Posts Tagged ‘Full Tilt’

Missing Money & Missing the Point

by , Jul 29, 2011 | 6:32 am

Since Tuesday’s Full Tilt hearing, a surprising amount of misinformation has been swilling around the internet. Surprising, because so few details emerged in the first place. After just 45 minutes, press and public were frogmarched from the building, leaving everyone to pore over a few snippets of legal jargon. Trawling through internet forums and Twitter feeds, I’ve noticed that people seem particularly confused about the £250,000 in unpaid licensing fees owed by Full Tilt.

[CORRECTION: oops, £250,000, as in British pounds … not $250,000 as originally reported. £250k is roughly equal to US$400k.-dm]

Perhaps I shouldn’t be that shocked that those without direct access to the hearing have picked up misconceptions. The internet has an incredible ability to play Chinese Whispers with even the smallest morsel. Still, you’d expect someone sat a few rows behind me to have the right end of the stick.

Harry Demetriou is fast becoming a folk hero among disgruntled Full Tilt customers. When the Alderney Gambling Control Commission announced that proceedings were to continue in private, he rose to his feet and charged from the room, accusing the panel of protecting a “corrupt” organization. On Wednesday he posted an open letter to the Commission, in which he makes mention of the “250k licence fee that Full Tilt Poker have promised to pay you in the next seven days.”

This is wrong. I was in the room when this topic was raised, so I’ll do my best to clarify. Let’s run through the chain of events as they occurred.

After a long explanation of why he believed that a motion to adjourn should be held in private, Full Tilt lawyer Martin Heslop ceded the floor to a pair of AGCC lawyers. At this point, no mention had been made of the missing money. Speaking slowly into their microphones, Alderney’s legal team took a few moments to express ambivalence towards a private hearing. Just before handing back to the panel, they noted that there were two allegations to be made regarding the suspension of the license. In addition to problems related to Black Friday, there was the small point of a missing $250,000 licensing fee.

The commission were ready to move on, before Heslop interjected, asking if he could make a response. Stoic chairwoman Isabel Picornell leant over to her legal advisor, who responded with a quick nod of approval. In his rebuttal, Heslop offered to explain why the $250,000 had not been paid. He claimed that Full Tilt knew their license was approaching suspension and therefore decided it would be foolish to fork over the cash.

This is the point at which Harry diverges from reality. Heslop closed by adding that Full Tilt would be happy to pay the quarter of a million within seven days, should the license be reinstated. There was no offer to pay in the next week regardless of whether or not Full Tilt were back in business. If they return to Alderney they will need new investment. Demetriou need not be worried that the AGCC are, “going to cause an even greater shortfall in the funds needing to be paid back to the players.”

Some have interpreted the offer as a bribe. A large cash incentive to get the AGCC to arbitrate in their favour. I can’t totally rule this out, but it seems pretty unlikely. Full Tilt’s non-payment is part of why their license was suspended in the first place. There’s no way Full Tilt can ask to be let back into town, but then refuse to pay the upkeep. The AGCC know this. It’s their rule. It would be like trying to bribe the government by offering to pay your taxes.

Rage against Full Tilt to your heart’s content, but don’t expect to get any facts if you don’t have any to start with.


Waiting for Bitar

by , Jul 27, 2011 | 4:28 am

howard lederer ray bitar alderney

NO PLAYING AROUND, but who then is toying with whom?

LONDON — Those hoping for a definitive answer on the future of Full Tilt and their funds will have to wait a little longer. After a full day of packed public hearing and nearly six hours of private deliberations at the Victoria Plaza Hotel, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission granted Full Tilt’s application to have the hearing adjourned. The AGCC says it will reconvene replacement proceedings no later than September 15th.

Panel chairwoman Isabel Picornell said the commission were convinced that a delay was “in the best interests of FTP customers” — primarily because Full Tilt could use that extra time to complete any investment deal. The AGCC understand, she continued, that exposing commercially sensitive information rides roughshod over hopes of a bailout that refunds players.

