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Phil Ivey Stands Up For Millions Of Online Poker Players At WSOP

Phil Ivey undoubtedly is one of the professional poker players that poker enthusiasts come to see when they travel to Las Vegas for the World series of Poker. The 2011 version of the WSOP began a couple of weeks ago, and much to the dismay of many fans, Ivey was not one of the pros sitting at the tables in the Rio.

Instead, Ivey has taken a stand against the online poker site that he represents. Seen for the past several years at the WSOP with Full Tilt Poker gear on at the tables, Ivey has vowed not to attend this year's WSOP as long as Full Tilt does not pay online poker players their outstanding balances.

Full Tilt was one of the three major online poker sites that had an indictment handed down against them by the US Department of Justice. The indictment also named PokerStars and Absolute Poker. After seizing the Internet domains of the three sites, the government struck a deal with PokerStars and Full Tilt that gave them back the domains so they could pay US players.

PokerStars has started to issue payments to US players, and no longer accepts players from the US market. Full Tilt has given several reasons as to why they have yet to start paying players, but Ivey is not buying any of the excuses. Instead, he has sworn to not play at the WSOP until Full Tilt makes good on the millions of dollars owed to online players.

"In all sports, you see athletes that take a stand against something, so it certainly isn't unprecedented what Ivey is doing," said Mark Walker, a poker player in Las Vegas for the WSOP. "But it is good to see that poker players, who many consider to be shady, can take a similar stand."

In addition to the public stance against Full Tilt, Ivey has filed a lawsuit against Tiltware LLC, the software provider for Full Tilt. Ivey insists that the refusal to pay players is causing thousands of players to skip the WSOP for financial reasons, and if that is the case, Ivey wants to show his support.

"I am not playing in the WSOP as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot," said Ivey. "I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible."

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