FTP and GBT Agree on Assets; DOJ Next in the Queue

December 15, 2011 - 10:41 AM EDT
By

Subject: Poker can now confirm that Full Tilt Poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie have executed an agreement to further the transfer of FTP’s assets to GBT. This agreement was necessary to pave the way for the US Department of Justice to take possession of the assets voluntarily being forfeited by Full Tilt.

This was the next step in the complicated process of transferring Full Tilt assets (by way of the US Department of Justice) to Groupe Bernard Tapie. It follows the November 17th agreement between DOJ and GBT that allows GBT to purchase forfeited FTP assets from the DOJ, likely via the Asset Forfeiture Fund, for an agreed-upon price of $80 million.  In return, GBT also agreed to repay or otherwise make whole non-US players, who are owed over $150 million. The DOJ has agreed to dismiss the civil complaints for forfeiture against the FTP companies when and if the forfeiture of the assets is complete.  The DOJ would then be responsible for Full Tilt’s liability to US players, which is also estimated to be about $150 million.1

Multiple sources report that Full Tilt’s ownership held a vote on this agreement, and owners representing a majority of shares agreed to the deal. Any current owners that are interested in receiving equity in the new company will be required to purchase minimal shares at an agreed-upon price. Such equity will always remain passive, with no managerial control, or voting privileges. The board of directors will not be eligible to participate.

Sources have confirmed that Laurent Tapie appeared personally in Dublin today and spoke to the employees about the hurdles already jumped and those still ahead.

The next key step will be for the actual forfeiture(s) to the DOJ, and the DOJ’s dismissal of the civil charges against the FTP companies.2 It is believed that these steps will take place shortly.

Attorneys for both GBT and FTP offered no comments at this time.

Subject: Poker will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Edited on 12/15/2011 10:51 AM EST: Corrected minor typos.
Edited on 12/15/2011 3:28 PM EST: Numerous minor changes.

Footnotes

  1. These numbers have come from many sources, though they are only estimates. For example, the DOJ’s amended civil complaint uses these numbers.
  2. Note that this proposed dismissal of civil charges against the FTP companies does not include dismissal of charges against the individuals named in either the civil or criminal complaint.

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51 Responses to FTP and GBT Agree on Assets; DOJ Next in the Queue

  1. Full Guilt Poker
    December 15, 2011 at 10:50 AM EDT

    fullguiltpoker.com I WILL BELIEVE IT WHEN I SEE IT!!! UNTIL THEN I’M WEARING MY FULL GUILT POKER SHIRT WITH PRIDE!!!

    • Sean
      December 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM EDT

      Wondering what’s taking so long with the update in recent USA Online Gaming Laws being ruled as dinosaurs that no longer applied. The future seems sunny for online poker in 2012. One Time!

  2. jimsbets
    December 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM EDT

    Where will the rest of the money come from to pay back U.S. players? Are they using seized funds to cover the 70 million difference?

    • Drew
      December 15, 2011 at 1:09 PM EDT

      I would like to know this as well. I doubt the Board of Directors or the DoJ is going to or even will be able to cough up 70 million or whatever it is to make players whole.

      • reemas
        December 15, 2011 at 2:37 PM EDT

        was about to ask this when i saw these comments. what amount of funds does the DOJ actually have in it’s possession? and how many $12 cookies will they buy first?

      • SwordFish
        December 17, 2011 at 9:50 PM EDT

        I find it difficult to believe that the DoJ would strike a deal that pays the ROW players in full and forces American players to settle for a percentage of what is owed. They must already have that money available somewhere.

        Of course, we all know anything is possible with the DOJ.

        • aber
          December 19, 2011 at 4:25 PM EDT

          Usa players where playing againist their country law. European players lost their money without reason, because Usa DOJ wanted his share (taxes) of the full tilt profits.

          • Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
            December 19, 2011 at 7:50 PM EDT

            It is simply not the case that the DOJ seizures caused this. The Black Friday seizures amounted to approximately $40 million. Meanwhile, the owners of FTP continued to pay themselves ~$10M/month (totalling ~$440M) of players’ funds, continued to pay their friends and gambling partners outrageous salaries from player funds, and extended over a hundred million dollars of player funds in credit to players without telling them about it. The events of Black Friday accelerated the process, but Full Tilt was unable to pay its players because the owners of FTP ran the company incredibly stupid and paid themselves and their friends salaries from player funds because the actual amount that they were making didn’t live up to their dreams.

          • Richard Armstrong
            December 21, 2011 at 8:23 PM EDT

            Actually, playing from the US wasn’t illegal; funding with a credit card was. Some of us, myself included, funded prior to the enactment of the law and now are in the lurch when no crime was committed.

    • Diamond Flush
      December 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM EDT

      That would be the assumption, we just do not have details yet.

