Full Tilt Poker gets investors to pony up $150 million to repay players, but site still shut down
According to the Los Angeles Times, Full Tilt Poker and its Irish parent company, Pocket Kings, reportedly reached a deal with European investors June 30 to begin repaying online players some of the $150 million that were in their accounts when the web site was seized by the FBI April 15.
The U.S. government also is seeking to recover $3 billion from Full Tilt, PokerStars and Absolute Poker as part of the indictment unsealed by the Department of Justice in the Southern District of New York in April.
PokerStars had paid back an estimated $120 million to its players.
Scandal-plagued Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet, not surprisingly, has not refunded a nickel.
Full Tilt professional and partial owner, Phil Ivey, flew to Ireland last week to participate in the negotiations.
Ivey, who filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker owner, Tiltware LLC, and boycotted the World Series of Poker being held in Las Vegas because of the lack of progress in paying back players in the aftermath of ‘Black Friday,’ is expected to withdraw his lawsuit.
Ivey still has time to enter the WSOP Main Event, which is scheduled to begin July 7.
In review, here is the statement Ivey released June 2:
“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.”
California-based Tiltware was the first to slam Ivey’s motives, and they were not alone (check out Mike “The Mouth” Matusow’s comments below).
Tiltware contends Ivey owes the company millions and is merely looking for a way to get that debt relieved.
Here is Tiltware’s statement in full:
“Contrary to his sanctimonious public statements, Phil Ivey’s meritless lawsuit is about helping just one player – himself. In an effort to further enrich himself at the expense of others, Mr. Ivey appears to have timed his lawsuit to thwart pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets. In fact, Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site. Tiltware doubts Mr. Ivey’s frivolous and self-serving lawsuit will ever get to court. But if it does, the company looks forward to presenting facts demonstrating that Mr. Ivey is putting his own narrow financial interests ahead of the players he professes to help.”
Fellow Full Tilt pro Matusow agreed with his (former?) bosses, and had this to say about Ivey’s alleged motives during the “Hard Core Poker Show” June 3.
“People understand what’s going on. At first they didn’t get it, they all thought Phil Ivey was their hero, but now they realize he’s a fucking piece of shit. Phil Ivey doesn’t give a shit about you, me or anyone else. He is a cutthroat gambler and couldn’t care less.
Everybody can see right through it, the real reason behind the lawsuit is pretty obvious … I don’t want to get into it at all, but it’s a pretty self-centered act from a self-centered person who made anywhere between $50 million and $100 million over the past five years into his own pockets, so you know, good luck to him. He’s trying to take people down with him.”
They don’t call him “The Mouth” for nothing, kids.
Even with the $150 million infusion of capital, Full Tilt is not out of the woods yet.
Wicked Chops Poker has all the details of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) decision to suspended Full Tilt’s gaming license, which has led to site being shutdown for “scheduled maintenance.”
FTP was still available to most players outside the United States, and for “play money” users in the states.
Wicked Chops posted part From the AGCC release:
“The decision to suspend these licenses follows a special investigation prompted by the indictments unsealed by US Attorney General’s Office in the Southern District of New York on 15 April 2011, during which grounds were found to indicate that these licensees and their business associates were operating contrary to Alderney legislation. The nature of the findings necessitated the taking of immediate action in the public interest.”