Erick Lindgen has not enjoyed an easy time since Full Tilt collapsed in 2011—he filed for bankruptcy, entered rehab for gambling addiction and now the Rational Group is suing him for over $2.5 million.
The money was originally owed to Full Tilt, and when PokerStars owners, the Rational Group, bought the company from the Department of Justice, the debt became payable to them. The debt is in two parts—$531,807 for a loan made to Lindgren when he was a Full Tilt Pro, and $2 million that was paid into his bank account in error, according to CourthouseNews.com.
Apparently, Lindgren asked Full Tilt owner Chris Ferguson for a $2 million loan, and the money was accidentally transferred twice to his bank account back in April 2011. Like much of the money that Lindgren has received from backers and poker players over the last few years, this was not returned.
Gambling Debts Made Public
Lindrgren’s reputation has been in tatters ever since he was publicly outed on the 2+2 forums, by well know poker player and sports bettor Haralabos Voulgaris who claimed that Lindgren owed him a huge debt from betting on the NBA.
“We all knew that (Lindgren) was pretty much a piece of shit when it came to settling gambling debts. But as long as the Full Tilt money train was chugging along paying distributions, nobody wanted to speak up. Now that it’s pretty clear that FTP is done, and so are any prospects of Erick being able to pay anyone back,” Voulgaris posted on 2+2.
Others chimed in and it quickly became clear that Lindgren had a real problem—he was a compulsive gambler who used his poker income to make enormous bets which turned him from millionaire into pauper.
“I think that a lot of people don’t realize that since 2004, I’ve paid back, before I ever got a Full Tilt payment, I had paid back over $3 million in debt, I was probably $6 million in debt in ’04 and I paid about $3 million and then at various times I lost a lot of money in golf or sports,” Lindgren told Bluff Magazine. “I took some hits and I was probably at my worst about $10 million in debt. Going in to Black Friday I think I had it down under $2 million.”
The Road to Recovery
Lindgren entered rehab Morningside Recovery at Newport Beach, California, with his priority being to get himself into a position where he could return to being able to support his wife and family.
He filed bankruptcy proceedings but the court did not discharge the debt to Full Tilt.
The filing for recovery by the Rational Group may be just the first salvo in a corporate strategy to recover as much as possible from Full Tilt’s former debtors. It is believed that a number of other former Full Tilt Pros also have outstanding debts to the company.
Recovering anything from Lindgren may not be easy—his income collapsed in 2011, and although he can still be seen playing in events like the WSOP, where he managed a fifth place finish for $129,192 in last year’s $10k NLHE Six Handed, most of his winnings go to the people who are still prepared to back him to play poker.