Howard Lederer returned to the Las Vegas high-stakes poker scene again Tuesday night, sitting down at the 400-800 mix game at Aria.
One day after the former Full Tilt Poker owner made an appearance in the “Big Game” in the private Bobby’s Room salon at the Bellagio, Lederer sat in the Ivey Room with Nick Schulman, David Oppenheim, Huck Seed and Chau Giang—all former Full Tilt representatives—and Doyle Brunson. Mike Matusow also made a brief appearance.
Lederer’s return to poker sparked buzz on several forums and social media sites. There were even reports that Bellagio and Aria received death threat phone calls after he arrived to play.
Both casinos planted security guards in front of their respective glass-encased high-stakes tables. Aria threatened to ban anyone who took a picture of Lederer in the Ivey Room.
Daniel Negreanu, who has a long-standing publicized mistrust and distaste for Lederer and his sister Annie Duke, responded to the public outcry on Twitter.
“Bellagio/Aria 'allowing’ Lederer/Duke to play if they choose is the right decision IMO,” Negreanu said today. “I have no problem with playing poker with either of them. I don’t like either, but don’t have a problem facing them at a table.”
He added: “Russ Hamilton regularly plays in Florida casinos. It’s not the responsibility of the casino to bar them. Lots of dirtbags play.”
In recent interviews, Lederer expressed his desire to get back in the game, though he said the 2011 Black Friday seizures left him cash poor. The US Department of Justice has a civil suit against Lederer for more than $40m, and he has implied that some of his bank accounts may have been frozen by the Department of Justice as part of the ongoing case.