Full Tilt Poker gets KGC License Renewed

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On Friday, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) announced that it has granted Full Tilt Poker a renewal of its Secondary Client Provider Authorization (Secondary CPA).  Over a month ago, Full Tilt Poker had its primary license suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) and has not been open for business for anyone in the world. No one is entirely sure that this means for Full Tilt Poker but we do have to question what the KGC is thinking. Below is the statement released by the KGC.

The Commission has granted an application to renew the Secondary Client Provider Authorization (“Secondary CPA”) held by Kolyma Corporation A.V.V. (“Kolyma”), operating as “Full Tilt Poker”, effective August 1, 2011 for a term of two (2) years.

To maintain a Secondary CPA, a licensee must maintain a valid licence to operate interactive gaming that has been issued by a comparable jurisdiction (the “primary jurisdiction”). Accordingly, the Commission is closely monitoring the proceedings being conducted by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (the “AGCC”) concerning the eGambling Licences held by Filco Limited, operating as “Full Tilt Poker”. The AGCC has confirmed to the Commission that, although the eGambling Licences held by Filco Limited are presently suspended pending the outcome of a hearing, these licences are still considered to be valid.

Presently, Full Tilt Poker is not offering gaming to the public, or accepting player deposits, from servers that are located within Kahnawake or under the Commission’s supervision.

Tom Dwan Responds to the $1 Million Question

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Just after the indictment of Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker, the online poker world was in a frenzy in the United States.  Players had an incredible amount of money locked up in the online poker sites, so on April 19th, just four days after the indictment; both Tom “durrr” Dwan, and Phil Galfond took to Twitter in hopes of calming the US online poker nation down.

Both pro poker players said that they would pay back $1 million out of their own pockets if Poker Stars and Full Tilt didn’t pay back their players.

Since that time, it’s been an up and down ride.  Poker Stars was able to pay back over $120 million of what they owed to US players, while Full Tilt is currently not even up and running anymore.  Full Tilt still currently owes $150 million, and had its gaming license suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission last month.  The US online poker nation now waits to see if a group of European investors will be purchasing the site, so that they have a shot to get their money back.

With Full Tilt currently in a really bad spot, players have been lighting up Dwan’s Twitter attempting to find out more about the $1 million that he said he’d put in.  Dwan has responded though, saying that: “Lotsa ppl pming me n messaging on twitter w/o having read up on what I said. If worst case happens I’ll pay in a fair way, and that won’t involve paying individuals jus b/c they messaged me a lot. Timeline was late 2012 I think (or anytime I’m >90%ish of ftp not paying out).  That said let’s hope everything gets resolved n I can keep my $$s to spend on some goofy stuff that I’ll think up later.”  Galfond originally set the date as Hanukkah of 2012.

It’ll be interesting to see how this is handled when the $1 million is paid from Dwan and Galfond.  Will they pay random players, or do they have specific people in mind?  Only time will tell.

Full Tilt Poker Hearings end in Disgrace

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The Full Tilt Poker hearings regarding their Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) license was held earlier today and lawyers for Full Tilt immediately asked the commissioners to make the public hearings closed to the public. The lawyers cited  “confidential information that would impede further negotiations with the Unnamed European investor group”.  After a three-hour deliberation the commissioners agreed to closed door meetings but would have a camera recording “in the interest of justice and fairness”.

Poker players from around the world were hoping to get part of the Full Tilt problems resolved today but sadly today’s events ended in more disgrace for Full Tilt Poker and the AGCC. With so much money on the line the proceedings should have continued in an open setting for the sake of transparency. While there will be a camera rolling behind closed doors it does not mean the public will ever see the video.

Most of the poker media on hand were left shaking their heads and laughing in disbelief.

Correction: The meetings behind closed doors have continued but no new information has come out.

: Nothing really happened today. Full Tilt Poker and AGCC will reconvene no later than September 15, 2011 in which time Full Tilt Poker is expected to find a buyer or go out of business entirely.

Full Tilt Poker Revival seen as Unlikely

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The latest rumors about embattled Full Tilt Poker and their fall from grace had unknown European investors set to buy up the beleaguered franchise.  Now ERG Magazine is reporting that those investors are only interested in certain UK and Ireland based parts of the company.  The word is that they want nothing to do with anything facing the United States.

