And in the end everybody played on Full PokerStars… happy people with cash in their hands
There is a happy ending in the most complicated and fascinating event (if we want to say that) in the gaming world since the online poker burst as a worldwide phenomenon. The press release announcing the reaching of the agreement between PokerStars and the U.S. Justice Department is dated August 1 and it comes after a year and almost 4 months from the black friday of the U.S. online poker (it was April 16, 2011). The DOJ, together with the FBI, decided to block the room that operated without a license in the U.S. area. It was an unprecedented earthquake with millions of dollars blocked in the gaming accounts of the room and unreachable by players. Nevertheless PokerStars was able to refund in a few weeks its players. It will be a decisive move for overtaking in the following months the group of Bernard Tapie, the French magnate a little bit ‘quibbler’ that, in fact, will be dumped by the DoJ. All is into the hands of PokerStars because the money to reorganize Full Tilt had disappeared in the villas and bank accounts in offshore countries of the skilled creators of the Ponzi scheme. The money was in the pockets of Ray Bitar (ex ceo of Full Tilt) and then in the ones of Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and other less famous but even so accomplices and guilty actors of an unexpected coup de theater.
The players was very very depressed by now, as even the World Series Of Poker 2012 were passing but there wasn’t any news on the case. And moreover ‘Stars’ was making luxurious investments in Spain and it seems to extremely takes up the funds of the room.
The key of the success for the closing of the deal was the willingness of PokerStars to refund within a few months the players without loosing time. Time that Tapie was designed to make up to the lack of his personal fund much more lifeless than the giant of the Isle of Man. The DoJ did not want hybrid solutions or bonus. The money in the accounts within specified terms for players was indispensible. Only PokerStars could do it.
So here is the announcement: “Full Tilt Poker is pleased to announce the end of the transaction with PokerStars and the U.S. Department of Justice, which will allow to all the American players to be paid. With the agreement the civil proceedings for confiscation carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice end”.
On August 9 the official confirmation comes. PokerStars will pay around 731 million dollars within and it will be able to reopen the room FTP no longer November 6, 2012 .
And there is a detail that must not be completely ignored: as part of the transaction, PokerStars is “explicitly authorized to offer gaming within the rules of the relevant gaming authorities of the United States and it can offer real money poker when it will be regulated by the government or by the federal states” .
ALL THE DETAILS OF PAYMENT – As part of the purchase agreement with the DOJ, PokerStars has agreed to invest a lump- sum of 547 million dollars over three years. The first payment of 225 million would have been paid “within six working days.”
The new owner has ninety days “to provide for the immediate cash withdrawal of the settlements of the players in the poker online account of all the extra players of Full Tilt Group”. The ‘rest of the world’ receives 184 million through the Full Tilt Poker room.
The patrimonial confiscation of laundered money will facilitate the compensation of the ‘victims’ through the restoration program Victim Asset Recovery Program.
Over the next three years PokerStars will make further annual payments of 125 million, 100 and 97 millions to complete its financial obligations. In total, PokerStars has paid 731 millions dollars.
Gus Hansen, Giampp and many unbelievers ready to withdraw the longed-for money
They thought their money was lost, irrecoverable, they given up hopes. Even the appearance of a believable ‘actor’ as PokerStars. It seemed like science fiction. Gus Hansen has recovered 2.4 million dollars. Giampp alias Giampaolo Puglia who won one of the biggest online tournaments ever played will take 900 thousand banknotes. Then all the members, even those who had thousand euros that in these times change even small situations. We just have to wait for the conditions of payment. And the poker field will regain many bankroll. “I’m playing a lot more live and now I feel more comfortable,” affirmed Puglia to Gioconews.it on the spur of the moment. Justice is done. In spite of the shameless Ray Bitar.