Rumor Mill: Pokerstars Buys Full Tilt For $750,000,000
May 2, 2012 Leave a Comment
PokerListings- “PokerStars is allegedly buying Full Tilt Poker, will settle with the DOJ and repay players, according to industry insider Alexandre Dreyfus.
News broke earlier this morning when Dreyfus said via Twitter that PokerStars was buying the beleaguered Full Tilt for $750 million, which includes the $330 million to pay back all players.
Dreyfus is the CEO of Chilipoker and Tweets about the iGaming industry in the USA and France.
According to iGaming France, Laurent Tapie has confirmed the deal is off and insinuated there was external sabotage over the DOJ negotiations. Tapie is set to release a statement later today.
The Tapie Group has been in talks to buy Full Tilt for the last six months. The group appeared to be close over the last couple weeks as Laurent Tapie registered a company in Ireland first called “New Full Tilt” and there were signs of activity on the FTP website.
Laurent Tapie has yet to comment but said he would be releasing a statement later today.
Daniel Negreanu, leading member of Team PokerStars Pro, told PokerListings.com today in Monte Carlo that he knew nothing of an impending deal.
“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.
“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.
Prior to Black Friday, PokerStars and Full Tilt were bitter rivals as the two biggest online poker rooms in the world.
When Black Friday hit PokerStars quickly repaid USA players and left the market. Meanwhile Full Tilt stalled before it was finally revealed in the fall of 2011 they didn’t have enough money to cover player’s balances.’
If this rumor is deemed to be true, it would be groundbreaking for the online poker industry. Last April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) shutdown the two biggest online poker sites, Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars leaving the entire industry in complete shambles. United States players were reimbursed by Pokerstars within a few weeks, but Full Tilt Players were left with their entire bankrolls frozen in cyberspace.
High stakes players on the site with 7 figure bankrolls were left in the dark about ever seeing their money again. Many mid-stakes grinders who would put in countless hours to earn a living online were left wondering, where to go next?
Many of these players don’t even live near a casino, their casino was online, whenever they wanted, from where ever they wanted to play.
Try to find a “real job?”
Many players hadn’t been “employed” for years, they were making stable income online. Many were making astronomically more return on their hours of hard work than they would have anywhere else.
Of course it would be stupid to have all of your eggs in one basket. Many only had a portion of their bankrolls online which was a smart idea, but some weren’t as smart. Some players had to make some serious sacrifices and move to Canada or overseas to be able to play online again. Not an easy transition to make for anyone, especially those with families and children.
This is potentially very good news for those players who fit this profile, and they might be able to play again online in the states within a few years. The deal does potentially have some drawbacks however. If Pokerstars follows through with this deal they would dominate the online poker industry. Concerns of an online poker monopoly would have to be addressed. There aren’t many reliable online poker sites to play on anymore, and most would for sure lose their player base if the DOJ eventually fully regulates online poker in the United States.
I still remain skeptical, and won’t be too excited till the deal is finalized. Even if the deal is done, there remains the concern of the legality of online poker in the US. Will it ever happen? There is no reason it shouldn’t, and I believe the real reason the DOJ shut down these sites is because they want a cut of the revenues these sites are bringing in. People are going to play poker and gamble anyway, might as well regulate the games and collect taxes. More people will feel comfortable depositing online knowing their money is safe, and not in Howard Lederer’s pocket.
The fish return, and potentially the next poker “boom” goes down, much like the one in 2003 when amateur Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker Main Event for a tidy sum of $2,500,000. Chris proved to the world that anyone can win at this game. He might have got lucky, but he was the sole reason online poker sites became gold mines for professional grinders. The online games were the softest they ever were, and many players were able to turn small investments into massive returns, some in the millions.
More news should be available soon, so stay tuned!