BREAKING: GBT and DOJ Strike Deal, FTP Sale Pending

November 1, 2011 - 2:26 PM EDT

After weeks of waiting, Subject: Poker can confirm that Groupe Bernard Tapie and the US Department of Justice have come to terms that allow GBT’s acquisition of Full Tilt Poker to continue. If FTP’s current shareholders agree to acquisition of their company, this deal with the DOJ will provide for payment of all players worldwide.

Multiple sources have confirmed to S:P that the following email went out this morning to Tiltware shareholders from Ray Bitar:

Dear members,

I am pleased to announce that today the Department of Justice and Groupe Bernard Tapie have reached an agreement in principle regarding the acquisition of the companies comprising FullTiltPoker. My understanding is the deal provides that in exchange for an agreed upon payment by GBT, and a GBT commitment to assume responsibility for payment of ROW players, DoJ will reimburse US players and settle the outstanding civil litigation with the companies comprising FTP. Beyond these conditions, issues like the time frame and process for repayment of players remain unclear at this point and time.

With DoJ’s consent now in hand, GBT may now proceed to finalize an agreement to acquire the companies or assets that comprise FTP.  That agreement will very likely address the status of your shares or interests in the successor company. When I receive that agreement, I will coordinate with our attorneys to ensure  the terms of that proposed agreement will be shared with the membership and voted on.


Final details are still being worked out between GBT and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Subject: Poker hopes to be able to report the full terms of the deal in the coming days. Once this is complete, Groupe Bernard Tapie will be able to propose a deal to acquire Full Tilt Poker directly to its shareholders. Members representing two thirds of ownership interest must vote to approve any such deal.

Subject: Poker has confirmed from numerous sources that, if shareholders agree to GBT’s proposal, Groupe Bernard Tapie will assume responsibility of Full Tilt’s debt to non-US players and the US DOJ will set up a fund to repay US players. We do not know at this time what the timeline for such repayment will be.

If current FTP shareholders agree to the sale, GBT can move on to licensing, making the new company one step closer to launch.1

Again, Subject: Poker is actively working to bring our readers the full details of the deal, and we will publish what we know as soon as possible. We typically do not publish such information with so little detail, but we felt that this situation warranted fast publication.


  1. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission, former regulatory body of Full Tilt, said in its press release announcing the revocation of FTP’s licenses “It is important to note that the revocation of FTP’s licences does not, as has been suggested, prevent a reactivation of the business under new ownership and management.” So, GBT may acquire a license from Alderney.

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52 Responses to BREAKING: GBT and DOJ Strike Deal, FTP Sale Pending

  1. boner!
    November 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM EDT

    Thanks Diamond for the information!

  2. stijas
    November 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM EDT

    ONE TIME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Lea
    November 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM EDT


  4. Jerry
    November 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM EDT

    Can’t thank you guys enough for all the hard work you put into this. You guys should all be very proud of yourselves. Well done fellas!

    • Jordan
      November 1, 2011 at 3:24 PM EDT

      Couldn’t agree more!

  5. Manuela
    November 1, 2011 at 3:12 PM EDT


  6. JImmy Jax
    November 1, 2011 at 3:24 PM EDT

    Thanks to Noah and Co. for all your tireless work on this matter, glad to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel :)

  7. Phil
    November 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM EDT

    ONE Time!!! Pray to god for weeks, he might be real :)

  8. I like to spork it spork it
    November 1, 2011 at 4:14 PM EDT

    Ah man, I already used my one time on something stupid, and clearly not memorable.

    Because I would’ve remembered.

  9. Red Tank
    November 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM EDT

    Once funds are mobilized, heed my advice and avoid Red Tank at anything resembling 2/4 PLO.

  10. pokerbandit22
    November 1, 2011 at 4:37 PM EDT

    thank you very much Groupe Bernard.
    now if we can just go back to playing on fulltilt and get off these
    that are a wast of time being on.
    and lets hope that there will not be any changes to fultiltpoker but it stays as it was.
    with just new group working it.

  11. anthony
    November 1, 2011 at 4:45 PM EDT

    ONE TIME!!!

  12. Nick
    November 1, 2011 at 5:10 PM EDT

    Action won’t be the same on any of the sites until U.S. players are allowed to play. They make up a big part of the database.

  13. Taylor
    November 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM EDT

    What are the chances our points and other non-cash earnings are converted to cash? Or as a second-best, will our accounts stay in-tact for the future so we can reaccess our points at a (much) later time?

