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Poker News: Guilty Plea for Full Tilt’s Burtnick

by Haley Hintze

FTP PAYMENT PROCESSOR  FTP PAYMENT PROCESSOR  ADMITS DECEIVING BANKS ADMITS DECEIVING BANKS

 Full Tilt Poker payment processing head, Nelson Burtnick,  has pled guilty to bank fraud in connection with Full Tilt’s  long-running services to US players. Burtnick, 41, a Canadian citizen, admitted deceiving banks as to the nature of deposits made by American players  in a hearing before US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein. Burtnick is the  seventh Black Friday defendant to reach a deal with prosecutors, with Full Tilt  head Ray Bitar awaiting trial on charges similar to Burtnick. Burtnick faces a  sentence of up to 15 years when sentenced on December 19th, but is expected  to receive a shorter term.

WMS, ACEP RECEIVE NEVADA APPROVAL WMS, ACEP RECEIVE NEVADA APPROVAL

 Another pair of firms have received the go-ahead from Nevada Gaming  Commission regulators to participate in that state’s online poker market. The  latest licenses have been awarded to WMS Gaming, Inc, known for its longrunning lines of “Williams”-branded equipment, and American Casino and  Entertainment Properties, LLC (ACEP), parent company of the Stratosphere  and three other Nevada casinos. A third company, PokerTrip Enterprises,  associated with online sites AllVegasPoker.com and ThePokerAtlas.com, also  became the first business licensed as a Nevada online-poker affiliate.

POKERSTARS ANNOUNCES NOVEMBER  POKERSTARS ANNOUNCES NOVEMBER  DATE FOR RELAUNCHED FULL TILT DATE FOR RELAUNCHED FULL TILT

 Though the site will be closed to Americans, Full Tilt Poker will soon reemerge  on the world scene, following an announcement by PokerStars that the site  will reopen in November. PokerStars purchased the FTP assets as part of its  complex settlement with the Department of Justice, and has already contacted rest-of-world players with the highest balances with instructions for  reactivating their accounts. $184 million in player balances for non-US players  will immediately be available once the site reopens. Many of the innovative  software features pioneered on the Full Tilt site will return, with PokerStars  also seeking new international patents for some of the software offerings.

ACEP SIGNS BALLY TECH AS SERVICE  ACEP SIGNS BALLY TECH AS SERVICE  PROVIDER PROVIDER

 Just-approved American Casino and Entertainment Properties, LLC (ACEP),  celebrated its approval by Nevada regulators by quickly announcing a deal  with Bally Technologies to provide services for ACEP’s future sites. ACEP has  yet to announce its branding plans, though a “Stratosphere Poker” site is  likely to be among them. Previously, Ballys announced a similar deal with the  Golden Nugget for its online operations.

US OBTAINS ABSOLUTE POKER SOFTWARE US OBTAINS ABSOLUTE POKER SOFTWARE

 Department of Justice attorneys have also confirmed receiving a copy of  the Absolute Poker software platform from the South Korean firm, recently  renamed, Quad Dimensions, that serviced the AP site in recent years. The DOJ  reached an agreement with Quad Dimensions (formerly Panoratech) to turn  over the software as part of the government’s ongoing efforts to seize and  sell all obtainable AP assets, though a judge has yet to approve the hoped-for  sale. Absolute Poker ownership group Avoine - Servico de Consultadoria e  Marketing continues to contest the DOJ’s seizure and sale efforts.

D.C. TO RECONSIDER CASINOS D.C. TO RECONSIDER CASINOS

 Legislators for the District of Columbia have announced plans to reconsider  one or more casinos. Local politicians including former DC mayor Marion  Barry seek to keep gambling money at home, since the district surrounding the nation’s capitol has no casinos of its own and its residents frequent  venues in nearby states. The district briefly legalized online poker in April of  2011, before reversing itself under pressure from federal legislators and withdrawing its plans.

GALFOND FILES SUIT AGAINST  GALFOND FILES SUIT AGAINST  BLUEFIREPOKER FOUNDER BLUEFIREPOKER FOUNDER

 High-stakes pro Phil Galfond has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages  against William Murphy, the primary owner of BluefirePoker.com, the online  poker training site which featured Galfond’s instruction from 2009-2011. The  two parted ways in a messy, public fallout in November of 2011, with Galfond  asserting in his action that he has not been paid for his 2011 services, and  that he did not receive adequate corporate financials for 2009 and 2010,  in which he received a combined total of more than $400,000 for his work.  Galfond was a minority owner of Bluefire, originally agreeing to a 15% share  which was slated to grow over time.

Veteran poker-industry writer/editor Haley Hintze is the author  of an upcoming book on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet  online cheating scandals, to be released later this year.

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