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Major Media Outlets Lend Credence to Full Tilt, PokerStars Rumors[ return to main articles page ]

By: Earl Burton    [See all articles by Earl Burton]
Published on Apr 26th, 2012
As the poker industry continues to buzz about rumors of discussions between Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, the mainstream media has cast its gaze in the direction of online poker. The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Berzon, who has reported at length on the Black Friday indictments since last year, reported early Wednesday morning that PokerStars is in discussions with the DOJ to not only settle its legal woes, but also take on the embattled Full Tilt Poker.

Acquiring the assets of Full Tilt Poker is a small part of what would in actuality be an overall settlement of the Black Friday indictments, according to Berzon, and there are no firm numbers as to what it would cost PokerStars to settle with the Federal Government.

Berzon, who was featured in the poker documentary "All In: The Poker Movie" discussing the Federal indictments of Black Friday, stated that PokerStars would take on the debt owed by Full Tilt Poker, including paying out an estimated $300 million worldwide and $150 million to U.S. players, and pay the appropriate fines levied against both companies to the DOJ.

Berzon also stated that the assets PokerStars would acquire in its purchase of Full Tilt Poker are, as of yet, unknown.

While the discussion of a settlement between the Feds and PokerStars is a step in the right direction, Berzon noted that the discussions would have no impact on the criminal charges faced by alleged founders of both companies, according to confidential talks with a source.

Under the April 2011 indictment, the alleged founders of the two companies - Isai Scheinberg and Paul Tate of PokerStars and Ray Bitar (pictured) and Nelson Burtnick of Full Tilt Poker - would still face criminal charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and running an illegal gambling operation. Berzon's article did not mention the legal status of Full Tilt's Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Rafe Furst, who were charged with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme.

Reuters picked up on Berzon's work in its own article a few hours later. In both cases, the articles cite that the DOJ, PokerStars, and Full Tilt Poker are being rather silent on the discussions due to the nature of the talks.

On the PokerStars Blog, Eric Hollreiser, the Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, stated, "We've had a lot of enquiries and there's lots of speculation on the forums, so I wanted to address the PokerStars chatter. As you know, PokerStars is in settlement discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice. As such settlement discussions are always confidential, we are unable to comment on rumors. As soon as we have information to share publicly, we will do so."

The rumors continue to swirl as to why PokerStars is supposedly looking to purchase its former rival. Comments on PocketFives have speculated that the purchase, as a part of the settlement of the Federal case, could allow PokerStars to return to the U.S. market once online poker is regulated. There are other speculations that PokerStars is making the purchase as a PR move for goodwill.

Finally, there are some concerns by posters that the purchase of Full Tilt by PokerStars would amount to a monopoly, as only one other company, bwin.Party, can even begin to come close to what a combined PokerStars/Full Tilt operation would amount to.

The attention from such mainstream media giants as the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and Reuters gives a great deal of credence to the multitude of rumors that are running rampant about the poker world. Berzon's involvement, after her reporting on the Federal Government's response to online poker, allows for a glimmer of truth for poker players watching from the sidelines.

In addition to the WSJ and Reuters, such mainstream outlets as SI.com, BusinessWeek, and ESPN have also added their commentary on the ongoing developments.

Check out PocketFives' related articles:

PokerStars Stays Mum on Full Tilt Acquisition Rumors
Poker Community Reacts to PokerStars Rumored Purchase of Full Tilt
Analysis of Alleged Full Tilt Buyout by PokerStars
GBT: Issues Surrounding FTP Purchase "Proved Unresolvable"
Rumor: PokerStars Buys Full Tilt, GBT Says Statement Coming Shortly

Comments

  1. want my $250 back one time
  2. ^ lol
     1
  3. "Finally, there are some concerns by posters that the purchase of Full Tilt by PokerStars would amount to a monopoly, as only one other company, bwin.Party, can even begin to come close to what a combined PokerStars/Full Tilt operation would amount to."ya for like 6 months until Zynga enters the real $ gaming and takes over as the largest online poker site by light years.
     1
  4. The moment the U.S. opens back up for "legal" internet poker, then we'll what happens. I doubt the U.S. government will allow any kind of monopoly. Who cares who controls the rest of the world...no offense intended.
  5.  
    Originally Posted by Gameslut View Post

    The moment the U.S. opens back up for "legal" internet poker, then we'll what happens. I doubt the U.S. government will allow any kind of monopoly. Who cares who controls the rest of the world...no offense intended.

