Full Tilt Liabilities and Pro Player Loans Could Mean “NO SALE” to GBT

February 3, 2012
Full Tilt Liabilities and Pro Player Loans Could Mean “NO SALE” to GBT

The sale of Full Tilt Poker has hit another snag.  Big shock right?  This time, Groupe Bernard Tapie are claiming that the outstanding liabilities owed by Full Tilt Poker in addition to the money owed to former players worldwide is much larger than they had anticipated.  In addition, they are claiming that several pro players associated with the site owe the company between $10 and $20 Million.

Behnam Dayanim, an attorney for GBT made the following statement to Gaming Intelligence regarding the financial status of Full Tilt:

“The diligence has revealed that the financial position is worse than we had anticipated. We do not want to litigate a whole bunch of individual cases against professionals post-acquisition so we are trying to negotiate but we have not been making a lot of progress.

This is not the only issue that is holding up the sale but it is a significant one. The company has greater liabilities — excluding player liabilities — than we had hoped. The forfeiture would extinguish any U.S. claims to the assets but they do not necessarily extinguish creditor claims in other countries.”

Players named in the Gaming Intelligence article that owe money to the site include Barry Greenstein, Phil Ivey, David Benyamine, Mike Matusow, and Erick Lindgren.  Barry Greenstein address the accusation publicly on 2+2 forums and stated the following:

“I borrowed $400,000 to play on Full Tilt a few years ago, before PokerStars had high stakes games. I didn’t pay it back, hoping that some people who owed me and had money on Full Tilt would pay me there so I could use that against the debt. (I’m only owed about $150,000 now). I have assumed when this case is resolved, the DOJ will allow methods for dealing with debt to FTP.”

Greenstein also explained how GBT contacted him about paying them directly and even offered to discount his debt if US players were not paid in full.  Greenstein went on to say that he repays all debts in full and that he feels that if he should repay the money, it should go back to paying US players.  He said he had a legal obligation to repay the money and a moral obligation to help US players.

PokerNews.com conducted an interview with Dayanim in regards to recent developments and while he would not go into specifics, he did say that most pros contacted about their debts were not willing to do anything to fix those issues.  Furthermore, he stated that if the issues surrounding the debt owed from players and other issues regarding liabilities outside of player repayments were not dealt with, the deal would not be able to proceed.

While it is still too early to make an official call on this one, things are looking to build up to a “No Sale” for Full Tilt to Groupe Bernard Tapie.  This is just another in a long list of seeming delays and “problems” with the sale of Full Tilt.  The clock does seem to be ticking on this one, and signs seem to be trending in a way that is not beneficial to players getting repaid.

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