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PokerStars All In On Full Tilt Poker


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In an ironic twist of fate, instead of being acquired by the French Groupe
Bernard Tapie as many expected, beleaguered online poker room Full Tilt Poker
will reportedly go under the hammer instead to once fierce rivals, PokerStars.

The revelation came after a statement was issued by Group Bernard Tapie Managing
Director, Laurent Tapie yesterday (Tuesday, April 24) confirming that all
negotiations to acquire Full Tilt Poker’s assets from the US Department of
Justice (DoJ) had been called off, leaving the way open for PokerStars to pick
over the remains of its former rival.

PokerStars in Settlement Discussions with DoJ

Said a PokerStars spokesperson: ‘PokerStars has been in settlement discussions
with the DoJ. 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.’

Although
unsubstantiated, according to the rumour mill, PokerStars has agreed to acquire
Full Tilt Poker’s assets for $750 million, $330 million of which will go towards
the repayment of players who had their balances at the poker room frozen by the
DoJ on April 15, 2011, in a crackdown known in the online gambling industry as
‘Black Friday.’

According to the Groupe Bernard Tapie statement, its deal with the DoJ over
Full Tilt Poker fell through because of a failure to come up with an suitable
player repayment solution, coupled with legally ‘unresolvable’ issues. Before
Groupe Bernard Tapie pulled out of the Full Tilt Poker deal, it was reportedly
in the last stages of negotiations with the DoJ.

Read the statement from the French company: ‘Groupe Bernard Tapie proposed a
plan that would have resulted in the immediate reinstatement of all rest of the
world (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.

DoJ Insisted on Full Repayment of Full Tilt Players

‘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
percent 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 Groupe Bernard Tapie,’ it read.

Groupe Bernard Tapie’s
interest in acquiring Full Tilt Poker dates back to November last year, when it
agreed to buy the online poker room’s forfeited assets from the DoJ for the sum
of $80 million. However, the French firm conceded this week that the sale price
in addition to the millions needed to effectively relaunch the poker room were
too great.

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