More…


Ivey’s White Knight Deal Almost Done + Full Tilt Poker

by , Jul 1, 2011 | 8:51 am

We recorded our first Wicked Chops Podcast yesterday with some friends from across the pond–Ben Fried, who launched Betfair’s poker room–and Kim Lund, who did the same for Poker Room. While some of the content is already dated (a lot of it is speculation about Tilt’s future in light of the AGCC license revocation), still some interesting European perspective on the Tilt situation and their international market perception.

Listen, and read more here.


Alderney Suspends Full Tilt’s Gaming License

by , Jun 29, 2011 | 5:05 am

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has suspended the gaming license of Full Tilt Poker and Vantage Limited dba FullTilt.com. The AGCC says they must stop any and all operations from the UK Crown Dependency immediately.

Is this a final nail in the coffin for the once almighty poker dominion belonging primarily to a man named Jesus?

EGR had it first, and promises more play-by-play.

Alderney is one of three eight “white-listed” regulatory jurisdictions in the UK — along with Isle of Man and Gibraltar — meaning their licensees can advertise freely and enjoy the benefits of fully legitimate, properly taxed corporations.

full tilt maintenance

Alderney also partnered with Nevada back in January — as the Nevada Gaming Control Board looked to study effective online gaming regulation and assess the suitability of 888, which partnered with Caesars for online poker operations related to WSOP.com.

No word on whether or not the WSOP plans to remove Chris Ferguson’s main event championship banner as they have with Russ Hamilton’s.

For now Full Tilt is apparently down for “scheduled maintenance” … and your money is safe and secure?

UPDATE: Here is the AGCC’s official statement.


The Nosebleeds?

by , Jun 27, 2011 | 1:23 pm

It’s not The Micros, and I still think the guys at Quadjacks are a little off with their anti-Full Tilt fury … but still, their new video comic has potential for recurring humor with the occasional splash of satire … and years from now will probably be a reminder of the uncertain poker times we’re currently living in. (But hey, at least we can laugh at how stupid we all were … not to mention the clothes lol!)

Episode 1 here … we’ll see where they are by episode 5. They being the Quadjacks creators and/or Team Full Tilt. Meanwhile, still looking forward for sure in a different way for the next episode of The Micros …


Joe Barton headed to Vegas with new online poker bill in tow

by , Jun 21, 2011 | 2:17 pm

photo by James Berglie

Joe Barton’s online poker: “And then he three-bet me on the turn with — get this — jack-high! How sick is that?”

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) will be in Las Vegas for Friday’s shuffle-up-and-deal … and possibly to unveil his new online poker (only) bill.

The Texas Republican has taken the baton from Barney Frank (D-MA), by way of John Campbell (R-CA), to lead the charge for licensed and regulated online poker in the House, with a new bill his office says he plans to “drop” either Friday or closer to the July 4th weekend.

It’s still probably too early to make decent predictions, prognostication, and prop bets — haven’t even seen a draft yet — but the forces lining up this go-round are indeed different than before.

This time we’re talking about an online poker-only bill, with a different committee path, and a conservative Republican — perhaps looking to put a bipartisan feather in his cap before the ’12 elections — charged with rallying support on his side of the aisle.

More…


Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (Ep 08)

by , Jun 10, 2011 | 11:54 am

Please forgive any apparent smugness of prescience … I didn’t know about the appeals court ruling when Pauly and I recorded an episode two days ago, where we addressed certain ironies about neither Clonie Gowen nor the people who may or may not have wanted to squash her being at the WSOP.

Pauly published yesterday, and even though we’ve got a fancy autofeeder here at Pokerati, I did not … but LOL(ish) … this episode was next in the queue:


Dan and Dr. Pauly hang out in the hallway and try to figure out what the 2011 WSOP is missing…

2011 WSOP – Episode 8: Eskimo Yes, Jesus No (4:22) – Dan and Pauly try to pinpoint which pros are noticeably absent (Clonie, Jesus, Howard Lederer), while Eskimo Clark sightings have been rampant. They also try to figure out where the old Bat Beat Bar and Lounge went and why its been replaced by a oxygen bar.
[audio: https://pokerati.com/podcast/tao/TOP_W11_08_EskimoYes_JesusNo.mp3]

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives.


