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Disgraced Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer to play in 2014 WSOP

Despite years of success on the felt, both Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer became outcasts in the poker world after Black Friday (April 15th, 2011). Two of the main shot-callers at the old Full Tilt Poker, Ferguson and Lederer continued paying themselves millions of dollars, despite not having enough funds to cover all player deposits. So when the US Department of Justice forced FTP out of the American market, the poker site quickly spiraled out of control, taking everybody's money with it.

Luckily, PokerStars stepped in and paid the US DOJ $731 million to buy Full Tilt and cover player deposits. And earlier this month, the Garden City Group (payment facilitator) finally paid back $82 million to US Full Tilt players affected by Black Friday. But is this any reason to think that Ferguson and Lederer might be forgiven by the poker community?

According to former "Subject:Poker" reporter Diamond Flush, these two poker pariahs seem to think so. In a TwoPlusTwo thread regarding Ferguson, Diamond Flush, while responding to other posters, stated her strong opinion that they plan on playing in the 2014 WSOP. Here's a look at what she wrote about Ferguson and Lederer:

He has plenty of money and does lead a non-ostentatious lifestyle, but I assure you he has plans to return to poker when ppl get repaid, as does Howard. They assume all is forgiven and some regulars in the LV circuit think thats true. Many otoh, do not.

Diamond Flush also went on to point out some of the unethical things that Ferguson did following Black Friday, which includes keeping quiet about the poor shape of the company and threatening to kill a deal to sell Full Tilt. In regard to the latter, other Full Tilt bosses reportedly used $14 million worth of Ferguson's money to keep the site going post-Black Friday. He wasn't happy about it and threatened to stand in the way of a deal with Groupe Bernard Tapie to purchase the site and pay players back.

The idea of Ferguson and Lederer returning to poker isn't entirely out of the question. After all, Lederer was actually spotted playing at Vegas hotspots like Bobby's Room and the Aria in high stakes games. But playing with a select few old buddies versus the thousands who'll be filling up the Rio this summer is a big difference. That said, it'll be interesting to monitor any spats that take place between Ferguson/Lederer and those who had money locked up on Full Tilt for three years.