share.

In the meantime, there’s the ongoing Diamond Flush saga.  It’s important to understand the backstory here to get why the fizzle itself is part of the tale.  Diamond Flush, first working for the old Subject:Poker site and then on her own, served up some of the best documentation available on the breakup from Full Tilt, including the tale of the millions and millions loaned to Full Tilt owner-degens who’d get laughed out of most check-cashing stores.

That she likely received the documentation from sources other than the Lederer/Ferguson/Bitar Full Tilt core was understood, as she was clearly in back-channel communications with the French Tapie group that tried to buy Full Tilt on the cheap, and with some other lawyers and FTP shareholders, too.

And of course Lederer, when he emerged from hiding and promised to do interviews,  announced three: the extended video interview with PokerNews’ Matthew Parvis, a similar podcast interview hosted by 2+2, and a third interview with Diamond Flush.

Of the three, the Diamond Flush interview was the only potential serious problem for an accomplished spinmeister like Lederer, as she was the only one with a cache of hard documentation which which to explore and trap Lederer’s lies.  Lederer v. Parvis?  Lederer controlled that interview, from start to finish.  No one should have expected anything different.

Lederer’s cancellation of only the Diamond Flush interview, citing personal hardship and fatigue, was laughingly no surprise.  Then Diamond Flush promised her own expose of sorts on the topic, supposedly using her documentation to fill in the gaps and highlight the lies in Lederer’s other two appearances.

Except… she hasn’t done it that well.  Whether it’s been due to other sources backing away from previous statements or her own inability to boil topics down to a concise narrative, the whole series has devolved into a meandering narrative with a lot of half-explored inferences, and promises of much more, promises which to date have gone unfilled.

She’s still got one more chance to get it straight, and if it’s a libel threat she fears, she’d best get over it if she’s serious about investigative journalism.  Not only is the truth its own defense, but a lot of people threaten such things in an attempt to keep unfriendly stories from seeing the light of day.  I should know; I’ve got a handful of such threats, usually one or two per year.

Maybe the Elie stuff, if he follows through as promised, will buttress her own information.  Then again, it might make the whole series irrelevant.

There are plenty of good stories waiting to be told about the Black Friday events, including an upcoming book by British author James Leighton.  I’ve chatted and e-mailed with Leighton on a few occasions, and am aware of a couple of revelations that he’ll be sharing as well, though professional courtesy precludes me mentioning them.  Nonetheless, I expect it to be the best book about the Black Friday indictments and seizures.

As for Lederer, it’s quite clear in this writer’s opinion that he’s a liar and a most uncommon thief, since the nature of the shortfall at FTP can’t be described as anything else but fraud.  It’s only a matter of time until the truth of it all comes out, because the pressures of the situation demand it.  If not Diamond Flush, then Elie.  If not Elie, then Leighton.  If not Leighton, then someone else.

All in due time, and it’ll still be a good story when it finally emerges.

* Diamond Flush’s identity remains unknown to the public, and no, I don’t know it either. 


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