|Full Tilt Poker|
In the most positive piece of news since Full Tilt Poker players from the United States had their accounts frozen following FBI indictments against Full Tilt, the site is claiming to have successfully regained access to a bank account holding significant funds. There has been considerable amounts of controversy and back-and-forth debate about whether this account, which had been frozen since the events of Black Friday, was really once again available to Full Tilt, but the site is insisting that this is indeed the case. In an even more positive piece of news, it would appear that the ball has started rolling for affiliates to be paid money they are owed by Full Tilt, with at least one affiliate claiming publicly to have been paid for the month of April.
It has become a fairly commonly held belief that Full Tilt Poker did not take the same measures as fellow indicted poker site PokerStars in keeping player funds separate from business operating funds, and that it is for this reason that they have been unable to pay out their US-based players after the United States Department of Justice froze their bank accounts. Recently news swept out across the internet that a bank account held by the Bank of Ireland containing $100 Million had been unfrozen, however this was quickly dismissed as rumor when the Department of Justice was contacted and stated they would have made an announcement if they had chosen to unfreeze any account. Full Tilt Poker, however, adamantly maintains that this was no rumor, and that they do indeed once again have access to the bank account in question.
Apparently the bank account in question was not one of those involved with the Department of Justice indictments of Black Friday, and was as such not frozen by the DoJ. The Bank of Ireland where the account is held, on the other hand, had taken it upon themselves to freeze the account in light of the allegations issued against Full Tilt. It is claimed that Full Tilt Poker requested that the DoJ get in contact with the Bank of Ireland, and that once this was done the account was reopened and access was once again granted. Consistent with Full Tilt’s claims, the US Attorney’s Office confirmed that none of the accounts listed in the Black Friday indictments had been unfrozen, but was unwilling to comment on bank accounts not listed in these indictments, such as this Bank of Ireland account.
There have also been reports that Full Tilt Poker have started to pay out affiliate accounts. These are not player accounts, but rather accounts belonging to other businesses which advertise for and work with Full Tilt to attract new players to the site. Although this is unconfirmed and would not be definitely proof of an unfrozen bank account even if shown to be true, the timing could well be more than coincidental and be a step in the right direction. At this point in time one affiliate has publicly claimed that Full Tilt has credited his affiliate account with the earnings for the month of April. Hopefully this is a good sign which bodes well for future pay-outs and not a bleak sign which indicates Full Tilt is choosing affiliates over players, putting the interests of future international business before the plight of those players with funds locked away.
With rumors and unsubstantiated stories flying every which way, it is extremely hard to be certain of anything at this point in time. Even when a rumor or fact is confirmed to be true, the implications of what it means and what it tells of the future are wild speculation, as poker sites and players alike hope for the best. With that said, there certainly is a possibility, if somewhat small, that the unlocking of this bank account is a significant step which will allow Full Tilt Poker to start the process of crediting US players with the money which is rightfully theirs. It has been almost two months since Black Friday, and the frustration of players in the United States increases day by day, with international players becoming extremely wary of Full Tilt and unwilling to continue playing there as their trust diminishes.