    • Poker Expats
      November 2, 2011 at 4:04 AM EDT

      I’m pretty sure American players located in the US will have to cash out their entire balance all at once, including non-cash earnings, as was done when Stars refunded US players back in April.

  14. Jonemann
    November 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM EDT

    What a sweat. These news that keep coming is like beeing allin and seeing one card roll over the board at the time, and my equity in the hand changing for every card (If I win, I get my money back, if not, well). I think this is cause to believe my equity in the hand went up. I think we are around the the third flop card or possibly closer to the turn card now. Hopefully the river will be “deal signed, players getting paid”, and not, “deal definetively not gonna happen”, or some other posponement.

  15. Ken
    November 1, 2011 at 6:14 PM EDT

    It looks like this deal depend tremendously on the “FTP shareholders agree to the sale, GBT can move on to licensing, making the new company one step closer to launch.” Let’s go FTP shareholders! This is a +EV deal.

  16. Drew
    November 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM EDT

    Great work S:P! I would donate now but I am poor (largely due to this FTP fiasco), however if/when my balance is returned to my bank account expect a token of gratitude for all the work and hours you have put in since day 1.

    I would assume the shareholders agreeing to this is essentially a formality. The real question IMO is how the DoJ will facilitate the payout. Will it be through a processor or FTP or…?

    In any case, cheers and all the best to us all!

  17. hittheriver
    November 1, 2011 at 6:33 PM EDT

    hope you guys don’t forget all the pending withdrawals.

    move on quickly now, people already recruited specialists in money claw-back agendas and can hardly stop these people to begin their job. and trust me you don’t want these people to begin their job.

    one time – pay up – and see you at the tables

  18. DJRiccoLaw
    November 1, 2011 at 6:41 PM EDT

    Superb work Diamond ,, top drawer sir !!!
    all the good karma that will come flooding back to you …. you did one heck of a job
    also much thanks to Noah

    fair play guys
    Go n-eíri an botháir libh
    Ás Éire

    uair amháin
    one time from Ireland!!

  19. goldeneye
    November 1, 2011 at 6:54 PM EDT

    flawless site a lesson of how to write news to all other sites in all other domains.

  20. thasquirrel
    November 1, 2011 at 7:21 PM EDT

    yes want to thank subject poker allot,..
    best pokernews site.
    Can u maybe post your stars nickname on teh site or something bc i dont have paypall or a credit card,..

    • Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
      November 1, 2011 at 11:45 PM EDT

      Thanks so much for offering to donate. We can’t take Stars money, unfortunately, but if you e-mail us at, we’ll probably be able to figure something out.

      It would likely be easier to have a friend donate for you, though. Unfortunately, moving money to Americans in the poker world got a lot harder after Black Friday.

  21. richard goesinya
    November 1, 2011 at 7:51 PM EDT

    getting our money back from the US govt….dont see that happening anytime soon…but ill wait

  22. Durette's syndrom
    November 1, 2011 at 9:09 PM EDT

    Will I still get my rush bonus?

  23. K_Syrah
    November 1, 2011 at 11:18 PM EDT


  24. Chappie
    November 1, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

    Is a full reimbursement from the DOJ likely? I’m thinking it’s not. The lest S:P article indicated that the DOJ had seized far less money than we thought, and I can’t imagine they just set all that money aside, just in case they might want to pay out US citizens at some point in the future. Obviously this is an awesome step forward for everyone who had money stolen, but what percentage are we really likely to get?

    • Owjadi
      November 2, 2011 at 2:52 AM EDT

      Good point…and unfortunately this email is from Ray Bitar. Until there is some more reliable information from the DoJ or GBT, take it with a grain of salt.

      Anyone keeping informed can only wonder at the administrative and accounting nightmare to accomplish what Ray Bitar glibly sums up in a few words in the email. Even without mentioning the word ‘ponzi’, it’s certain that FTP had some very unusual accounting standards and business practices. These will need to be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

      Still, it’s definitely positive news and good reporting by Subject: Poker

      • Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
        November 2, 2011 at 1:28 PM EDT

        We confirmed this story independently of Ray Bitar’s e-mail.

  25. MIKE
    November 2, 2011 at 12:11 AM EDT


  26. Swamp donkey
    November 2, 2011 at 3:02 AM EDT

    That is my question, do they have our info,? Is it goin out by check? Getting deposited to the account we registered w full tilt? What if those accounts have been since closed? I’m owed over 4k, what percentage of that will I receive? Does the doj have the right to take a percentage?

