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Poker News: Full Tilt License Yanked, Assets and Brand Name Sold

Full Tilt’s Alderney License Yanked, Company Sold to French Investors

Among a handful of important news items surrounding embattled online poker giant Full Tilt Poker was the decision by UK regulatory agency Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) to withdraw licensure of Full Tilt and several of its subsidiary firms. In its decision, the AGCC asserted that “FTP had fundamentally misled AGCC about their operational integrity by continuously reporting as liquid funds balances that had been covertly seized or restrained by US authorities, or that were otherwise not actually available to the operator. Serious breaches of AGCC regulations include false reporting, unauthorized provision of credit, and failure to report material events.” The AGCC also stated, “Unresolved claims by players against FTP become a matter for the police and civil authorities,” though the licensing body left room to consider relicensing a new Full Tilt with different owners and management. Groupe Bernard Tapie’s purchase terms were not disclosed and the firm immediately announced plans to negotiate with the DOJ regarding repayments to existing players, and to reopen the site by January, 2012.

Lederer, Ferguson, Furst Added to DOJ Civil Complaint

Three famed poker-player owners in the shell of firms comprising Full Tilt were added to the Department of Justice’s ongoing civil complaint against Full Tilt. Lederer, Ferguson and Furst are alleged to have received tens of millions in dividends derived from Full Tilt operations while engaging with CEO Bitar to defraud players out of at least $440 million over the past several years. The DOJ’s lead attorney in the case, Preet Bharara, described Full Tilt as a “global Ponzi scheme” in an attentiongrabbing news release.

Oboodi Takes Borgata Poker Open

Bobby Oboodi’s first-ever World Poker Tour cash turned out to be a life-changer, as he captured the WPT’s 2011 Borgata Poker Open. Oboodi bested a giant 1,313-player field on his way to a $922,441 winner’s check. Oboodi led for much of the field before finishing off Jim Hwang ($554,303) for the win. Daniel Buzgon claimed third ($335,433), with veteran Fred Goldberg fourth for $280,925.
Lederer, Ferguson Suspended by Epic Poker League

In light of the new legal challenges facing Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson, the brand new Epic Poker League’s board of directors voted to suspend Lederer and Ferguson, who were both eligible to participate in the invitation-only series. Lederer’s brother-sister relationship with EPL commissioner Annie Duke added to the soap-opera workings facing the new EPL, which has seen Chino Rheem, its first event winner, embroiled in bad-debt controversies, and which also faced a complicated situation after a pro-am qualifier for its second event, Michael DeVita, was banned from the host casino, Las Vegas’ Palms Casino, after a sex-offender conviction became public knowledge.

An American in… Malta

Austin Texas’s Matt Giannetti found European’s fall conditions just fine, traveling to and winning September’s recent WPT Malta stop. Gianetti, most noted as a former WSOP November Niner, added a major poker crown to his resume and $273,200 to his career earnings by topping 239 entrants. Gianetti’s presence broke up an otherwise all-European final, with Cecilia Pascaglini leading much of the way before finishing as the runner-up for $161,313. Third-place Filippo Banchini collected $106,187, while Simon Trumper’s fourth-place run netted $73,855.

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