Subject: Poker has heard from numerous sources that Jack Binion is in advanced talks with Full Tilt Poker about potentially investing in the poker site.
Full Tilt has failed to repay US players since some of its executives and payment processors were indicted on April 15th. After Black Friday, many have speculated that Full Tilt simply did not have the money to repay US players. The site has confirmed in public statements that it is attempting to raise capital and later mentioned “pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets.” It is not clear whether the talks with Binion are the ones referred to in that statement or whether this deal would in fact lead to player refunds were it to be finalized.
Binion, a long-time staple of the casino industry, was reportedly in Ireland over the last week meeting with Full Tilt executives about possibly purchasing a significant stake in the poker site. Phil Ivey was reportedly present at at least some of his meetings, and our sources all stressed that his presence was important to Binion. We reported Friday that Ivey was in Ireland meeting with Full Tilt executives, and that their relationship seemed much improved. Our sources say that Mr. Ivey appears to have been placated by the potential deal.1 Sources think that the parties are close to reaching a deal.
Jack Binion has worked in the casino industry for over forty years, and he founded the World Series of Poker. His father, Benny Binion, founded Binion’s Horseshoe casino. Jack sold almost all of his stake in the Horseshoe in 1998, after long legal battles with his fellow shareholders. He has since been involved in many enterprises throughout the gaming world, including founding Jack Binion’s World Poker Open and acting as chairman of Wynn International, where he was in charge of Wynn Macau.
Since Black Friday, Subject: Poker has learned of numerous instances of mismanagement at FTP, including a $60 million deposit shortfall, a dispute with Moneybookers, and instances that we have yet to make public. We have also heard many rumors of planned investments in the company, but this is the first time that we heard such a story from multiple independent sources.
Subject: Poker has been hearing a lot from sources close to Full Tilt Poker over the past few days, and we will continue to try to confirm or disprove what we have heard and to report to our readers as soon as we can.
Edited on 6/27/2011 12:45 AM EST: Changed “failures” to “instances of mismanagement” in the second-to-last paragraph plus a few minor changes.
Edited on 6/27/2011 1:54 AM EST: Changed “failed to repay player” to “failed to repay US players.” Thanks to Nat Arem.
Edited on 6/27/2011 12:04 PM EST: Removed mention of specifics of Benny Binion’s past in footnote.
Edited on 6/27/2011 5:56 PM EST: Changed “assumed owner of the company” to “presumed part owner…”
- Phil Ivey, a Full Tilt Poker sponsored pro and presumed part owner of the company, filed a lawsuit on June 1st against the poker site, and has been engaged in a very heated public dispute with his business partners. Tiltware, one of the companies behind Full Tilt Poker, went so far as to accuse Ivey of attempting “to thwart pending deals” with his lawsuit. ↩