  3. dtwhitehouse
    December 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM EDT

    appears to be a logical step in the process. still leary of the process of the doj paying american players. great job as always noah and company. you guys got my vote on bluff mag.

    • Diamond Flush
      December 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM EDT

      Very nice, thank you :)

  4. Remco
    December 15, 2011 at 11:59 AM EDT

    Rolex here I come.

  5. Marty laughlin
    December 15, 2011 at 1:34 PM EDT

    Noah, can you give some more insight into how this affects US players? Any idea how or when the DOJ will pay US players?

    • David
      December 15, 2011 at 3:06 PM EDT

      This was written by Diamond Flush

      • Diamond Flush
        December 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM EDT

        It’s ok, we can answer for each other. We just don’t have formal details that are public as of yet.

  6. Daniel
    December 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM EDT

    what about americans who have moved and want to continue to play on FTP? It sounds like we cant just regain our balances

    • Bo
      December 18, 2011 at 11:58 AM EDT

      Why would anyone want to play on ftp? PLAY ON STARS

      • TAC
        December 19, 2011 at 12:03 AM EDT

        Stars is probably one of them most boring places to play poker. Full of morons and instant callers who get lucky all the time. Only good thing about their site is the customer support which responds to you quick.

      • rakalaka
        December 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM EDT

        STARS dont have rakeback, hopefully Tilt will still offer it ..

  7. Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
    December 15, 2011 at 4:06 PM EDT

    As should be clearly evident from the comments on our articles, we almost never delete comments.

    One exception is when people repeatedly post the same opinion from different screen names to make it appear as though their opinion is widely held. If you do this, your comments will be deleted.

  8. ryan
    December 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM EDT

    If GBT can pull this off they are getting great deal. They get all the player accounts and contact info, they get the software, they get rid of the idiots who previously managed full-tilt (not to mention all the ridiculously unprofitable rake back deals they had with pros), and they can end all the back channel deal making and profit stealing that crippled Full Tilt in the first place.

    As a US player on Full Tilt, this still kinda sucks. Non-US players get their money back quickly from a private entity, while US players will have to jump through several hoops and trust that the gov’t will give us back our funds. I imagine that process will take forever and that we won’t be made whole like non-US players.

  9. Ilir
    December 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM EDT

    Again, as Daniel mentioned above what will happen with american players who’ve moved out and would most likely still play on FTP? I’d appreciate if Noah or Diamond Flush can shed some light into this if they have any sort of insight into the matter.

    • Noah Stephens-Davidowitz
      December 15, 2011 at 5:03 PM EDT

      Unfortunately, we just don’t know right now.

  10. sam
    December 16, 2011 at 3:00 AM EDT

    Once the DOJ passes all claims through the IRS, I doubt there will be much left to pay out. I mean has everyone been paying their taxes on those winnings for the past 10 years?

  11. John Boss
    December 16, 2011 at 3:05 PM EDT

    Bernard Tapie was sent to jail in 1995: complicity of corruption and surbonation of witnesses. In 1993 he was accused fixing football matches ( soccer )
    lolol good luck to all the donkeys who will give him their cash.

  12. Ben Mazarian
    December 16, 2011 at 4:35 PM EDT

    Diamond Flush,

    Thanks for the great work. Do you have any details regarding Cereus and their liquidation? I believe there is a DOJ deadline in early January, although I’m not sure of the specifics.

    • HitShappens
      December 16, 2011 at 6:44 PM EDT

      Great Question. I just assumed that Cereus was completely crippled and had nothing to give back to players. MAYBE literally pennies on the dollar…*hurl*

  13. Jeremy
    December 16, 2011 at 4:42 PM EDT

    One of the few entities that I trust less than FTP is the USGov…

  14. MIKE
    December 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM EDT

    I BEEN WAITING FOR MY MONEY TO LONG, FACE US PLAYERS WILL BE SCREWED//////////

  15. MARTY THE CRUSHER FROM NJ
    December 20, 2011 at 2:00 PM EDT

    OWNER OF ABOSULTE POKER PLEADS GUILTY IN NEW YORK FEDERAL COURT OF SEVERAL FRAUD VIOLATIONS.

  16. Karl Essex
    December 22, 2011 at 5:13 PM EDT

    why should we believe those unnamed sources?
    aren’t that the same sources that told us our money was safe and secure?

  17. ufuckedeveryoneuassholes
    December 24, 2011 at 2:25 AM EDT

    this is just more bs from the assholes they are gonna fuck u till they die

  18. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    December 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM EDT

    The Bernard Tapie deal is about to collapse but another suitor has been found who may or may not save the day but we are all going to be back to step 2 of a 100 step process

  19. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    December 29, 2011 at 6:38 PM EDT

    Tapie just doesnt want to pay what is necessary to relaunch and save Full Tilt Poker.- what a complete waste of another 3 months and when is someone going to start locking up these thieves that stole all the player money.

