(OP Hijacked by NoahSD)
April 15th Black Friday
- The Department of Justice shuts down US operations of FTP, Pokerstars and UB.
- Pokerstars allows US players to cash out but Full Tilt Poker does not allow US players access to their funds. As reported by Pokeraddict.net
- The WSOP starts and a few team FTP pros showed like Allen Cunningham, John Juanda
and Erick Lindgren but notably absent were Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer.
- Phil Ivey sues Full Tilt poker
in an effort to get out of his non-compete clause. It was reported by Wicked Chops that Ivey was particularly upset because he had brought in an investor that would have got FTP out of their financial mess but the deal was nixed by Bitar and Lederer.
- It's reported Phil Ivey is in Dublin
meeting with FTP executives.
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspends FTP's gaming license
and in effect shuts FTP down.
- Phil Ivey voluntarily dismisses his lawsuit
- Todd terry files a class action
lawsuit against FTP. (this date is approximate. Sorry for not being sure of exact date)
- Poker News Daily reported that Phil Gordon was dismissed with prejudice
from Todd Terry's class action lawsuit against FTP. Phil Gordon's attorney claimed he didn't take part in the day to day operations of FTP.
- As reported by Pokernews there was a hearing between FTP and the AGCC to determine whether FTP's gaming license should continue to be suspended. It was supposed to be a public hearing but in private lawyers for FTP asked for an application to adjourn the meeting
until a later date which was granted. The new hearing date was set to be September 15th.
- Subjectpoker.com releases a statement talking about some of the financial dealings
between David Benyamine, Phil Ivey and FTP.
- Mike Matusow does an interview with Quad Jacks
and talks a bit about the FTP situation.
- As reported by Subject Poker the Kahnawake gaming commission agreed to renew FTP's secondary client provider authorization
- As reported by Stayonpoker.com a second class action lawsuit
against FTP has been filed by two Canadian players.
- FTP's silence is finally broken
when attorney Jeff Ifrah speaks out and gives some minor details about the FTP situation. Certain 2+2ers have spoken with him on the phone and been corresponding back and forth through emails with the attorney. Ifrah reported he was finally able to speak about the situation because an exclusivity agreement between a potential investor and FTP expired.
- FTP releases another statement
, including details about $115M they claim has been seized over the past two years, that there are indeed investors who are actively examining FTP for purchase, and that any deal will result in new management at FTP.
- FTP lawyer Jeff Ifrah and his firm files a motion
with the court asking to be relieved as attorneys for the defense due to an "unreasonable financial burden" on the firm.
- FTP releases another statement
which includes references to upcoming personnel cuts and that negotiations with investor(s) is ongoing.
- Scheduled hearing date between FTP and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission to determine whether FTP's gaming license will be renewed and allowing them to again service non-US based customers. On Sept. 5th, the hearing was announced for September 19th (a four day delay) due to logistical issues.
- Scheduled hearing began behind closed doors ("in camera") and was adjourned until the next day. Hearing resumed on the 20th. On the 20th, multiple news agencies broke the story that the DOJ had amended their civil complaint
to include charges against Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst in relation to running a "global Ponzi scheme". While FTP was originally told the hearing with AGCC would reconvene on the 22nd, on the 21st it was released that the hearing was concluded; FTP must now wait for the AGCC's decision.
- Mr. Ifrah
and poker news sites
revealed that there is a potential investor for FTP currently interested. The results of the AGCC hearing are not yet released.
- The AGCC releases their decision
- three of the four licenses for the corporations that make up FTP are revoked. Both FTP
and the DOJ
release statements after the decision is made public (thanks to vamoose).
- Poker Strategy report that Full Tilt Poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie Sign Acquisition Agreement.
'This agreement, which includes the repayment of Full Tilt Poker’s world-wide players in full, is subject to several conditions; the first of which is a favorable resolution with the United States Department of Justice. Discussions with the United States Department of Justice will begin immediately.'
