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Wendeen H. Eolis

Full Tilt Creates Drama at PokerStars

by Wendeen H. Eolis

 No sooner than Laurent Tapie hit the send button on an email to employees of Pocket Kings (a Full Tilt Poker company) explaining that discussions to acquire FTP had gone down in flames, word began to spread like wildfire of another suitor for the online poker site—FTP’s longtime arch rival, PokerStars.

Tapie Deal Goes South

 As previously reported, Tapie’s repayment plan to refund non U.S. “Rest Of World” (ROW) customers was a bone of contention in Group Bernard Tapie’s negotiations with the DOJ during the past few months.

Enter PokerStars

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (20 votes)

Breaking News: Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and DOJ are Winners!

by Wendeen H. Eolis

No sooner than Group Bernard Tapie announced its failure to acquire the Full Tilt brand--after months of up and down negotiations with the United States Department of Justice--word spread across the internet of another suitor for the online site, its arch rival Poker Stars.

As previously detailed, first, in Poker Player Newspaper, the credibility and timeliness of Tapie's repayment plan to refund ROW customers became a bone of contention in  its negotiations with the DOJ  during the past few months.
According to Behn Dayanmim, however, the DOJ did not show its hand--other negotiations in progress--while pushing Tapie to make full repayment of  foreign "ROW" player account balances faster than desired by the company. In early April--at the eleventh hour, the DOJ brought down the hammer on Tapie's recalcitrance in ponying up full  refunds to all ROW players-- within ninety days of consummation of the acquisition.  
Dayanim was plainly annoyed by the DOJ's sudden hard-nosed position on the timing of refunds to players, explaining, "Most former FTP customers would have seen their monies fully refunded almost immediately." On questioning, Dayanim acknowledged  "Players with larger balances would likely not have received full repayment for an extended period." Could it have been more than two years? Dayanim said, "Yes." 
"The timetable for repayment of ROW funds had been a critical of concern to the DOJ for months," say lawyers familiar with with the wrangling over this point between Tapie and DOJ.   "Tapie ultimately showed its colors when push came to shove," according to one lawyer close to multiple protagonists involved in the final weeks of the deal making process. 

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (6 votes)

Douglas Tirola Does Poker: Lederer and Ferguson are Wild Cards

by Wendeen H. Eolis

Last week, the eagerly awaited poker documentary, All In: The Poker Movie finally hit the big screen.  Director Douglas Tirola’s ambitious project was delayed almost a year so as to allow sufficient time to follow through with additional interviews that would explain not only the events  of Poker’s Black Friday last April 15th,  but also the poker world’s reactions to them.

The movie benefits from the delay, with a singularly realistic picture of poker, complete with coverage of the aftermath of Black Friday while retaining Tirola's original vision —to reveal poker in all of its glory—as a pastime, a game, an avocation, a profession, a business, and “part of the rich history and culture of America, since its beginnings."  

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (20 votes)

The Poker Players Alliance: Transition In Progress

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Down the boardwalk from the recent World Series of Poker Circuit event in Atlantic City, a troop of online poker forum contributors—“ARGERS”—were whooping it up at the annual ATLARGE banquet.  The dinner was sponsored by PokerStars. The keynote speaker was John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance.

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (15 votes)

Full Tilt Poker - Tapie Deal: Late Arriving Investor on Board

by Wendeen H. Eolis

This morning, Group Bernard Tapie Counsel Behn Dayanim spoke to Poker Player Newspaper, reconfirming his renewed “significant confidence in the prospects of completing the deal” for his client to acquire the Full Tilt brand.  He notes, “It could occur before the end of the first quarter.” Dayanim makes clear, however, there are still a multitude of integrated issues that need to be buttoned up in the final stretch and it is more important now than ever to work through that process patiently.    

Meanwhile, the sequence of  recent events—since  Dayanim’s  disclosures last month of several players’ indebtedness  to FTP and since PPN’s identification of substantial additional roadblocks to closing a deal— have been fast moving.  

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (29 votes)

Who Says Poker is a Game of Skill?

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Any poker player worth his salt knows better than to say, “When I win, it is skill, and when I lose, it is luck,” but until the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, by and large, the poker community ignored the significant legal conundrums now playing out as high drama in the US Department of Justice’s vigorous prosecution of online poker.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (11 votes)

PokerStars: Walls Of Secrecy Tumble

By Wendeen H. Eolis

As a privately held company, the walls of secrecy surrounding senior management and the operations of Poker Stars were rarely challenged before the United States Department of Justice cracked down on online poker last year.

In the Government’s April 15, 2011 indictment, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York finally honed in on the former “Big Three” online poker companies—Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet—in a double barreled bid to end on online poker bets in the United States and put key executives of these companies in jail.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (34 votes)


by Wendeen H. Eolis


Last week Full Tilt Poker and Group Bernard Tapie took their proposed deal to the next level of drama, with a Poker Stars pro known as the Robin Hood of Poker entering from stage right-- as a wild card.

Unlikely protagonists raised and re-raised each other in a frenzy of sensational but substantively incomplete statements to suit their respective purposes of the moment.  As a new week gets under way, the big picture is all too clear. Tapie’s proposed acquisition of Full Tilt assets is spinning on a slippery slope.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (6 votes)


by Wendeen H. Eolis

Tapie-Full Tilt Update Bulletin at High Noon:


Tapie counsel, Behn Dayanim has revealed to PPN the names of several high profile players who owe Full Tilt Poker millions of dollars. All but one of the players, is publicly associated with Full Tilt.  The names of these players is being withheld by PPN pending efforts to obtain further information and/or statements from the players named by Dayanim in his further advisory at noon.

Two of the well-known players who owe significant monies are in negotiations with GBT in apparent good faith efforts to to resolve their debt, according to Dayanim. He has not made these names available for publication, at this time.

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By Wendeen H. Eolis


This morning, Group Bernard Tapie lawyer, Behnam Dayanim acknowledged to Poker Player Newspaper that multiple hurdles will need to be overcome for the deal to acquire Full Tilt to go through. He notes one key issue is outstanding debt by players to FTP. Poker Player Newspaper has separately learned that the debt is in the range of 15 million dollars and that most of those players have made no effort to arrange for repayment. GBT has counted on these monies as real and viable assets, and does not envision having to litigate to obtain them . Information is now coming in to indicate other specific hurdles that could imperil the deal, as well.

Full Tilt Update Bulletin at High Noon:


Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)


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