8:30 PM ET Update: Diamond Flush spilled details of how players would have been repaid had the GBT gone through:
Players with an account balance of less than $ 100 could be repaid in full or have that balance credited to their players account in the new company, virtually immediately. According to some sources, this was believed to encompass ~95% of account holders, and is what the media release today in fact, labeled as 94.9% of ROW players. What was left out of that release was that that purported 94.9% of player balances amounted to approximately $ 16,000,000.00.
The remaining 5.1% of players, with an approximate aggregate account balance of $ 168,000,000.00 fell into a different group. [...]
In each of these categories, in order for players to move more than the original $ 100 over to the unrestricted column (available for withdrawal), there would be significant playthrough requirements. (Full article)
It’s looking better and better for the players that the GBT deal did not go through.
4:40 PM ET Update: Diamond Flush releases a statement from Full Tilt’s attorney Barry Boss of Cozen O’Connor, stating:
To address issues reported today in the media and on blogs, Full Tilt Poker confirms that its agreement with Groupe Bernard Tapie has in fact been terminated. Despite this development, Full Tilt Poker is more optimistic than ever that its number one goal will be obtained: Full Tilt players will be repaid. Full Tilt Poker has been in settlement discussions with the US Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on any rumors related to the details of those discussions. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so.
So they did not confirm the fact that PokerStars purchased FTP, and probably cannot legally comment yet, but they stated they are even more optimistic than ever, which makes us even more optimistic.
3:40 PM ET Update: PokerStars speaks! Eric Hollreise, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars for PokerStars, comments on the deal, but doesn’t say much:
We’ve had a lot of enquiries and there’s lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly we will do so.
However, many people are stating that since PokerStars didn’t outright deny the rumors, there is a very good chance this is legit.
3:38 PM ET Update: QuadJacks reports a leaked e-mail sent early on 4/24 from Ray Bitar to all of Full Tilt’s employees stating that PokerStars has agreed to acquire Full Tilt Poker and the deal is true. Full transcript not yet available.
2:55 PM ET Update: Shaun Deeb makes a post on 2p2 with good news from his source regarding the deal:
I feel bad making a new thread but dont want this info lost elsewhere but cliffs are included my source I trust a lot.
Anyways the deal is already done by what I am told;
Players will be paid within 90 days
FTP will be open in the US market
Isai will be stepping down from the company
If these statements are true I feel that Isai deserves all our thanks+ business in the future with his company he is bailing out the igaming industry’s tarnished reputation
Deeb’s comments are interesting, but are getting heat, especially him mentioning that FTP will be opening in the US market. Update : The comments about opening in the US seem to refer to the fact that if the law changes to allow online poker, Full Tilt will then be allowed to open in the US instead of being black listed.
1:55 PM ET Update: Pokerfuse tweeted a link to PokerStars.co.uk which shows PokerStars was searching for software developers on Dublin, which is where Full Tilt’s headquarters are located. It seems the post was made about 10 days ago.
1:47 PM ET Update: Casino City Vin tweets saying they are hearing the deal is just a rumor and not reality. Still, nothing has been confirmed.
1:45 PM ET Update: Daniel Negreanu comments to Poker Listings, saying he is unable to confirm or deny the news:
“I have no information on it other than what I’m reading but people I’m talking to seem to believe it’s true,” said Negreanu.
“The idea of PokerStars buying Full Tilt for $750 million seems impossible to me, so based on what I know it would really surprise me.
“But it would definitely be good for poker players because PokerStars is a good company and players wouldn’t have to deal with those scumbags anymore,” he said.
1:40 PM ET Update: PokerUpdate has reported that they received confirmation from “credible sources” at Full Tilt offices in Cherry Wood, Dublin that this is in fact true. There still has not been any formal announcement from PokerStars.com.
1:00 PM ET Update: Statement released from Groupe Bernard Tapie, the original investor who planned on purchasing Full Tilt (Read the full statement here):
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. (continued)
12:00 PM ET Update: This still has not been confirmed. However, it seems very likely to be accurate as reported by multiple sources.
375 days have gone by since hundreds of thousands of Full Tilt Poker players world wide had their bankrolls disappear into thin air. And just as much as Black Friday is broodingly remembered, April 24th, 2012 will likely be its counterpart in the poker history books. Multiple sources are reporting that PokerStars has bought Full Tilt and is settling with the US Department of Justice.
As of right now, all news point toward this being the best-case scenario; in fact, it’s arguably better than best case scenario. Starting with the most important, PokerStars plans to refund 100% of all player accounts across the globe.
It is also expected that PokerStars will keep the site in full operation so that Full Tilt Poker will be an online poker room once again with separate promotions and all. This is also the best-case scenario labor-wise, since the full operation of the sites as separate entities will mean that employees will be keeping their jobs with their respective companies.
The good news started just a day after the one-year anniversary of Black Friday. Some of the most hopeful and most concrete signs yet to come out of the debacle began to crop up, all starting with FTP’s homepage displaying a number of players, tables and tournaments running on the site. Over the course of the next 24 hours, the number changed numerous times. It was apparent that they were testing their software. Tweets, forums and reports went in a frenzy over this, as finally the poker community was getting signs that were unfettered by rumor and anonymous sources.
It didn’t stop there. The software was also upgraded, there was a company with FTP connections that applied for a gambling license, and Pocket Kings—a poker strategy site—put up a Help Wanted sign. While testing the software could have been someone just kicking the tires (in fact, the software was also tested back in June of 2011 without much coming of that), these other signs showed a resource investment that would be unnecessary unless there was a serious buyer.
And after eight days of cautious optimism, that serious buyer has turned out to be the biggest online poker room in the world.
It’s being reported that the deal is for $750 million. This includes a settlement with the US Department of Justice and the aforementioned refund of player accounts.
Stay tuned, as we will keep this page updated to keep up with all of the news that is sure to be trickling in over the course of the day.
Post your comments or questions below or see our thread on the FTR poker forum: Breaking News! PokerStars to Purchase Full Tilt (FTR Poker Forum)