Appeals Court: Judge Kinda-Sorta Erred in Clonie Case vs. Full Tilt

by , | 11:39 am

Not sure yet what exactly this all means … but the case of Clonie Gowen vs. Team Full Tilt (that strangely never got to trial) is still alive in some capacity. A federal Appeals court ruled yesterday that the lower federal court — Nevada District — did indeed make errors in dismissing her claim against Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and various companies connected to Full Tilt.

Clonie Gowen’s lawsuit of course, was the first of what would prove to be many against various Full Tilt entities — at the time dismissed not just by a Las Vegas judge, but by the “poker world” and industy as a whole. Since then the belief that Full Tilt could do no wrong has definitely reversed itself … in American courts as well as the court of public opinion.

Clonie was seeking $40 million as a part-owner of Full Tilt. But my how times have changed … If she does finally get her day in court, certainly the valuation would have to be reassessed … and these days, were an American court to way declare that yes indeed you are an owner of Full Tilt, would that be a win?

Read below for a summary of the decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco:

More…


Tony G to Pass on WSOP ’11, Too?

by , Jun 8, 2011 | 1:45 am

Hinted at it in the PAW post, but it probably deserves a hedline of its own, at least to note it for the record.

Tony G says he’s thinking of skipping the 2011 WSOP, too … but the reason he gives — not being able to keep up with the kids these days — seems questionably weak when one of the most influential men in poker has been throwing firebombs at Full Tilt and Howard Lederer specifically, as they relate to player monies and the WSOP.

tony g urinal pokernews

I think the real question is: Is he looking to skip just the events, or skip out on Las Vegas and/or the US altogether? I mean shoot, I was hoping he’d at least show up to play the media event!


Poker Affiliate World Turns off Tilt

by , | 1:12 am

We don’t really know the affiliate world here at Pokerati, but we still sometimes get their emails. And this one reveals, I think, another important cog in the Full Tilt machinery grinding to a halt. Either that or it’s nothing … but I’m not really believing people these days who tell me what seems like something is nothing.

You tell me. It’s different, that’s for sure … I do know Poker Affiliate World is a pretty big mega-affiliate that at least at one point was owned (at least in part) by PokerNews … and with or without Tony G’s involvement, a huge chunk of online poker signups pass through PAW in some capacity.

From: Poker Affiliate World
Date: June 7, 2011 6:01:44 PM PDT
To: Pokerati.com
Subject: Full Tilt Withdrawal Option Disabled – Temporarily

Dear Affiliate,

Due to recent issues with Full Tilt Poker in regards to “Black Friday” we have temporarily removed Full Tilt player transfer from our withdrawal options until further notice.

We are confident of a resolution in the near future so please feel free to use another method or wait until this option is reinstated.

Regards,

The PAW Team

Hoping someone who understands this stuff better than I can clue me in to what I’m missing between the lines.

Meanwhile, Tony G is saying that he might skip the 2011 WSOP … supposedly because he can’t keep up with the young players. Ahh, if only it could be that simple this year.


Off to a Slow Start

by , Jun 5, 2011 | 6:14 pm

Jon Katkin


OP-ED

Glitz. Glamor. Excitement. So far, the 2011 WSOP has had none of these things, and honestly, I’m finding the whole thing kind of sad. It’s not the World Series of Poker we all know and love… it’s more like the World Series of Meh.

The thing is that after spending a number of hours wandering around the Rio during the first week, it’s hard to put a finger on what’s different about this year’s event. Maybe it’s fallout from Black Friday and the fact that sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker don’t have their usual suites. Maybe it’s the fact that the first week’s events were tailored more toward professional players and featured more mixed games and higher buy ins than the casual player is comfortable playing.

Or maybe I’m just jaded.

The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. Event numbers have been good, but no one appears to be having any fun.

Still, jaded or not, the fact remains that the Rio just doesn’t have the same excited vibe that I’m used to feeling during the first week of the Series. The halls feel emptier, the rails aren’t as jammed, and people just seem more serious than usual. What makes the feel of this year’s Series even stranger is that the event numbers have been good. People are playing cards, but no one appears to be having any fun.