- iGaming France Interview with Laurent Tapie
- 'Laurent Tapie says he believes in the Full Tilt project and has the funds to repay players, but admits there is “still a long way to go”
- Subject Poker addresses some of the confusion
surrounding the recent Acquisition Agreement, clarifying that GBT does indeed intend to buy a large majority of FTP and not 5-10% as reported by other news sites.
- Subject Poker reports that GBT Seeks to Preserve Assets
by appointing a Cheif Restructuring Officer who will in effect replace the current Board of Directors at FTP.
- Subject:Poker and other sites report that the US DOJ and the Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) reached an agreement
that will allow the sale of FTP to GBT. Full details are not released in this initial report, but an email from Bitar to Tiltware shareholders revealed that GBT will assume responsibility for non-US player accounts, while the DOJ will assume responsibility for US players.
- A signed deal between the DOJ and GBT
is announced. The terms of the deal state that FTP will surrender all assets to the US DOJ, who in turn will sell those assets to GBT for $80M USD. US players will need to petition the DOJ for reimbursement of their prior FTP accounts, while non-US players will be handled by GBT. Exact details on when and how payments to both sets of players are not yet available, nor has a date for the re-opening of FTP yet been disclosed. The deal must be approved by 2/3 majority of Tiltware shareholders in order to be approved. The deal also includes the DOJ receiving access to a European bank account worth approximately $40M, so the actual amount of capital GBT will need to transfer to the DOJ in order to purchase FTP assets will be approximately another $40M (source: WSJ article).
- Subject:Poker reports
that FTP and GBT have signed an agreement to further the transfer of FTP’s assets to GBT. This paves the way for FTP to forfeit their assets to the DOJ so that GBT can purchase them for $80 million.
- Groupe Bernard Tapie Applies for Spanish Gaming License
. With a deadline for applying looming, more then 30 companies have put forward their application of a Spanish license.
I took no part in writing these cliffs. Thanks to EYESCREW, AnAnonymousCoward, Prospace, and Hash1982 for providing cliffs. Please PM NoahSD if you think that something should be added or changed.
Some other big threads:
This is where discussion about FTP should primarily take place. If you start another thread about a minor event or your views or whatever, it will be locked. (That's because a lot of people read NVG to read about high stakes action and tournament results and to see silly photoshops and stuff, and we need to respect that.)
If something significant happens, feel free to start a new thread.
Cliffs since December 11, 2011:
*thanks to poster duh for this succinct cliff note of the situation since December.
Yesterday,poster TafferBoy made the following post, which is actually a decent summery of everything to date, as well as being amusing:
It has been a year of next weeks.
Just recently, things have begun to move.
While facts have been thin on the ground and the media has been forced to regurgitate the confused leavings of the 2+2 forum, the following is known more or less accurately:
1. The DoJ has/has not/is about to sell FTP's assets to GBT after FTP's board agreed/partially agreed/didn't agree to forfeit it to the DoJ in exchange for some/no/total immunity from prosecution and a possible/zero chance of a future USA interstate/intrastate/federal gambling licence for the new company. Part of the deal involves/doesn't involve some household names paying back debts to Tapie/DoJ/the old board.
2. The DoJ now has/will soon have $80million which it will/will not/can't add to its seized/frozen/non-existent funds in foreign places and it will use these monies to fully reimburse/partially reimburse/make an example of poker players. It may/may not use the data from FTP to pursue the non payment of personal taxes.
3. GBT meanwhile has set up a company in Ireland which is the new FTP/ISPT trading vehicle and Pocket kings is either hiring/re-hiring a load of staff or the most elaborate level in the history of poker is occurring. A lawyer has paid two dollars to buy two shares in the new company and this bodes well/ill for the future company's comeback. The staff are being taken on with 3 month contracts as this is standard for the dynamic gambling sector/the maximum length of time the wage money will last before the last withdrawal/the average life expectancy of a support cashier processing 4,000 withdrawals an hour.
4. Opinion varies on whether Tapie intends to run the new entity for income or just to sell it on if/when the market in the USA opens. In either case he is making an excellent/idiotically charitable/mathematically nonesensical investment for the benefit of himself/the poker community.
