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?
Former United States Full Tilt Poker players have filed a class action lawsuit against just about anyone they could think of associated with Full Tilt Poker. Filed in the notorious U.S. District Court, South District of New York. the suit names four plaintiffs (Nick Hammer, Steve Segal, Todd Terry, and Robin Hougdahl). However, the suit states it is on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. The people and companies the suit is filed against is open-ended, and is worded in a way that more defendants can be named at a later date.
Some tidbits to mull over:
Some people specifically named in the suit; Raymond Bitar, Nelson Burtnick, Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Andy Bloch, Mike Matusow, Gus Hansen, Allen Cunningham, and Patrik Antonius.
For the legal geeks: “All Defendants, by virtue of their control and ownership of the Full Tilt Companies that comprise the Full Tilt umbrella, and/or their ownership stakes in the umbrella undertaking, are liable for conversion of Plaintiffs’ and class members’ monies and assets (the “property”) held in Plaintiffs’ and class members’ Full Tilt Player Accounts. The Player Accounts and the property therein are currently and wrongfully in the exclusive custody of the Defendants.”
“represent a nation-wide class of Full Tilt account holders residing in the United States . . . Plaintiffs bring suit to demand return of U.S. player funds and for damages . . . U.S. Players’ would never have suffered injury, but for the Defendants’ widespread scheme to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering in order to pad their own pockets.”
It remains to be seen what impact this will have on any possible sale/bailout. It seems odd that no one else seems to be reporting more details or rumors about who these “European Investors” are. The only information to come out is the LA Times story. Usually rumors swirl and secrets are never kept well in the poker business. The lack of new information seems to call into question what is actually going on with that whole story.
As always, Holdem Poker Chat is your source for any breaking news from the poker world. Check back often for development on this and any other news on your favorite game
Last night Team Phil Ivey released a press release via the popular social networking site Facebook which left many in the online poker world scratching their heads and wondering if his account had been hacked. The press release is real and Mr Phil Ivey will not be playing in the 2011 WSOP unless all US and international Full Tilt Poker players begin to get paid. Ivey also announced that he has filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker parent company Tiltware for $150 million seeking repayment of player funds.
Overnight Ivey took a lot of heat for his statement from organizations like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA). Bryan Spadaro, of the PPA has this to sat via twitter “Never lost more respect for a person from a Facebook post than what Phil Ivey did today. Nice way to see short term and backstab. #jumpship” Once again the PPA doesn’t get it and at this point never will. Holdem Poker Chat privately pulled all support for the PPA following their post Black Friday comments. Now we’re doing it publicly. This organization has run it’s course and has achieved nothing but give poker players false hope.
Shortly after Ivey’s release went viral his good friend and fellow Team full Tilt Pro Tom “durrrr” Dwan also hit twitter offering him a pat on the back by saying “Yo @philivey poker isn’t a sport… Rest of your statement is awesome though.” Dwan will be playing the WSOP, but he has also gone on record as saying that if US players do not get paid that he will give back 100% of the income he received from Full Tilt Poker.
Here is a full copy of Phil Ivey’s Press Release:
For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.
I am deeply disappointed and embarrassed that Full Tilt players have not been paid money they are owed. I am equally embarrassed that as a result many players cannot compete in tournaments and have suffered economic harm. I am not playing in the World Series of Poker as I do not believe it is fair that I compete when others cannot. I am doing everything I can to seek a solution to the problem as quickly as possible.
My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.
I whole heartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.
I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.
According to a report on eGaming Review, some Full Tilt Poker bank accounts have been unfrozen by the US Department of Justice to faciliate player paybacks. According to the report most of the funds seized on April 15th belonged to Full Tilt Poker which is something most in the poker community where beginning to figure out when Full Tilt couldn’t pay players. Over the last couple of weeks rumors had been going around that Full Tilt were trying to sell off part of the company in order to raise money to pay players in the US.
The Full Tilt source explained this resulted from players’ poker balances being credited with money held in bank accounts seized by authorities before Full Tilt itself had been made aware of the seizures. “Because of the broad-sweeping nature of the Black Friday seizures, you had a seizure combined with a backlog and this has resulted in millions which all of a sudden became owed,” the FTP source said.
