Certain Groups Rumored to be Omitted from Full Tilt Reimbursement
Players whose funds were frozen on Full Tilt Poker when it was shuttered by the United States Justice Department on April 15, 2011, have long been waiting to be reimbursed for the value of their accounts.
Now, rumors are spreading that certain groups will not be receiving reimbursements.
2+2 post ignites flurry of reactions
In a post on the popular poker forum 2+2, Rich Muny, who goes by the handle TheEngineer, recounted an email he had received from New Jersey-based Garden City Group, the company enlisted by the government to oversee the remission process.
The email purports that while players who deposited funds onto Full Tilt for the sole purpose of playing can expect to be reimbursed, those who were more heavily involved in Full Tilt as pros, affiliates, vendors, and such, will be barred from receiving refunds. Garden City Group has not commented to either confirm or deny the rumor.
According to Muny, the following conditions will serve to disqualify an individual or group from reclaiming their accounts:
1. A past or present employee of FTP or any of its past or present affiliates;
2. A past or present vendor of FTP that received compensation through FTP players’ accounts;
3. A past or present Team Full Tilt player;
4. A past or present shareholder of FTP, Tiltware LLC, Kolyma Corporation A.V.V., Pocket Kings Ltd., Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd., Filco Ltd., Vantage Ltd., Ranston Ltd., Mail Media Ltd., or Full Tilt Poker Ltd.;
5. A past or present officer or director of FTP, Tiltware LLC, Kolyma Corporation A.V.V., Pocket Kings Ltd., Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd., Filco Ltd., Vantage Ltd., Ranston Ltd., Mail Media Ltd., or Full Tilt Poker Ltd. or any of their past or present affiliates;
6. A defendant in any civil action or a claimant in any forfeiture action brought by the Department of Justice related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities); and
7. A person who, as of the Petition filing deadline, has been the subject of criminal charges related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities).
Similar scenario in other markets
Needless to say, the reaction from affiliates and others in the above mentioned groups has been less than positive. However, when PokerStars, which acquired the assets and debts belonging to its former chief rival Full Tilt Poker in the summer of 2012 by reaching a $731 million settlement with the U.S. government, relaunched the Full Tilt brand in regulated markets outside the United States, it zeroed out the accounts of affiliates at that time.
Full Tilt was re-opened to rest of world markets last fall, at which time ordinary players who held accounts on the site were fully reimbursed.
Remission process has been much awaited and discussed
For U.S. online poker players, the remission process has been a hot topic. With player monies now being frozen for nearly two and half years, earlier this year reports surfaced that two more years could go by before players could realize a refund. Much to the relief of those players with money tied up in Full Tilt, that process apparently will be shorter, with applications for refunds being accepted by Garden City Group after September 16th.
For those with small amounts of money frozen on Full Tilt, the long wait for remission has likely been little more than an inconvenience. But, for those with much more skin in the game, for example pros like Phil Ivey and Mike Matusow who may have millions invested in the site, the reality that that money may never be returned could border on catastrophic.