The poker grapevine was a bound with unconfirmed news on Tuesday that the online poker giant Poker stars was to purchase Full Tilt poker. Before, the break-out of this news, it was widely speculated that Full Tilt poker was to be purchased by Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT). The deal is speculated to be worth $750 million and poker stars is expected to full settle Tilt’s issues with the United States department of Justice (D.O.J). In addition, the company will also fully reimburse Full Tilt’s former customers.
The rumors of the impending purchase circulated in the internet in the early morning hours of the Eastern Time zone, however, many people were still in the dark as to whether this rumor had some truth in it. More credence was given to this rumor when one of the founders of the now defunct subject: poker website and now the moderator of the poker forum, Noah Stephens- Davidowitz, posted the following on two plus two:
“I cannot confirm if this is true (the impending purchase), but a number of reliable sources have told me not to delete this thread. So this thread will stay on”
The fact that Stephens-Davidowitz approval of the message means that there is a high like hood that it is only a matter of time before this rumor turns to credible news.
Though not confirmed yet, the news was given credence when it was confirmed by respected news sources such as Alexandre Dreyfus, the Chief executive officer of Chilipoker who tweeted the following
“Pokerstars buy Full Tilt for an approximate consideration of $750 million, in addition to settlement with DOJ and full balance of players for $330 million. I’m impressed”
At around noon, Eastern Time, GBT gave further credence to the rumors when it released a statement that its efforts of acquiring Full Tilt had hit a snag. An excerpt of the statement read as follows
“We understand from news gathered from the press that DOJ might have entered an agreement with Poker Starts for the possible purchase of FTP assets. If this news are reliable and accurate, we can take it that PokerStars reached to the conclusion that it will willing to accept the financial as well as the legal risks in resolving it legal situation with the department of Justice. If this acquisition means that all FTP players will be compensated fully, we are glad for all the players and their full repayment has been our priority.
In a sign that it is now resigned to the change of events, GBT has identified two “major” issues that lead to the collapse of the deal. The chief reason was the disagreement of GBT with the department of justice on the issue regarding the repayment of “the rest of the world” (non-USA players). The department of defense wanted all players to be paid fully within the first 90 days of business and there was to be not negotiation about this whereas GBT wanted to pay the players wanted to allow the former players log into their new sites, and begin of staggered withdrawals with respect to the size of the players balance and the amount they play on the site. This way, all players would be in a position of cashing in before a predetermined date. The second reason was because of the legal complications associated with such a deal.
Despite all the indications that this is a done deal, PokerStars is yet to deny or confirm the rumor. Part of the statement released by the PokerStars head of corporate communications Eric Hollreiser, in a statement posted on the company blog said such settlement are confidential and they cannot comment on rumors.