“Normally Full Tilt would cover that and take that loss, but because all their banks got shut down there was no way of doing that until recently when the government agreed to unfreeze the [Bank of Ireland] account,” he said.
We hope that this means that players will soon get paid and be able to make it to Las Vegas for the WSOP which begins next week.
Full Tilt Poker is taking their live poker series to the Ukraine, with three newly scheduled tournaments offering up a total guaranteed prize pool of about $1 million. With the full support of the Ukranian Sport Poker Federation behind it, the inaugural Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series will take place July 24 – 31, September 18 – 25 and November 18 – 27 in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Buy-ins for these three events range from $1,500 to $2,500 but satellites are running now at Full Tilt Poker offering seats in these events for as little as nothing.
Freeroll satellite qualifiers into the Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series started on May 1, 2011 and run three times daily, at 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00 MSK. Each event’s player pool is capped at 1,000. From each of these events, the top 100 players will move on to a weekly freeroll final taking place every Thursday at 19:00 MSK. From each of these final round freerolls, 5 players will win seats in the next scheduled live event in Kiev.
Besides winning seats in these first-ever Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker Series events, satellite winners will also receive live poker lessons from Full Tilt pros Vitaly Lunkin and Nikolay Evdakov.
The first two events on the schedule have $1,500 buy-ins while event #3 is being considered the Grand Final of the inaugural Full Tilt Poker Russia and Ukraine Poker series and therefore has a $2,500 buy-in.
Full Tilt Poker is unable to accept ‘Real Money’ play from customers residing in the United States.
If I move outside the United States, can I play at Full Tilt Poker?
Yes. But your existing account and balance will not yet be available on logging in.
You will be required to provide sufficient proof of relocation, including your photo identification and proof of residency at your new address. You can then use non-US funds to play from outside the US. And, after return of your US funds, you will be able to use those funds as well from outside the US.
I am a US resident but am travelling overseas. Can I play at Full Tilt Poker while outside the US?
No. US residents are not permitted to play for real money at Full Tilt Poker.
Can I play at Full Tilt Poker through a VPN or similar workaround?
No. Players caught doing so are subject to having their account closed and funds forfeited.
Can I still play for play money?
Yes. You can still play at play money tables at Full Tilt Poker.com. However, you cannot enter any Freerolls.
Any new US players who wish to play for play money can open an account at Full Tilt Poker.net.
My Account Balance
When will I be able to withdraw my account balance?
Full Tilt Poker is diligently working on facilitating the withdrawal of funds for US Poker Players. This is our top priority and we’ll have a further update in the week commencing Monday, May 2nd.
Can I transfer my funds to another player outside of the US and have them withdraw it for me?
No, player transfers by US players are no longer permitted.
What will happen to my withdrawals that have already been requested?
We are diligently working to determine the status of any unprocessed withdrawals. Once confirmed we will return the funds to your Full Tilt account balance and contact you.
Tickets, Bonuses and Promotions
What will happen to my Ring Game Tickets, Tournament Tickets and T$?
All Ring Game Ticket balances will be converted to real money before your withdrawal. This includes any Ring Game Tickets that have expired since Friday, April 15th.
Any tickets purchased after Friday, April 15th, will be refunded in the currency they were purchased in.
All remaining unused tournament tickets and T$ will be converted to cash and added to your real-money balance.
What about my unclaimed bonuses?
Any purchased bonuses will have the unclaimed portion of the bonus refunded in the currency in which they were purchased.
How will my Black Card and Iron Man statuses be affected?
Your Black Card status (including your 500-day rolling average) and your Iron Man ‘continuing months’ will be maintained as of Friday, April 15th, should you be able to return to Full Tilt Poker in the future.
No player will be penalised for either of these promotions as a result of recent events.
What will happen to my Full Tilt Points, Iron Man Medals and Academy Points?
These are currently under review and details will be posted here when confirmed.
When will I receive my Take 2 promotion money?
You will be paid out on a pro-rated basis based on the number of days you played for the Take 2 promotion. The bonus money will be credited to your account shortly and will be available by the time you are able to withdraw.
What happens to any items I ordered from your store?
If the item has already shipped, then you should expect it to arrive shortly.
If the item has not shipped, then it has been placed on hold. Should we be unable to fulfil your order the FTPs will be refunded to your account.