    About half of P5s is from outside the US, so safe to say a lot of people here care :) But point taken about how it affects Americans less
     
  6. Yes im sure there is a reacl concern about stars having a monopoly in the online poker world.At anyone time there may be only 100-400k people worldwide online on stars.In the US theres 108,000,000 internet users.Yes not all play poker, but if some company is prepared to put up the $ then theres room to attract new business and new customers.Online poker is tiny as far as users go, this is the beggining and has room to grow a hell of alot more based on population actually playing.Example:In the US alone online poker is legalized next year: MGM opens up a room. stars has no license.All those kids out there who just turned 21, who have never played on stars take up the best option to them at a time to play.There is thousands of potential new clients to play before stars is even around.Think logic.That is all.inb4 tl;dr
  7. I don't see how Stars settling with the DOJ and purchasing FTP would have any bearing on speeding up the process of allowing them to re-enter the US market once online poker is regulated. I would think Party Poker would have a quicker shot at getting back into the US market since they left the US almost immediately after W and crew passed the bill way before BF. Stars and Tilt continued to break the rules. Plus, we all know the heavy hitters in Vegas will have the first opportunity at US online poker and will continue to contribute money to their friends campaign funds account.
  8. whats wrong with the monopoly thing? would be great if stars would just buy everything so everybody gets payed!
     1
  9. oh cool, avg field size 20,000
  10.  
    Originally Posted by downbylaw11 View Post

    oh cool, avg field size 20,000

    hell yeah
     
  11.  
    Originally Posted by RedIceRap View Post

    whats wrong with the monopoly thing? would be great if stars would just buy everything so everybody gets payed!

    Would have good implications short-term, but bad implications long term. If they had a virtual monopoly, they would in term not be encouraged to come up with any new innovations, would be driven to increase rake since there is no competition, and things like customer service and payouts may becomes worse and slower. Competition drives improvement, no competition causes stagnation and deteriation. I do agree though that a deal with Stars at least would get people paid, and I do prefer this over what was proposed by the GBT, I am just wary about what might be a few years down the line with a huge Stars/FTP controlled industry, especially if no new players step up or there is regulation in the US.
  12.  
    Originally Posted by downbylaw11 View Post

    oh cool, avg field size 20,000

    F that
  13. You can't be concerned about the what if's, the market will set the rules and if a larger pokerstars doesn't work with it, then people will look elsewherei also dont think zynga or whatever the hell it is will make a big dent in any real money poker anytime soon, facebook members playing for free doesn't mean that they will automatically start donating cash just because they can, it is as popular as it is because it's free.......and just because PS has 100,000 people on 15000 tables at any one time also doesn't mean they are all paying customersin any business, the model to grow is buy out the opposition or grow ergonomically, PS doesn't appear to be growing it's membership base, everytime someone deposits for the first time, they probably lose someone else disenchanted with their own effortsbuying FT allows them to grow by gaining access to all the players that were not on (or have since joined) PS - appears quite logical to melastly how anyone can claim this would mean a monopoly and anti trust laws being broken doesn't know that there are 100's of other sites available to play poker on, just because they have the largest membership base doesn't mean any laws are being broken, if everyone who fills their car up at shell decides to in the future use BP, doesn't mean BP will be fined or told to cease and desist, it's business man and the big doggy wins - the smaller pups just have to lift their gameand Wacky, having a larger player base, means more money, means more r & d development and companies in general like to stay number 1 when they have tasted it - so any reference to falling customer service et al, doesn't wash with mecheers all
     
  14.  
    Originally Posted by downbylaw11 View Post

    oh cool, avg field size 20,000

    whahaha so true! probably will see a lot more capped tourneys.
  15.  
    Originally Posted by downbylaw11 View Post

    oh cool, avg field size 20,000

    its the daily Mon.-Sun. storm
     
  16. Poker Stars is the best poker site hands down. That being said, I hope they stay the hell away from Full Tilt. No way I want them owning all the largest sites. I'd rather wait even longer for some other buyer that may never show.
    1
  17. fulllstars would gain a dominant position in the on-line poker market but def not a monopoly. :eek:if in 10 years fullstars represents 70%-100% of the on-line poker market, then lets use this famous word "monopoly" again, but for now lets forget it please.
     
  18. I will continue to play the small tourney fields of lock and bovada.. I do not want to play against 8k people and spend10 hrs on an online tourney
  19. If GBT was in conversation with DOJ for almost a year, then... stay tuned, you have a lot of news to review.
     
  20. Who cares about a possible monopoly (but its not) when things are going into the right direction? People are gonna be paid. I know a lot of pocketfivers dont have money at FTP and dont care that much, but all the pros have money frozen and would be great to all poker industry that they get paid 100%. I think we should think positive and hope that pokerstars solve this problem. Keep going Stars. Im pretty sure all the poker community thank you for this!
     
 
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