  27. Michael
    November 2, 2011 at 8:03 AM EDT

    Time to get PAID! Hoping they can get it done before the holidays, if so my fam will have a hell of a christmas:)

  28. lee
    November 2, 2011 at 8:08 AM EDT

    Good to hear. If it all comes through, hopefully my $2k check with NSF stamped acrossed it is still on record along with my remainning balance. Not life changing dollars, but will look much better in my bank account where it belongs!

  29. OldFart
    November 2, 2011 at 9:43 AM EDT

    Hi guys
    I don’t mean to piss on your parade – but did you know that Bernard Tapie has been to jail for matchfixing and has been accused of tax evation? I would’t get my hops too high up, if i was you.
    I’m pretty amazed that he is allowed to be associated with gambling at all.

    • AfterBroadway
      November 2, 2011 at 2:28 PM EDT

      Yep, makes you wonder if FTP is even going to change a little bit. I’d be shocked if it DID act more responsibly. I loved playing on FT for a while there, but after this crap…I just don’t know.

  30. czechmater
    November 2, 2011 at 9:57 AM EDT

    I’m a shareholder…i’m gonna block this until we get a better deal…j/k…never used my one time, so i guess i’ll use it now…one time!

  31. hyena
    November 2, 2011 at 10:29 AM EDT

    Any idea how much the fine is. They will still need to borrow the money to do thedeal and the higher the fine the less likely that is to hapen

  32. Robert Dudek
    November 2, 2011 at 2:53 PM EDT

    Someone should start a derivative futures market: FTP players paid in full by end of 2012, yes or no.

    • Don't Trust FT
      November 2, 2011 at 9:25 PM EDT

      I’d snap call 20cents on the dollar. This is not going to end well. And I ask again, where is the millions of USD that Dwan, Ivey, and other FT “pros” borrowed from player funds?

    November 2, 2011 at 5:02 PM EDT


  34. brazilpokerpro
    November 2, 2011 at 11:41 PM EDT


  35. John
    November 3, 2011 at 6:20 AM EDT

    Erm Google his name then think again, he’s as corrupt as FTP

  36. GiMac
    November 3, 2011 at 8:22 PM EDT

    I wouldn’t hold your breath guys. Isn’t Groupe Tapie the company that was formed by Bernard Tapie, the former chairman of Marseille football club? You know the one that was caught cheating and paying off officials in the champions league? OMG poor ftp players out of the frying pan and into the FEU!!! lmao

  37. MIKE
    November 4, 2011 at 11:01 PM EDT

    This stuff is all crap, the deal has been struck, dont worry about Groupe, and bernard, it is now the DOJ you should worry about, what percentage will they pay us, then how much of the left over money will be taxed, they are in this for a reason, were not the reason, the money in are accounts is.TIME TO WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. rakalaka
    November 5, 2011 at 2:24 AM EDT

    So, if and when FTP comes back to life (operational), lets say in Jan 2002, any1 thinks they will still offer rakeback and their black card promotion ?

  39. duke
    November 7, 2011 at 4:06 PM EDT

    Time to ask for compensation for all the waiting. Possibly some bonus $ or free FT invitational tourni for all active players prior to the shutdown.

    November 8, 2011 at 10:07 AM EDT


  41. pchamp
    November 8, 2011 at 7:39 PM EDT

    i just want my 19k. i wonder how much doj will deduct.

  42. AfterBroadway
    November 10, 2011 at 1:45 AM EDT

    I know what this site is for, but come on, nothing about the WSOP? Couldn’t even congratulate the guy or something?

  43. Hash
    November 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM EDT

    Great article but don’t you think that the title of the article is a little misleading? The ‘GBT and DOJ Strike Deal’. You mention later that ‘Final details are still being worked out’ and from what I understand from other news sources, the deal between DOJ and GBT hasn’t been finalised as such,

    • nuno21nt
      November 17, 2011 at 6:36 PM EDT

      Looks like S:P were way ahead when they chose the title for this article. Agreement was just signed.

  44. Leah Burton
    December 21, 2011 at 3:51 PM EDT

    Hoping that full tilt poker gets back up,,I play only for play money chips and enjoyed the game so much,,,when your bored it was fun to play and meet other players from all over……..get fulltilt poker back up soon,,,I never play for real money so comon its time to get back on to play…

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