Op-Ed: Where is the Full Tilt deal I’ve been hearing about

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 19, 2012 Posted in Op-Ed | 1 Comment »

fulltiltpoker soldLast week saw a number of online gaming outlets posting stories about an imminent sale of Full Tilt Poker, possibly as soon as this past Friday. Well, Friday has come and gone, and there hasn’t been a single word of a deal or progress on a deal; which is precisely how this has been playing out since Groupe Bernard Tapie was revealed to be in talks with the flailing Full Tilt Poker.

When I first heard about the article Gaming Intelligence posted (and then eGaming Review) my initial thought was, “I bet GBT Lawyer Behnam Dayanim is the source.” And sure enough, there was Mr. Dayanim quoted in Gaming Intelligence, and then later answering a few questions for PokerNews.com.

I still don’t know if a deal is in the works, or if a deal is likely, but what I do know is that this is turning into broken record with both Full Tilt Poker and Groupe Bernard Tapie. Every statement, every “interview”, and every quasi press release has the same people spouting off the same rhetoric:

“we are confident…”

“Our hope is…”

“There are still a number of hurdles remaining”

Every time the poker community gets fed up with a lack of progress and a lack of communication, either Behnam Dayanim or Laurent Tapie, suddenly appear in a select few outlets talking about some miraculous breakthrough or the impending sale. That said, they also always give at least one caveat per article. The best example of this (but definitely not the only example) was their outing of a score of poker pros who owe money to Full Tilt Poker, giving themselves a convenient “out” if the sale falls through.

All along the sale to Groupe Bernard Tapie has been hampered with leaked information –some true and some false– and little in the way of actual progress. According to a number of sources Full Tilt Poker has already agreed to forfeit its assets to the Department of Justice; Groupe Bernard Tapie supposedly had a deal in place with the DOJ to purchase these assets for an agreed upon $80 million; and GBT was to take on the debts of players outside of the US (estimated at $150 million) while the DOJ took on the responsibility of repaying US players (another estimated $150 million).

So my question is simply: What is holding this deal up? Why is GBT letting the brand they are interested in purchasing go down on value everyday (what’s their next purchase Enron, or perhaps Madoff Investments?) and why are they wasting time when the assets they are looking to purchase could probably bring in over $1 million a month in revenue?

Like the UB Super-User scandal and Full Tilt’s responses post-Black Friday, something about this entire process just doesn’t smell right. Hopefully I’m wrong, and I’ll have to eat crow hours after I post this article (which I will gladly do), but from my perspective, and the feeling I have in the pit of my stomach, is that there is something rotten in Denmark.

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One Response to “Op-Ed: Where is the Full Tilt deal I’ve been hearing about”

  1. markus says:

    totally agree with you… hope you’re wrong…

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