On Monday I posted an article about a Twitter skirmish between David “The Maven” Chicotsky, former BLUFF Magazine head honcho Eric Morris, and former Victory Poker CEO Dan Fleyshman. At the time I saw the fight as more or less posturing, but it seems this isn’t just some e-flexing and the matter is far more serious than I first gave it credit for.
The entire fiasco began when The Maven made an allegation that Fleyshman owed him $6k (accompanied by a threat to escalate things as well as referencing the Nevada Attorney General), and from there it devolved into an Eric Morris vs. Dan Fleyshman tete a tete; a battle that is still being waged a few days on mind you. You can view the initial article here.
First off, I need clarify a few details I glossed over or got wrong in the original piece, some from misinterpreting Twitter posts and some from other new information that has since come out.
#1: The timeframe for the ads and the alleged non-payment occurred in 2010, not 2011, so Black Friday was not a factor.
#2: The ad-buy was for a calendar year, beginning in February 2010, for which Dan Fleyshman pre-paid the first month in advance, $15,000 according to Eric Morris. Morris also says the contract called for a $7,500 cancellation fee, as well as a 30-day notice to pull ads.
#3: I’d also like to clarify that Eric Morris is no longer with BLUFF Media. He sold his ownership stake of the company in September of 2012.
#4: I also reached out to both Eric Morris and Dan Fleyshman. Eric Morris responded with a brief statement and clarified a couple of points for me, and offered to talk further if need be: I haven’t heard from Dan Fleyshman at this point, but it should be pointed out his father passed away on Sunday.
#5: No Victory Poker player is owed money from the site. Fleyshman paid out all player balances after Black Friday.
With the updates and corrections out of the way let’s get down to what happened, beginning with Eric Morris’s side of the story:
He Said (Eric Morris)
According to my communication with Morris along with several posts at PokerFraudAlert.com he seems to believe Fleyshman entered into the contract in bad faith and simply let the ads continue to run knowing he wasn’t going to pay for them. Morris claims he is not looking for money from Fleyshman, but is simply “outing” his lack of ethics and warning others of Fleyshman’s business practices.
In addition to laying out the precise timeframe of events I mentioned above, Morris also included two anonymous messages from other people who claim Dan Fleyshman owes them money. The first message appears very similar to Morris’s claims, but seems to be coming from an employee of a company, while the second message seems like someone who was promised a job that never materialized. Here are the two purported messages sent to Morris:
“Glad you have come out about Dan. He owed us ~$6k for adds that he was invoiced for in May of 2010 which we received the run around. The things y’all are saying match exactly what we experienced.Although he can’t use the “black friday” excuse or the “shut down” business excuse on us, so he used a different equally lame excuse. It’s not my business so I cant/don’t want to do anything with it without bosses permission. But y’all definitely weren’t the only ones.
I give you props for calling him out. He NEVER EVER responded to me about the job he offered me with 3k a month, equity into multiple companies, and bonuses.. He knew my financial situation as I lost a 100k from Full Tilt. He fucked me good. You and Maven calling it out finally, good for you Eric.”
He Said (Dan Fleyshman)
Fleyshman responded in the same forum thread by saying that Morris and Bluff Magazine were trying to freeroll him with the ads by continuing to publish the spread and hoping he would just eventually pay:
“… nullify Eric’s claims quickly and we can all move on as most of us have since #BlackFriday is 2 years behind us and I had loaned Victory 6 figures and took no salary ever and PREPAID dozens of other magazines for our advertisements so as you’ll see in the email: https://twitter.com/DanFleyshman/sta…994752/photo/1
Especially if you read the last line of 2nd email, I had been telling Eric for months to stop running ads against my will and on 6-24-10 is when multiple staff as you can see knew that I wanted ads to be stopped but they continued to run for months even after that because it’s a freeroll way for them to fill up empty space and try to strongarm/guilt/coerce vendors into paying…
… some of the forum posters made good points above about the fact that I wouldn’t owe anyone personally these funds anyway since it’s a company liability and furthermore unlike Full Tilt and other sites, I took ZERO salary, loaned mid 6 figures to the company and paid back EVERY account within 4 days of Black Friday so shouldn’t be getting harrassed when I didn’t benefit, loaned a ton to make it work and did the right thing right away.”
This whole story has two major problems that make who is actually right (which could be both men to be honest as it may come down to technicalities and interpretation) basically a moot point:
#1: It occurred long enough ago that a lot of the correspondence is either lost or has been deleted by this point. Not to mention that memories are probably less than 100% on the matter.
#2: Victory Poker is no longer operational. It’s hard to say that Dan Fleyshman owes money because a business he owned went bankrupt. *I’m not sure if Fleyshman officially declared bankruptcy with Victory Poker, but the site and its assets would be next to worthless at present.*
Lost in the whole shuffle is the debt owed to David Chicotsky. This is the one area that has not been properly addressed, considering Fleyshman pretty much admits to owing the money to The Maven, but is refusing to pay him on some other grounds.