Hey all. I hope everyone is doing well on and off the tables. I have been a little busy playing a little poker and working and everything is going great.

I wanted to get back to writing about poker and poker concepts but when I woke up this morning, I logged on to twitter and I was shocked at the news about Full Tilt Poker and since it really blew up all over the poker world today, I figured I would throw my two cents in and try to explain the news.

As you might or might not know, there was a company called Bernard Tapie Group trying to buy the assets of FTP. This has been going on for over 6 months and just last week, news came out that the deal was close to being done. They had gone out and posted some job listings for customer service and technical positions in the new company and even incorporated a few different companies to get things started.

Even though we are in the US and won’t be playing any regulated online poker anytime soon (other than a select few states), I was excited about the news because I thought my friends and I would be one step closer to getting our money back from FTP. I don’t have a lot of money on FTP so it definitely won’t change my life, but I have some friends with some big amounts and I would like to see them get their money back.

Anyway, I woke up this morning to news that the deal fell through at the 11th hour. There is a ton of speculation of why the deal fell through, but after a conversation with BGJ this evening, we both agreed that the Tapie group just didn’t have the money to pay all the Rest of World (ROW) players back and were trying to start this new company under-funded. I wonder if they were using the Epic Poker League business plan?

We all wanted the Tapie Group to get the deal done but I think a lot of us in the poker world really knew in the back of our minds that something was wrong. I know deals this big and with the DOJ can’t be easy to put together, but something just seemed off. There were some warning signs along the way, but we all tried to ignore them because we were just hoping to get out money back. Poker players like me try to be optimistic in spots, but I will say I was not surprised when I read the news. Thanks Tapie for getting our hopes up.

So after I read this news, the next tweet I read was that Poker Stars was in talks with the DOJ to now step in and purchase FTP. Huh? Why would the #1 online poker site in the world want to buy a piece of crap like FTP that does have great software, but owes a ton of money and has had criminals run the company since day 1?

I could not understand this at all, so after my real work was done today, I did some research and tried to figure out why PS would be doing this. There are a ton of poker sites reporting this news today so it was pretty easy to find. Here is what I found out:

First, everything is a rumor. The poker media may have good sources, but please remember they are just rumors. PS did release a statement on their site saying they are in negotiation with the DOJ but they won’t confirm what it is about. It can be about the fines and indictments against PS and not about acquiring FTP. PS does release news pretty quickly so I am pretty sure we will hear from them very soon.

Second, if the rumors are true, PS will acquire FTP and pay 750 million. 330 million would be paid back to all the players (within 90 days of the deal being singed ) that had money stuck on FTP and then pay the DOJ the remaining 420 million to pay all the fines and have the lawsuits against PS owners dropped, like Party Poker did when they left in 2006.

The third bit of news floating around is that as part of this deal, PS would be allowed to come back into the US with some kind of brick and mortar casino as a partner. They would get to piggy back as the software provider and split profits with said casino when the US regulates online poker in the US in the next 3-5 years.

After reading all of the news today, it seems like there is a chance that the DOJ, with the Tapie Group being out of the picture, has tried to find someone to get the players their money back as fast as they can. In my opinion, the DOJ could be forcing PS to do this as part of the penalty for not leaving the US when the UIGEA was passed in 2006.

If this is the case, it will look like a win-win for everyone. First, players will get their entire balances back in 90 days. Second, the DOJ will look like heroes. Third, PS executives will not be thrown in jail somewhere. Lastly, at some time in the future, PS will be able to come back to the US and make the 750 million back that they are spending on this deal. Everyone wins and the deal does make sense if the rumors are true.

There are two things I currently want in regards to online poker. I want my friends and I to get all their money back and I want to play poker online that is regulated by the US government. Even though I wasn’t an online grinder or won anything big, I just want the right to play the game I love at any time from my home for real money and not Zynga chips.

In summary, I think this was a good day for poker because God knows we need some good news in our game. Every time a story on 2+2 breaks, it is about someone lying, cheating, or stealing. Our game desperately needs something really good to happen and this could be it.

I really do hope all these rumors are true and it happens the way it is being reported, but I also have to say that don’t hold your breath for any of this to be true. We were all let down when FTP didn’t pay. We were now let down again when Tapie pulled out so its two strikes with one left. I do believe that this is our last shot with FTP and if the rumors are false, kiss your money good bye.

It’s been one year since Black Friday. I know that day was very bad for our game but in the long run, it may be the best thing that happened because once the US government pulls it’s head out of its butt and regulates this, I truly believe we will see another poker boom bigger than 2003 that will allow all of us players to stay home and play the game we love and have some of us hopefully make a lot of money so we can retire early.

Comon DOJ and Poker Stars, get this deal done. In the epic words of Rob Schneider from the Water Boy, “You can do it”.



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