This is why this tweet from Phil Hellmuth upset a lot of people frankly, Including me, because we're you're just letting him off the hook here for a problem that cost people millions of dollars. And maybe it wasn't you specifically here Phil, But you have to have a little common sense to understand how people feel sure that money eventually got paid out, but not because of Full Tilt. They were not the ones that ended up fixing this situation and both how our letter and Ferguson were involved in the process to some degree, not to mention that, but maybe have a little. You know a little appreciation for The pain that people were put through in that and don't just take a picture with the guy's smile and be like everything's good, We're great, because people are not gon na respond. Well, to that, It's gon na be upsetting to them, and I think that maybe he should shown a little more play here.
I don't know what the word would be here: white magic when it comes to understanding How people would feel. Now there were some great responses on Twitter to that picture from Phil, including Dean eggs jumping in there Saying, couldn't find time to grab a selfie with Harvey Weinstein Chris Brown or Bernie Madoff Next best thing, I guess, or this street for Mercier - is Ferguson, bringing you Positivity or are you bringing it to him I'm confused here now, Phil did respond to some of these attacks on Twitter, Responding to one of them. When someone asked that he must have known that this picture would be seen as controversial. He said I'm a forgiving person in my book, poker brat.
I talked about how I believe Chris Ferguson is innocent, never missing an opportunity for a plug. He also retweeted someone saying hey Doug plug poker. Can you a video on what Jesus did wrong?
I don't understand Like I would just do that for you bro. So what are the ramifications of this? Well, Chris works in one Player of the Year and honestly he had a six string of cashes. I don't know that was 22 or 23 cashes this year, something Unbelievable, but he put together an insane string of these things to end it one winning Player of the Year. Now we all know who I feel about player of the year.
It'S extremely important. You know If you want, I would pull here. You got dig deep nice, I'm not gon na make it It's too far. I can't went there the year, But things are gon na get pretty awkward.
When Ferguson has to give his speech in the halls of the real while unveiling his poster, No man, I can imagine it now. Thank you. Thank you. So, first off My bad. I am certainly proud of my achievement here today. What a great year for me, I haven't scammed a single person, so that's great and also also This time, I'm taking money out of the community Legitimately legit all aboveboard, every one of those cash.
You can count it. We got 23 baby, The grade number 23. You know what I'm saying. I also want to make a brief statement about What occurred on Black Friday. I Just want to say this: I got your bunnies now and I'm gon na cash it out and rub it on my This is a controversial issue and while we like to joke about it a bunch, I don't exactly know what happened with Chris, He did not Come forward and talk about it Which wasn't exactly the best move, I think - and I also Will say that anyone involved in the company that allowed such a horrible thing to happen to their customers deserve some part of the blame. Does that mean that he is an inherently bad person?
No, does that mean that he, you know willing Wilfully took your money, No, it doesn't either, but the jury is still out and it probably always will be for what his exact situation was. And you know what have you asked me Doug? How do you feel about this Frankly, who gives a fuck about Player of the Year Honestly? Does it really matter? Does this really matter?
I mean, I guess the banner is a little insulting and I do feel like maybe that's a little over the line, But at the same time it's not like this is like we're voting for like who our favorite poker player is, and Chris Ferguson's taking It down. Whatever Let him have Player of the Year, if he wants to be part of the poker community that obviously a lot of people dislike him, It's kind of a weird choice, but he's certainly for you to make that decision. But let me know what you guys think in the comments below on this Chris Ferguson Victory and let me know about what you think about Phil Hellmuth position with Chris Ferguson, both interesting topics.
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But the thing is a lot of the money's still went on accounted for, including forty four million dollars that were paid to Howard Lederer Over the course of full-tilt. Now Howard ended up settling with the DOJ, But only to the tune of 2.5 million See yeah. You can say that he probably got away with it.
He also did this interview where he was gon na come forward and talk about what happened. But uh things didn't exactly become more clear. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, but I don't know I don't know. I have no recollection. I remember one time at a party now You might be wondering well What about Ferguson, What was going on with him and there isn't as much Information.