Many industry watchers think that such a deal has very little chance of being completed in time for the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) hearing slated to take place in London on Thursday  July 28, 2011.  Most believe that Full Tilt Poker will not be allowed to restart operations with their AGCC License without some sort of financial deal in place by that time.

Whether or not a deal for just some of the assets does take place, will non-US players return to the brand if they do not see US player balances being paid?

Full Tilt Fumbles Beyond Recovery?

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Everyone in the poker world seems to be wondering what fate will come of Full Tilt Poker, the deposed leader of online poker (along with its rival, the still-standing Poker Stars). The news out of FullTilt of late seems like nothing but a litany of dismal headlines. Here’s a rough chronology of the latest string of unfortunate events for all things Full Tilt Poker.

On June 29, after a three-month silence on the subject, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) finally responded to the U.S. Department of Justice’s allegations of Black Friday (April 15, 2011) against Full Tilt Poker by suspending the sites license to operate pending a July 26 hearing in London. A few days later, ARJEL, the French equivalent, did the same.

Before this, even European players unaffected by the closure of FullTilt’s U.S. operations were defecting en masse to other poker sites, no doubt partly over concerns about FullTilt’s ability to pay back dislodged U.S. players the unused funds in their accounts with the site. Now, even those European players remaining at the site will have to find a new place to play while this gets ironed out.

On June 30 a class action lawsuit was officially filed against Full Tilt Poker. On the positive side, however, former Team Full Tilt member Phil Ivey has dropped his own personal lawsuit against the site. So maybe all’s not entirely bleak.

Even if Full Tilt emerges triumphant from its July 26 hearing, the question still lingers like a dark cloud: Will Full Tilt Poker recover from this debacle?

Ray Bitar out as Full Tilt Poker CEO

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After weeks of conflicting news on the Full Tilt Poker situation, two startling developments are beginning to unfold.

First, rumors are circulating that there is a new captain leading the ship. At the most recent board of directors’ meeting, wanted man Ray Bitar was voted out of his role as CEO. Obviously, this has been a much anticipated move, considering that a new investor would be much more hesitant to save Full Tilt when it is being led by a man running from the feds.

In a possibly related note, rumors are also floating through the net that the Alderney Gambling Control Commission will be revoking the suspension on Full Tilt’s license by this weekend. It has been well known that Full Tilt Poker has been working toward this end, and it seems that their goal is finally coming to fruition. It is very likely that this move was made capable due to the removal of Bitar as CEO.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they are made available.

Full Tilt Poker Closed

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The last week of June wasn’t just the end of the ’10-’11 Fiscal Year. It was also the official end of Full Tilt Poker. A descent that started on April 15 of this year, thereafter considered by the online poker world to be Black Friday, ended last week when Full Tilt Poker closed its doors, in all probability for good.

To be clear on this FullTiltPoker.com was already closed to US players after Black Friday. But now, as of a week ago, Full Tilt Poker is closed to everyone, no matter where in the world they may live. The action to close Full Tilt Poker’s international operations last Wednesday, June 29, 2011, was taken by British Channel Island regulators.

Full Tilt Poker has yet to pay back some $150 million in American player funds frozen along with the rest of Full Tilt’s American assets. And now, they stand to owe millions more to their players left high and dry in the rest of the world. FTP is attempting to raise the funds needed to issue all these necessary (and overdue) refunds by selling majority ownership stake in the Irish parent company of Full Tilt Poker, Pocket Kings to Europan investors.

The US Attorney’s Office, meanwhile, is still said to be seeking around $3 billion in damages from Full Tilt Poker and the other two poker sites named in Black Friday’s seizure, Poker Stars and Absolute Poker. Poker Stars, incidentally, has paid back all $120 million it owed to its American players ousted in the shutdown of their American operations, while Absolute Poker has yet to pay back a dime of American player funds since that dark day in online poker history.