Full Tilt Poker introduces Take 2. This painless promotion requires you to only opt into it. Take 2 is a cash ring game promotion. There are two parts to the promo. One side of the coin gives you double Full Tilt Points for playing either two standard ring games at the same time, or one Rush Poker game any time from April 08-April 17, 2011. The second part awards cash for playing multiple days. The qualifying is still the same, two standard rings or one Rush game, but the number of days played determines your cash. Play 5 of the 10 days and get $5 cash. If you play 9 of the 10 days you will receive an additional $20 cash for a $25 total. There is a certain number of points to get the double points and the “day” recorded.
How to Participate in Take 2
Follow these steps to participate in Take 2 and claim your cash and bonus points:
If you haven’t done so already, download Full Tilt Poker and set up an account.
Log in to Full Tilt Poker and click on the red Cashier button in the game lobby.
Click on the My Promotions box and then the Take 2 link.
This will lead you to your personal Take 2 page. Follow the instructions on this page – you must elect to participate in this promotion or you will not receive cash or double points for your play during Take 2
The Full Story from the proverbial Horses Mouth:
Take 2 at Full Tilt Poker to earn up to $25 AND double the Full Tilt Points that you’d normally receive for playing in your favorite ring games.
Running from Friday, April 8th to Sunday, April 17th, play at least two standard ring-game tables at the same time or any Rush Poker* table during Take 2 to receive double the Full Tilt Points. Play as often as you can during Take 2 and we’ll also reward you with up to $25 in cash, depending on how many days you play.
Earn up to $25 in Cash
The more you play during Take 2, the more you’ll earn. Earn at least five Take 2 bonus points on any five days during Take 2 to get $5 in cash. Do so on nine of the ten days to get an additional $20, for a total of $25:
Level 1: Play on any five days during Take 2 and receive $5
Level 2: Play on nine of the ten days during Take 2 and receive an additional $20, for a cumulative total of $25
Earn Double the Full Tilt Points
There are two ways to earn double the Full Tilt Points during Take 2:
Play TWO standard ring-game tables at the same time and receive double points at BOTH tables. For example, if you earn 60 points while playing on one table and 40 points while playing on the other, you’d normally receive 100 Full Tilt Points for your play. During Take 2, you’ll earn a total of 200 points – 100 points for your play and an additional 100 bonus points.
Play any table of Rush Poker* – the world’s fastest poker game – and receive double the points. For example, if you earn 100 points while playing at a Rush Poker* table during Take 2, you’ll get an additional 100 bonus points for a total of 200 Full Tilt Points. Rush Poker* is the fastest way to earn double points during Take 2.
You can use your bonus points to get some great gear from the Full Tilt Poker Store, including plasma TVs, iPods, custom Full Tilt Poker jerseys and more. You can also use your points to enter special Full Tilt Points Sit & Gos and Multi-Table Tournaments.
FullTiltPoker has launched a wide range of online qualifier tournaments offering $12K prize packages to the 2011 World Series of Poker* Main Event – including eligibility for the $10 Million Main Event Mania bonus.
Winners of FullTiltPoker’s $12K Main Event Prize Packages receive more than just their buy-in to poker’s most prestigious event. They also receive $2,000 in spending money and gain access to the exclusive Pro’s Choice suite, where they will get the opportunity to meet members of Team Full Tilt Poker and other FullTiltPoker pros.
In addition, any player who wins their 2011 Main Event seat at FullTiltPoker is eligible for the following benefits:
– A massive $10 Million Main Event Mania bonus if they go on to win the Main Event
– A free seat at the 2012 WSOP* Main Event if they finish in the money at this year’s Main Event
– Five days free accommodation at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas during the Main Event
Players can chose from a diverse range of WSOP* Qualifier Tournaments running now through June 27th. Options include ‘The $1 Main Event Seat’, up to ‘$1K Thursday Direct Qualifiers’. Players can also take part in the popular ‘Steps to the Main Event’, which starts at just $3.30.
This year’s WSOP* Main Event kicks off on July 7th in Las Vegas, and Prize Package winners will strive for a repeat of last year’s success, when seven of the nine players at the Main Event final table were sponsored by FullTiltPoker.
*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Harrah’s License Company, LLC (“Harrahs”). Harrah’s does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with FullTiltPoker.com or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.