Prahlad ‘Spirit Rock’ Friedmann’s Full Tilt Failure

Every time the WSOP comes around, Prahlad Friedmann gets a mention – not least because of his infamous bust-up with Jeff Lisandro back in the 2006 Main Event – but much more interesting is his online poker career, one in which he hit the highest peaks and the lowest troughs…

By: Andrew Burnett

Never the most likeable of players in a live setting, Friedmann’s online game back in the noughties heyday of the game was nevertheless unchallengeable – a rapid rise through the ranks on sites such as Paradise Poker, Party Poker and Planet Poker coinciding with his live tournament career taking off.

His Full Tilt poker graph above belies the fact that he was a huge winner on Ultimate Bet under the username ‘Mahatma’ – until he got scammed for $millions in the UB superuser scandal that is.

Once bitten twice shy you might think, but for Friedmann there was no such thing, actually signing up as an Ultimate Bet pro in 2010, much to the dismay of other pros, in particular Daniel Negreanu.

A year later, however, he would find himself ‘out of a job’ as Black Friday hit and UB sunk, players’ funds with it in one of the biggest scandals the poker world has ever seen.

Prior to that, Friedmann tried his luck at the Full Tilt highstakes tables under the pseudonym ‘Spirit Rock’, but it took only a year, or rather a month, December of 2009, to find himself in a $½million+ hole

That’s pretty much where he’d stay until a comeback of sorts in March of 2015, when he looked set to climb out with a brief rally – but a $100k upswing would only presage another big loss, a month later down $200k more and finally the online game at Full Tilt would be no more…

…Friedmann’s live tournament career also fading into history, replaced with a rap singing and producing career under the name ‘Pragress’.

Whether ‘Spirit Rock’ Friedmann will ever make another foray into poker remains to be seen, but his rise and fall in the poker world is unlikely to be forgotten.


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