No one because he wasn't quite in as prominent a role as Howard Lederer. The problem is it's not really clear how much Chris Ferguson was involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. He claims he had nothing to do with them, But it's not really exactly easy to find out what role he played if any, in the way that player funds were Mismanaged, I mean maybe, for example, He had actually no idea about the side of the company and Is actually somewhat innocent, However, it could be anywhere from that to all the way towards He knew exactly What was happening and he he was being paid money.
That was actually you know supposed to be protected in players. Accounts, There's really no way for us know the exact degree of how guilty he is in the situation now after Black Friday, Both guys laid low for a bit while trying to figure what they were going to do obviously settle any any cases they had ongoing. But realistically neither one of these guys ended up going to jail.
You know they were not Convicted of a crime as much as that hurts. I think a lot of us the way that they handled the company. You know, at least maybe they didn't do their dude due Diligence to make sure the funds are being handled correctly, But whatever the case may be, these are innocent people Within the eyes of the law and in our country you are innocent until proven guilty. So we do have to have some degree of respect for that. However, Even if they are innocent, that does not make them automatically good people, I think, to at least some extent.
Howard letter Probably had some knowledge about the way funds are being handled and makes some mistakes along the way while receiving money. Chris Ferguson Also certainly possibly, is part of that, so I'm not gon na Just let them off the hook because they are innocent and now they're back in the poker community. I'D be like. Oh, it's cool man Yeah, Those millions of dollars that people might have not been paid. If PokerStars didn't step in and agree to pay out those players.
Yeah, it's cool, No sweat, look! Here'S the thing when you run a company and when you're the largest shareholder in a company, It is part of your responsibility to make sure that people get paid out. What'S rightfully theirs.
You know I don't have a very large company, absolute poker, obviously my training site, But if people were paying and not getting their training, then obviously I would be responsible for that and just because this company was operating in a much larger scale, it doesn't absolve you Of your Personal responsibility to take care of the customers that trusted you with a lot of their money.
I'M sorry guys, but today We're gon na have to have a serious talk. You already know what it's going to be about and, frankly, who it's going to be about? No, no, the other, It's about the other guy, But the other guy in case you've not been following along. It has been made official Chris Ferguson is your World Series of Poker Player of the Year for 2017.
I Douche Douche Major douche Know this seems like it can't be happening. This can't possibly be true. Chris Ferguson, One of the major shareholders behind Full Tilt Poker, is our World Series of Poker Player up there. How are we supposed to handle that? How are we supposed to take that after what happened to all of our money?
I know I had money unfold, so I know a lot of you guys had money on Full Tilt and Even though we did get it paid back because poker star stepped in and bought back those funds or rather bought the company and paid Out those funds. It'S still something that we have to deal with when we see him at the World Series of Poker Getting his banner that will be hung at the Rio. That'S right next summer, Chris Ferguson will be getting his own banner at the Rio You're gon na have to look at this grill all day.
While you play in your oversized $ 400 tournament. Chris is 54 years old. Has six World Series of Poker bracelets after his most recent, when he's from Los Angeles And he's most known for his signature, cowboy hat, which again is kind of weird when you're from Los Angeles? Now, Let's give a little backstory here for some context on Chris Ferguson, He was one of the founders of Full Tilt Poker with Howard Lederer And he is rumored to have had the second largest piece of Full Tilt Poker. I don't know the exact breakdown I couldn't find it anywhere, But as far as I know, he was one of the major Shareholders. Now there were two major sites in the US market at that time: PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars had their money segregating to player account funds so that if they ever I depending went out, They would have the money to do so, which they did when Black Friday, hit Full Tilt ever was not exactly running shipshape.
They were had that money all over the place. They were paying people out, they had tons of Overhead. There were. There are many rumors of different Full Tilt, Poker prose being paid a hundred thousand a month.
Five hundred thousand a month, a million dollars a month and Sometimes from players needed money to get back into action. The company would just front the money to these players to get them playing again, So, rather than keeping the money somewhere safe where they could play pay players if they ended up needing to, They were Constantly throwing that money around and moving it around and paying people Or you know, lending people and engaging all in all kinds of acts That are certainly illegal with your money. Now It's unclear exactly what happened? I'M not an attorney. I don't want to say something that could be wrong, but Many people were indicted. There was a full legal case here where players were Sued or taken to both criminal or civil court, and many people were fined a lot of money along the way.
