The Poker Players Alliance’s Executive Director John Pappas suggested that the amount of player funds withheld because of the U.S. Department of Justice’s actions against several top poker sites on April 15, 2011 (or what has been dubbed Black Friday) might run an estimated $100,000,000 to $500,000,000. As it turns out, if he’s not right then he’s underestimating, as the lower of those two amounts, $100 million, is the amount of money Poker Stars announced last Friday having already returned to players, and that doesn’t even take care of all of it.
And that’s just one site. Full Tilt Poker has yet to start returning player funds, as does Absolute Poker, even though both sites have come out saying they will soon, and that they have successfully negotiated a way with the US Justice Department to do so. Players are skeptical about Absolute Poker’s abilities to follow through on this promise, however, as Blanca Gaming still hasn’t convinced its community that it’s not considering filing for bankruptcy.
Full Tilt Poker issued a public explanation of its delay, albeit over one of its player forums via an vaguely identified representative, which sat as no more than an excuse with many players who are watching their PokerStars counterparts starting to get their monies back. So in addition to being a legal nightmare for Full Tilt Poker, this could turn into a PR nightmare for them as well. At least Poker Stars is trying to stay on top of that end of things while other parts of their business fall apart (or at least under scrutiny).