5. The US players will be paid before/concurrently with/after the Rest-of-World players are paid/not paid/made to earn back their money under wheezes which are called lossback/rakeback II/10% a month (*
terms and conditions apply). Stereotypical national character is the main deciding factor of who should be paid first. Garlic breathing, snail eating, weed-smoking Europeans currently lag behind brash, flag waving war-mongers in the USA.
6. Finally a hearing on 3rd May will be held in public/behind closed doors in which someone who has contacted the AGCC will make representations/lodge objections of an unknown character in order to help/hinder/totally f**king sink the licensing process. The AGCC will approve/decline/sit on the approval of the licence until the due diligence is satisfactory or players invade Alderney.
7. Once FTP2 is up and running, players will be afforded significantly more protection than before because the Alderney will force the company to declare more visibly its player fund status. It will/may still be possible to operate without ring-fencing player funds and players will/may be faced with the dilemma of mashing the withdraw button and the company folding before the refunds are out or putting faith in the new poker room.
8. Half of two plus two will turn on the other half in what posterity will later chronicle as the "told-you-so" wars. People will learn from this sorry episode and it will never be allowed to occur again.
Finally Kevmode will be elected president and will never have to eat dry chicken again.
Initial reports that the GBT deal has failed, coupled with a rumor that PokerStars is now in negotiations with the DOJ to purchase FTP, are released.
Groupe Bernard Tapie regrets to announce that, after seven months of intensive work, our efforts to obtain final approval of the United States Department of Justice of the agreement to acquire the assets of Full Tilt Poker have ended without success.
Ultimately, the deal failed due to two major issues.
The parties could not agree on a plan for repayment of ROW players.
GBT proposed a plan that would have resulted in immediate reinstatement of all ROW player balances, with a right to withdraw those funds over time, based on the size of the player balance and the extent of the player’s playing activity on the re-launched site. All players would have been permitted complete withdrawal of their balances, regardless of whether they played on the site, by a date certain, and 94.9% of ROW players would have been fully repaid on day 1. DOJ ultimately insisted on full repayment with right of withdrawal within 90 days for all players– a surprise demand made in the 11th hour, after months of good-faith negotiations by GBT.
The legal complications surrounding the deal – specifically, questions surrounding the legality of the forfeiture under non-US laws – also proved unresolvable.
All of the key assets of the FTP companies reside outside of the United States. A non-US court well might regard the purported forfeiture as a “fraudulent transaction” and declare it invalid or deem the acquirer of the assets responsible for all of those creditor obligations.
Given the $80 million purchase price, and the substantial amount of cash needed to relaunch FTP, those issues ultimately proved too substantial to overcome.
GBT is very conscious of the hopes it has created – among FTP employees that they will retain their jobs, among FTP players that they will recover their balances, and among the entire poker community that the world’s finest poker platform will be relaunched and bring a needed added element of competition to a world market that today is fully dominated by a single operator.
GBT cannot accept the end of those hopes.
For that reason, unless a concrete and legally viable solution is found in the very coming days to save the employees and repay the players of FTP, we will move to our own plan of action.
We understand from press reports that the DOJ may have entered into an agreement with PokerStars pursuant to which PokerStars will acquire the FTP assets.
If accurate, we can only assume that PokerStars determined that it was willing to accept these legal and financial risks in order to resolve its own legal situation with DOJ.
If a PokerStars acquisition of FTP means that all FTP players will be fully repaid immediately, we are very happy for the players, as their final and full repayment has always been our priority.
We only regret that such a deal would signal further consolidation of a poker market already dominated by a single player – an outcome that may raise antitrust concerns and that, in the long run, is probably not good for players and for the whole online poker industry.”
PokerStars blog response: http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/corpor...en-093438.html
No official statement from PokerStars has yet occurred, but neither have they denied the rumors. Current speculation states that PokerStars will purchase FTP and repay all player funds within 90 days. Payment of US players coming either from PS or through the DOJ appears to be unresolved.