Report: Full Tilt Poker Sold

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The LA Times is reporting that European investors are poised to buy a majority stake in Pocket Kings, the parent company of Full Tilt Poker.  So far this is the only report on the matter, but the Times got this quote from Phil Ivey’s lawyer, David Chesnoff  “Mr. Ivey intends to dismiss his lawsuit as he believes Full Tilt is taking steps to see that the players are paid.”   No statements directly from Full Tilt Poker were obtained but the report says “Attorneys close to Full Tilt said that the deal reached Thursday was part of broader negotiations to clear up its legal problems with Alderney and U.S. prosecutors.”

This should be tentative good news for US players with money on Full Tilt Poker.  Any attempt to resurrect the brand should probably include paying players their outstanding balances.  The report does not name the investors in any detail, and does not go as far as to say that US players are guaranteed to be paid.

It seems a bit odd that the LA Times broke this story.  Usually news like this comes from more poker-centric sources.   The story does have a couple inaccuracies.  It states that three sites were “shut down” by the US government.  PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Bet. In one paragraph of the story they correctly mention that those “three” sites still operate outside the US and then in the next paragraph they call them “shut down”.

I am sure more information should become available soon.  Check Holdem Poker Chat for up to the date information

Full Tilt Poker Servers Down

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The Full Tilt Poker servers are down following the suspension of its Alderney licences.

All real money play throughout the world has been suspended and players who were in the middle of online poker tournaments were booted off the site. Full Tilt Poker’s website says the servers being down is due to “Scheduled Maintenance”. Players who have tried to access the servers are saying they “can not connect”.

This sudden license suspension seems to have caught at least one Full Tilt Poker Pro by surprise,  “Seems like Alderney regulatory body (where ftp’s license is) just shut down ftp. Wow I think?” Tweeted Tom Dwan this morning.

We’ll continue to follow this story for you and bring you updates as they become available.

UPDATE: There is rumor going around that Full Tilt Poker wlil re-open in a few hours and operate without a license. They will remove all Alderney logo’s and edit the Terms and Conditions. They will also having banking issues as no banks or credit card companies will apprive transactions with an unlicensed operator.

Moneybookers has also sent out a message to it’s users stating: As a Moneybookers customer, you already know you are the most important part of our business. We always make sure you receive the safest service. For this reason we have stopped accepting deposits made to Full Tilt Poker.
There are extraordinary circumstances behind this situation which are beyond our control. We will not comment on these, just take appropriate action that protects our customers.

Alderney suspends Full Tilt Poker’s operating licence

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BREAKING NEWS: The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has suspended the licences for Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt is required to suspend all operations from within the jurisdiction immediately.

The AGCC said in a statement this morning: “The decision to suspend these licenses follows a special investigation prompted by the indictments unsealed by US Attorney General’s Office in the Southern District of New York on 15th April 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation.”

From what we are being told the Full Tilt Poker software does not open and for now at least they are closed. There has been no official announcement by Full Tilt Poker.

We’ll have more on this developing situation when we get more details.


AGCC’s official announcement:

In the matters of:-

Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has today issued Hearing Notices under Regulation 46 of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009 to the above named companies who collectively trade as FULL TILT POKER.

In addition, AGCC has issued Suspension Notices under Regulation 47 of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009 to the above named companies requiring them to immediately suspend operations.

The above named companies must, until the Suspension Notices are cancelled or the Commissioners of AGCC have reached a determination at the conclusion of the hearing convened in accordance with Regulation 46 of the Alderney eGambling Regulations, 2009 cease to exercise their eGambling licenses, which means that these licensees must from today cease to:-

Register new customers;

Accept deposits from existing customers;

Allow existing customers to withdraw funds that are held in their accounts; and

Permit customers to participate in any form of poker game play or gambling

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission will hear the matters contained in the Hearing Notices at a Regulatory Hearing which will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday 26th July, 2011 at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ. In the event that there is a change to these details this notice will be amended.

André Wilsenach (Executive Director) Alderney Gambling Control Commission Alderney, Channel Islands
29th June, 2011


The Alderney Gambling Control Commission will hear the matters contained in the Hearing Notices at a Regulatory Hearing which will commence at 10.00am on Tuesday 26th July, 2011 at the Victoria Park Plaza Hotel, 239 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1EQ. In the event that there is a change to these details this notice will be amended.
André Wilsenach (Executive Director)
Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Alderney, Channel Islands
29th June, 2011