Bitar breaks silence: GBT lawyer optimistic of deal

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 07, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

Perhaps the poker world IS better off not hearing from the owners of Full Tilt Poker is the statement issued by Ray Bitar to PokerStrategy.com is what we have to look forward to. Bitar spoke publicly for the first time since Black Friday on Tuesday giving an explanation on why he has been silent, and also offering up an apology of sorts to the poker community.

Besides the obvious, ‘my lawyers told me not to talk’ shtick, in a bit of irony, Bitar stated (in his general statement) that he felt, “…while it might satisfy people to have specific information about those ongoing discussions – and it would certainly take some of the heat off myself – I am convinced that such public statements would diminish the likelihood of a successful outcome…”

So what we got is a general statement about why general statements are bad???? I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone issue a general statement to calm people, but spend most of it explaining the evils of general statements and why they have not been issuing general statements to calm people.

Bitar closed the interview to the site with an apology, once again emphasizing how hard he has been working to get players repaid, but with $300 million still owed to Full Tilt Players from around the globe Mr. Bitar is likely to find little sympathy for his plight:

“I would like to offer my sincere apology to all who have been affected by these events and to clarify that my silence was not an attempt to “hide,” or “ignore,” the situation. It was done out of necessity to ensure the focus remained on the continued efforts to reach the best outcome for the players. My entire focus is on obtaining a successful resolution for the players. I hope that before long I can provide some good news for all of the players involved.”

While Bitar was speaking to PokerStrategy.com, Groupe Bernard Tapie lawyer Behnam Dayanim was talking to PokerNews.com, telling the site, “We’ve extended the time to agree with Full Tilt to get the deal negotiated. We’re reasonably optimistic that we’ll be able to do that.” [Emphasis mine]

When asked about the debts owed by a score of poker players to the faltering site, Behnam Dayanim responded to PokerNews.com by saying, “Nothing to report there. It remains an issue and we’re trying to work through it, but nothing really new to report.”

These latest statements follow the a disturbing trend by both companies, Full Tilt poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie, that sees them only speak out when the poker community starts demanding answers. And as is usually the case, the statements used very measured wording and offer little in the way of actual progress being made towards a deal.

Needless to say, the poker community is quickly losing faith in GBT just as it has in Full Tilt Poker.

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