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Epic Poker League Loses Ferguson And Lederer To Suspensions

The Epic Poker League is attempting to make a name for itself among the top professional sports in the US. The league was created by poker players who wanted professional players to have their own circuit, where amateurs would not be permitted to participate.

This week, the league took a step towards gaining credibility when it suspended two of its more popular players, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer. The latter is the brother of EPL Commissioner Annie Duke, and the message sent was that nobody was above the law.

Earlier in the week, the Department of Justice added both Ferguson and Lederer to a civil lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker. The online poker site has criminal charges pending stemming from their acceptance of US online poker players. PokerStars and Absolute Poker executives were also indicted on Black Friday for violating the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Ferguson and Lederer were part of the group that launched Full Tilt, and they have both assisted in the promotion of the online site over the years. Full Tilt was again in the news this week when the DoJ accused the company of running a Ponzi scheme. It is an accusation that Full Tilt lawyers have already come out and questioned.

As far as Epic, they had a tough situation on their hands. Had they not suspended Ferguson and Lederer, critics would have argued that the pair were getting preferential treatment, Ferguson because of his popularity, and Lederer because he is Duke's brother.

"We're not acting as judge and jury," said EPL Standards and Conduct Committee head Stephen Martin, to Bluff Magazine. "We're not barring them permanently from the league. All we did is take action to suspend them pending the outcome of the case. For us, it's very difficult to understand the facts of what has occurred. We're not in a position to view that, but with the types of allegations, especially since they involve directly to the poker community, we believe this is going to be the best course of action."

Full Tilt came under extreme heat from not only the US government, but poker players as well. The company has not paid customers back the funds that were in their accounts at the time the company lost their gaming license in Alderney. Full Tilt lawyers are in the process of trying to regain their license, at which time, the company is expected to be sold to European investors.

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