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In Okuzaki’s view, the war was carried out in the Emperor’s name and, ultimately, the largest responsibility lies with him. “I hate irresponsible people” he explains, “and the most irresponsible person in Japan is Emperor Hirohito.” He also mentions that he doesn’t blame the individual soldiers, but the people who put them in situations where they committed atrocities. While he also demonstrates a strong belief in personal responsibility, Okuzaki is unflinching in these views. In seeking to get the soldiers he interviews to confess, he states that “the public has to know the truth to prevent wars,” demonstrating that his motivations are not only personal grudges against the military system of which he was also a part, but that he truly hopes to stop further atrocities from happening by preventing war.
The picture that emerges of the events of the past however, do not necessarily fit together in a cohesive narrative. Though the documentary makes it seem clear that each soldier was involved in some way, they are extremely reluctant to speak about their experiences. Besides the fact that they are accused of murdering their fellow soldiers and cannibalism, there is also the further unsettling information that these events happened days after the end of the war. This, then adds to the apprehensiveness that these soldiers have of speaking about their actions. Thus, the audience must work with what bits and pieces of information they are given through the soldiers’ testimonies and attempt to piece together some kind of narrative. Ultimately though, whatever the viewer is given can never be considered the whole picture, in that what we are given comes from individual memory.
Another point that adds to the complexity of The Emperor’s Naked Army is that of the role of the camera. While the documentary may start out as seemingly in control of the situation, and the camera allows for a sense of safety for the viewer from the events being filmed, this quickly takes a turn as Okuzaki tackles one of the soldiers he is interviewing and starts hitting him. While the camera leaves us with a bit of physical distance, the audience is left in a stupor that has only begun. Later, there are even times when the role of the camera is questioned, and the issue of abandoning the camera for direct involvement with the subject is raised.
In one case, this occurs when one of the soldiers is willing to confess, but only if the camera is shut off. Ultimately, Okuzaki refuses, the camera keeps rolling, and the man does not reveal the information.
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Certainly, though this raises the question of whether or not the man would have confessed had the camera not been present. At the same time, the camera is already able to do a great amount of revealing, as pointed out by a conversation between Okuzaki and the soldier, Hara.
Hara: How do you think people who see this will interpret this? (indicates at camera)
Okuzaki: They’ll think you’re hiding the truth.
Of course, this is something that both characters hardly needed to state as they had already realized that this was the case.
Other various surreal moments occur, for example, when one of the soldier’s wives takes a picture of the camera crew as they film the interview. The film also highlights the role of fiction utilized in all forms of film, when Okuzaki asks his friends to act the roles of siblings of killed soldiers in order to more easily produce a confession from the commanding officers he interviews.
It is one of the final scenes, however, in which Okuzaki tackles and kicks a sick man for refusing to confess that mostly closely embodies the moral conflict of abandoning the camera to interact or to continue filming. “You just stand there and film while doing nothing,” one of the family members of the man cries, as she tries to restrain Okuzaki.
No matter how noble Okuzaki’s cause is, to make the horror of war known to prevent them from happening in the future, he ultimately compromises himself with his own actions. This is epitomized by some of his final words that “violence is justified if the end is good.” Okuzaki has become so entrenched in his own quest, that he has adopted some of the very methods that led to the system which he criticizes.
The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On, makes a number of contributions to both film and history and is an unforgettable work. The confessions recorded here, while painful to watch, are invaluable pieces of historical material. Moreover, the film renews the question of the role of the individual behind the camera and challenges the way in which documentary film is produced. Instead of offering any kind of definite conclusions, the viewer is left with a number of questions at the end of the film that might seem confusing and contradictory. What are we to make of the character Okuzaki or any of the narratives we are left with? How should we feel about the fact that the film only addresses the issues through the multiple lenses of a confused individual and the fragments of memory from personal soldiers who still wish to protect themselves? And most importantly, how will we react when the omnipresent guiding voice of the documentary fails us?