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Matt Glantz: Inevitable that Tapie Will Be Backing Out of Full Tilt Deal[ return to main articles page ]

By: Dan Cypra    [See all articles by Dan Cypra]
Published on Feb 25th, 2012
On Friday, poker pro Matt Glantz (pictured) closed out the week by giving his take on the proposed asset acquisition of Full Tilt Poker by Groupe Bernard Tapie. Glantz' blog has received a hefty amount of feedback and, needless to say, its contents are far from rosy.

With nearly a year having passed since Black Friday, and nearly six months having elapsed since Full Tilt's operating license was revoked, Glantz concluded, "Unfortunately, I feel based on their recent actions, I believe it is inevitable that Tapie will be backing out. It looks to me that for whatever reason, they have no real interest in acquiring FTP. The reasons why they are hanging around giving the illusion that they are still interested are unclear."

Glantz began his post by asserting that even though "there is almost no chance of this deal going through at this point," Full Tilt executives and pros continue to remain mute. With whispers of a March 1st re-launch permeating the online poker community in recent weeks, Glantz told readers, "Anyone making a public statement from the inside will be 'at risk' in being blamed for the Tapie deal falling apart. This is why nobody is speaking publicly."

Although one shareholder involved in the negotiations between Full Tilt and Tapie was optimistic about the transaction eventually coming to fruition, Glantz wasn't convinced. He forecasted, "Without Tapie buying FTP, there is little hope of the U.S. players ever receiving their funds in their entirety. There are likely no other buyers on the horizon."

Earlier this month, PocketFives published an exclusive interview with Tapie lawyer Behn Dayanim focusing on nearly $17 million owed to Full Tilt by several pros including Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, Erick Lindgren, Barry Greenstein (pictured), and Mike Matusow. Dayanim told PocketFives why Tapie called out the group: "The reason we've gone public is because we've had limited success on our own. It's hard to say any one person is holding up the deal, but there have been people who haven't stepped forward to arrange for repayment."

Why would Tapie string players and Full Tilt's management along? Why would it single out poker pros to pay back funds they owe? For the answer to those questions, Glantz turned to the Tapie-owned International Stadium Poker Tour, or ISPT. The ISPT currently consists of a €20 million prize pool, 30,000-player live tournament emanating from Wembley Stadium in London. Glantz speculated that Tapie "might be trying to use the publicity in the upcoming months to promote their stadium tournament in Europe, an event they have been working on for years."

Meanwhile, Glantz claimed that he believes Full Tilt Poker has divided into two to three "distinct factions" and labeled Ivey's lawsuit against the company last year "the worst move any shareholder could have made at the time for the likelihood of a sale and thus for the players getting paid back." Ivey (pictured) has since dropped his lawsuit, which some speculated was filed so the former Poker Hall of Fame nominee could get out of his non-compete clause.

After calling the impending deal with Tapie "implausible," Glantz relayed what he expects to happen to the now dormant online poker room: "I expect the company to shut down and for the U.S. Government to eventually disperse the assets under its control. A reasonable expectation under the circumstances is for the players to receive between 20%-40% of their account balances back from the Government somewhere down the line."

You'll recall that back in September, the Department of Justice called Full Tilt Poker a "global Ponzi scheme." Glantz shared another possible outcome based on those allegations: "There is also a remote chance that the U.S. does not treat this situation like a poker site and sticks with its original assertion that it was just a Ponzi scheme. In this case, the account balances won't matter. You would only get your deposits back. Any money won on the site would be fake profits from the Government's perspective."

The largely pessimistic entry generated quite a bit of discussion on PocketFives in a Poker Sites thread. One Colorado poker player wrote, "I think he's right that whatever money the Government currently has will eventually be turned over to us. If I get back 20% of my money sometime in 2013, I expect that's about as good as it can get." Another poster bluntly walked away saying, "Well that was a sad story."

You can also read Daniel Negreanu's take on the situation, which involved saying that Full Tilt's Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson should all go to jail.

Read Glantz' latest Full Tilt Poker blog.

Comments

  1. “There is also a remote chance that the U.S. does not treat this situation like a poker site and sticks with its original assertion that it was just a Ponzi scheme. In this case, the account balances won’t matter. You would only get your deposits back. Any money won on the site would be fake profits from the Government’s perspective.”

    what in the fuck!??
  2. ^^^ if that happens it'd be a complete travesty. I'd like to think it's too illogical to occur, but you never know with the fed
  3.  
    Originally Posted by iamthedeck ftw View Post

    “There is also a remote chance that the U.S. does not treat this situation like a poker site and sticks with its original assertion that it was just a Ponzi scheme. In this case, the account balances won’t matter. You would only get your deposits back. Any money won on the site would be fake profits from the Government’s perspective.”

    what in the fuck!??

    As a long time loser, I agree this was a Ponzi scheme. Just give me my deposits back..lol.
  4.  
    Originally Posted by Rounder Rick View Post

    As a long time loser, I agree this was a Ponzi scheme. Just give me my deposits back..lol.


    Believe it or not I could see our government doing just this........."The money was stolen from the initial depositor so it Rightfully belongs to them"
    Now that would be the sickest bad beat ever!
  5.  
    Originally Posted by Diver1 View Post

    Believe it or not I could see our government doing just this........."The money was stolen from the initial depositor so it Rightfully belongs to them"
    Now that would be the sickest bad beat ever!


    They would definitely try to see if they can get away with it.