So, is there anything that the Rio and WSOP staff can do to loosen things up and pump some more excitement into the proceedings?

More…


The Ivey Chronicles

by , Jun 1, 2011 | 2:37 pm

The biggest story to come out of day 1 of the WSOP, almost fitting given the cloud of Black Friday, was that a major player within Team Full Tilt would not be playing. What we didn’t realize was that the player in question was in Phil Ivey, and that he had some very choice words for his (former?) employer Full Tilt poker. Before getting too far into things, the statement itself is below:

For many years, I have been proud to call myself a poker player. This great sport has taken me to places I only imagined going and I have been blessed with much success. It is therefore with deep regret that I believe I am compelled to release the following statement.

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.

My name and reputation have been dragged through the mud, through the inactivity and indecision of others and on behalf of all poker players I refuse to remain silent any longer. I have electronically filed a lawsuit against Tiltware related to the unsettled player accounts. As I am sure the public can imagine, this was not an easy decision for me.

I wholeheartedly refuse to accept non-action as to repayment of players funds and I am angered that people who have supported me throughout my career have been treated so poorly.

I sincerely hope this statement will ignite those capable of resolving the problems into immediate action and would like to clarify that until a solution is reached that cements the security of all players, both US and International, I will, as I have for the last six weeks, dedicate the entirety of my time and efforts to finding a solution for those who have been wronged by the painfully slow process of repayment.

I think Wicked Chops said it best in their article on the subject: Holy shit. Not only was it not expected, but the strength of the words from someone that is in that category of “legally bound not to speak” adds extra weight to it. No doubt Ivey has, as @taopauly put it in his daily recap, “titanium balls.” That said, nothing escapes radar without some further reflection and critiquing, so here goes:

More…


Ivey Drops Drama Bomb by Suing Full Tilt, Skipping the WSOP

by , | 10:48 am

The 2011 WSOP officially kicked off and Day 1 was certainly without any drama, especially regarding a pair of Full Tilt pros.

2011 WSOPEpisode 2: Ivey Drops Drama Bomb by Suing Full Tilt and Skipping the WSOP (6:07) – Change100 joins Benjo and Pauly as they discuss the strange happenings on Day 1 of the WSOP. Phil Ivey became the only thing people discussed the Rio after a rather bizarre series of posts appeared on his Facebook page after he revealed his lawsuit against Full Tilt due to their lack of action getting money back to their players. Also, Benjo explains the scene when James Bord harassed and threatened John Juanda.

For more episodes, visit the Tao of Pokerati archives or subscribe to the Tao of Pokerati feed.


Online Gambling Black Friday Special: APCW Perspectives Weekly for April 22nd, 2011

by , Apr 22, 2011 | 12:39 am

On April 15th, 2011, the US Department of Justice seized the domains and bank accounts of Pokerstars, Full Tilt, and Absolute Poker. One week later we know how they did it, who helped them, and if players will be getting their money back!


Bwin.Party Surges on News of American Online Poker Indictments

by , Apr 18, 2011 | 8:42 am

bwin party poker stockNot everyone is unhappy about the elimination of PokerStars and Full Tilt from the American online poker marketplace. Shares of Bwin/Party soared today on the London Stock Exchange, closing up nearly 35 percent on rather high trading volume.

And while in some ways this graph looks like the inverse of Party Gaming’s graph in ’06 come the UIGEA and their subsequent, calculated US pullout. But zoom out and you’ll see today’s rise for Party (now officially Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment) is merely a token blip in their long-term efforts to get back atop the online gaming world.

party poker gaming fall stock

In fact, they had plummeted rather hard just this month as US legislative efforts began making it seem as if Stars and Tilt would be white-list operators in any future, regulated American online gaming economy.

bwin party stock dip american market

Meanwhile, Scarlet got her hands on some detailed equity research from the venerable banking institution Barclay’s … assessing the impact of of the US DOJ’s actions on the European gaming market. Good in some spots, not as promising as some might think in others.

Click here to see for yourself.

The “bull case” they make, interestingly, is a scenario where both Stars and Tilt end up in full collapse.