Tom Dwan Fails to Reveal FTX Corruption as Ultimate Bet Scandal Lawyer Discovered at Heart of Crypto Collapse

November 19, 2022
Andrew Burnett

The $multi-billion collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has more than a passing poker element to it, with Tom Dwan on first-name terms with many of the actors involved and a scandal-mired lawyer at the centre of the case.

The FTX disaster sent shockwaves through the crypto world when it was revealed that they had liquidity issues, a run on the bank eventually leading to bankruptcy proceedings.

Not fun for those involved, including poker players with FTT (FTX’s crypto-token) but hardly major news for a poker site you would imagine.

However, when news came out that Daniel S. Friedberg was involved, noses started to twitch and eyebrows were immediately raised. That Daniel S. Friedberg? The lawyer at the centre of the Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker scandals?

Yep, that’s the one. The man caught on tape along with 1994 WSOP main Event champion, Russ Hamilton, trying to limit how much they owed and how involved they all were in the God-mode cheating scandal of the noughties.

Hamilton held the back-door key that allowed him to view everyone’s cards and he used it to scam more than $20million from fellow players in a four-year scam from 2004 to 2008.

Not only that, he passed the superuser account login around his friends, Annie Duke allegedly a chief beneficiary. Tom Dwan was among those stung by the cheating, although he also got a chunk of it refunded later.

More than a decade later, Daniel S. Friedberg, the lawyer who did his damnedest to limit the damage to the company by offering up lies and cover stories, somehow managed to get a role with FTX – and you couldn’t make this up – as regulatory compliance officer.

That move appears to have backfired spectacularly for FTX and its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, and Tom Dwan is one of those who knew something was amiss long before the general crypto public.

That admission go down too well on Twitter, with replies including:

  • Tom, when you know about corruption and fail to report it, even anonymously, YOU ARE PART OF THE CORRUPTION.
  • Great Analysis , you know , it might be helpful if you Brought it up before it happened
  • Was it before or after you went doing an interview with SBF to promote him ?

That last comment relates to a YouTube discussion between Dwan and Bankman-Fried last year...

Meanwhile, as ever, it’s likely that the bad actors involved in FTX (and there appear to be at least a few) will walk away almost unscathed as they did in the poker scandals of the noughties.

Same story, even some of the same faces, and the more things change the more they stay the same.

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