    I think the most significant difference between FTP and a Ponzi is that as soon as people deposited the players were the ones actively investing and trading those deposits for many hundreds of working hours. Players had no idea how this company was managed otherwise they wouldn't play there. I personally don't believe that they should punished for being victims of fraud.
  6.  
    Originally Posted by Diver1 View Post

    Believe it or not I could see our government doing just this........."The money was stolen from the initial depositor so it Rightfully belongs to them"
    Now that would be the sickest bad beat ever!

    LOL.. ya remember you live in that land of the FREE..yes your Gov't will look after you..more LOL..get over it all ready your mafia Gov't ain't going to help!! Well its too bad that the FTP take over may not happen but whether it does or not you ain't getting your winnings nor your deposits, so kiss all of it goodbye! Better start looking for a real job so the gov't can collect your tax earnings..ya what a lovely Gov't isn't it..enough of the Feds we all know how they opporate..if anything good came out of all this is that i'm so glad that the Taipe group disclosed the big fat smelly dirty crooks that fucked us over..yes boys your TV days are over..you name is mud..your public appearances will be greeted with baseball bats..and i hope the Feds go after you and put you sick bastards in prison once and for good!
  7. why does this article only talk about a chance of US players getting back a percentage. what the fuck? and the rest of the world gets screwed?
  8. Rest of the world can look out for themselves . . .
  9. Matt Glantz's opinion is worthless
     
  10.  
    Originally Posted by Gotskillz View Post

    Matt Glantz's opinion is worthless

    ^^^^
  11. full tilt only site i could never win on....give me back my deposits.... :)
     
  12. We all got screwed thanks to the scumbags who ran the show
    and those who owe millions that they didn't pay back, especially
    the Pro's who were respected at one time. You know who you are.
  13. this is such a shame...omfg
  14. i highly doubt this was article worthy, and lol at people being worried about FT being considered a ponzi scheme, the doj used that term in a press release to get peoples attention
     
  15. nice really pumped about getting that initial $100 deposit back.... oh andto Lederer and Ferguson and the rest of the scum...deathbyfire.gif
     
  16. So IF tilt was a ponzi would we be able to claim losses back ie UK and row
  17. u be lucky even to get your deposits back i think!
     
  18.  
    Originally Posted by Iplaythabored View Post

    i highly doubt this was article worthy, and lol at people being worried about FT being considered a ponzi scheme, the doj used that term in a press release to get peoples attention


    well it sure reeks of a ponzi! all the guys tht helped push the world of poker were getting paid huge,and guess what theyre at the top.

    i always thought any1 buying ftp was insane,it can never be close to the same product,no usa players and no usa top name pros,it would be just a regular site,thats been dormant for awhile now
     1
  19.  
    Originally Posted by double_kyan View Post

    well it sure reeks of a ponzi! all the guys tht helped push the world of poker were getting paid huge,and guess what theyre at the top.

    i always thought any1 buying ftp was insane,it can never be close to the same product,no usa players and no usa top name pros,it would be just a regular site,thats been dormant for awhile now

    First of all, I can't fathom that you're doing anything other than trolling if you actually think FTP resembles a Ponzi scheme at all. Do you actually know what a Ponzi scheme is? FTP was a site that made money -- a lot of it. Failing to seperate operating and player funds is very different to creating the illusion of an investment with a high return in order to move money around until there isn't anymore money to move.

    The DOJ was using colorful language to best serve their dramatic license, it's just unfortunate that this creates excessively bad press for the site when it already has enough, and people who are uneducated about this sort of thing DO NOT need to be misled as well. Also, buying FTP has nothing to do with "top USA pro's" and everything to do with purchasing some of the best software in the industry, and more specifically, focusing on their international market as things open with new management. FTP as a business model was massively successful, it's the management and allocation of funds that turned everything into a shit storm. If the site can be salvaged, there is still a boatload of money to be made from it -- especially in the long term as the market cools down.

    As for this article -- sure it may be newsworthy, but what the hell does Giantz think he is achieving here? Everyone knows that this situation is pretty uncertain as it is, and even if it does seem less and less likely that Tapie will buy FTP, clearing heralding the absolute worst outcome does nothing for the community and any kind of business confidence that may remain to set things right. I'm sure Giantz wants to be paid as much as the next FTP customer, and to me it's pretty stupid that he wants to try and convince everyone that there is no hope, when clearly he has no more inside information than anyone else and is essentially just speculating in a negative fashion.

    From the looks of how things have gone so far, it seems that an acquisition is still very possible. The only really concerning aspect to me is how much focus Tapie has put on the $17 million owed by FTP pro's, and how they have explained that this can hold up the process. It seems to me that if they were planning to pay $300 million to customers world wide, that $17 million from some execs would be relatively low on the list of potential problems. Still, it may be simply that they wish to exert pressure on those that should re-pay their debts anyway, which is certainly fair enough considering that there isn't really any reason why those people should walk away unscathed, especially after displaying what seemed to be some disgustingly degenerate behaviour in some cases. In the end, I think I'd rather sit in Kevmode's camp and keep up the optimism that this thing is going to happen -- Matt Giantz or no; this whole FTP thing has been a rollercoaster, and none of us really know what the next piece of *real* news could be.
     
  20.  
    Originally Posted by Gotskillz View Post

    Matt Glantz's opinion is worthless

    This. If I give my opinion in a blog entry will it become a P5 article too?

    Over the past year P5 has lost any credibility that they may have had, or had the opportunity to gain when it comes to covering poker news
    Edited By: Zeppelin Feb 27th, 2012 at 12:37 AM
 
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