  20. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 2, 2012 at 9:28 AM EDT

    If the Tapie negotiations are going so well why are the Full Till Board now talking with other parties about being bought out and salvaged?

    • jimsbets
      January 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM EDT

      Stop posting

  21. Sean
    January 10, 2012 at 5:32 PM EDT

    Almost been a month since the last update….The most concerning fact is that the DOJ hasn’t mentioned a word about the asset acquisition. You’d think FTP would be trying to build back a player base by keeping its potential customers inline with recent developments and projections.

  22. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 11, 2012 at 2:31 AM EDT

    One busto online poker ncompany (FTP) available for sale for around $150M in player liabilities + $80M DoJ costs + $20M+ relaunch costs

    Previous applicants including French and Lebanese time wasters need not apply

    Shame the best part of a year has been wasted giving us all false hope

  23. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM EDT

    Considering that any new launch of the site will be heavily dependent on returning players this extended silence has to demonstrate all is not well with any potentially successful takeover bid by Tapie Group. They may have desired it but after all this time they have been wanting at the 11th hour and it can only be a short while before confirmation of this dead deal is announced.

    A more typical scenario would be one where a statement is released along the lines of “Negotiations are ongoing and we anticipate having a relaunch within the next 3 months” or something similar from the Tapie camp.

    Unfortunately with the absoence of any statemenst whether vague or specific regarding a relaunch date it can only be concluded that a finalised deal is a very long way off still or that this is a dead deal as for players to return en masse they need to be given every confidence and reassurance that negotiations are ongoing and still moving forward.

    RIP Tapie/FTP deal

  24. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 13, 2012 at 6:41 PM EDT

    STOP PRESS

    Apparently Tapie has managed to raise the necessary money at the last minute and a fnalized deal will be announced within the next five days.

    Show me the money is now a realistic proposition.

  25. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 16, 2012 at 8:20 AM EDT

    Sincerest apologies but apparently Tapie does NOT have the money to repay players so unless he finds it very soon this deal is DEAD as they need to confirm he is a timewaster just like the last guy and not keep giving this false hope of something good happening and move on to the next potential buyer who will also no doubt conclude the company isnt worth saving.

    Lets hope all those Full Tilt thieves rot in hell because istr they stated that Tapie definitely had the funds but this was a complete lie.

  26. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 17, 2012 at 3:12 AM EDT

    The Tapie one outer has turned into a zero outer

  27. Hey Dumbass Troll
    January 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM EDT

    No one thinks your comments are witty or worthy of any merit.

  28. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 20, 2012 at 7:09 PM EDT

    Finally Tapie Jnr has persuaded Tapie Snr to give him the money to complete the FTP deal

    Now all we need do is wait and see if he really has accepted that he has to take on the full responsibilty of repaying the Rest of World players in full or whether he reverts to trying to short change them in order to save money but it looks like we now have real light at the end of this tunnel.

    The old FTP scum can now go rot in hell for the pain and suffering they have inflicted on their innocent victims

  29. whipEr
    January 21, 2012 at 9:12 PM EDT

    whats your source realist?

  30. Realist Who Knows Stuff
    January 22, 2012 at 4:13 AM EDT

    Tapies Accountants are my source.

    Its a case of the son triyng to impress the father but he hasnt a clue about the poker business and imo he is going to lose his money on this investment but who cares as long as players get their money back.

    The main problem is he is back to trying to pay as little as possible to the Rest of World Players which will kill off confidence in any new FTP by trying to discourage them from making 100% withdrawals.

    Only surprising thing is why the FTP owners arent having to contribute more to the players refunds as they are the ones in possession of the player money and Tapie hasnt stolen it but is expected to make good on the stolen money.

    Also its quite astonishing that no administrators have yet to take control of the bankrupt FTP as this is what you expect to happen in cases of fraud but apparently they prefer to have given the various parties time to try and sort this out themselves before moving in as thry will do if this deal falls through

    Currently its about 85%+ to come to completion but a reopening is still some way off.

    Regardless it looks like there is going to be a resolution to all this that will be at least partially favourable to the players but I am not going to be able to make any further comment after this one.

    • Robert Dudek
      February 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM EDT

      Also its quite astonishing that no administrators have yet to take control of the bankrupt FTP as this is what you expect to happen in cases of fraud but apparently they prefer to have given the various parties time to try and sort this out themselves before moving in as thry will do if this deal falls through.

      Haven’t these assets been forfeited to the DoJ already?

  31. helldonker
    January 23, 2012 at 5:45 AM EDT

    shouldn’t there be news today?

    thought today is some deadline to respond to the civil complaint?

    or is there another extension of the extension?

  32. PokerStars
    June 30, 2012 at 7:09 AM EDT

    Im sure details on when the money will be refunded to players will spread like wildfire when it happens.

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