Full Tilt Poker Issues New Statement, Little New Information Revealed


With their meeting with the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) looming next week, Full Tilt Poker has released a new statement regarding their operations.


In a release to the website PokerStrategy.com, the statement reveals little to no new information that already isn’t known by the poker industry. The statement basically recaps the actions of the U. S. Department of Justice indictments of April 15, otherwise known as “Black Friday,” and the resulting action by the AGCC to suspend Full Tilt’s gaming license on June 29.


What the statement does reveal is that the company has undergone cost-cutting measures and is confident that it will return to the international online poker market, save for the United States. The statement to PokerStrategy, discussing what Full Tilt has done since the AGCC suspension, reads, “As a result (of “Black Friday” and the AGCC suspension), Pocket Kings Ltd. has adopted a cost optimization program and estimates that they need to reduce their costs by approximately €12 million.


“This program is intended to streamline the company’s operations in order to better position itself for future growth and profitability in Full Tilt Poker’s markets outside of the U.S.,” the statement continues. “If all of the required cost savings were to be achieved through redundancies, approximately 250 positions could be affected; however the exact number cannot be confirmed until the conclusion of a consultation process with its workforce.”


With the issues that face the current ownership of Full Tilt Poker – and the same issues that would face anyone who is looking to invest in and/or purchase the company – the statement has an audacious outlook. “Notwithstanding the foregoing, Pocket Kings firmly believes it has a very strong future in Full Tilt Poker’s non-U. S. markets, and is fully committed to ensuring Full Tilt Poker restores the site and repay players in full. To this end, Full Tilt Poker has retained Sea Port Group Securities, LLC as its financial advisor with regard to raising capital and/or assisting in securing a strategic partner in order to fund continued operations of Full Tilt Poker’s non-U.S. business. The Company is in active discussions with several parties and will provide a further statement in due course.”


This latest communique from Full Tilt doesn’t provide any new information to the millions of customers worldwide who have their money locked up in the company. A statement released at the end of August attempted to explain why Full Tilt reached the situation they are in (the organization blamed it on previous DoJ financial seizures and the alleged theft of company funds by a payment processor), but did not address if, how or when it would pay back customers worldwide. All today’s statement does is readdress something that Full Tilt Poker firmly believes:  that the company will have their license reinstated by the AGCC and will return to the online poker industry.


That will be a huge question when the hearing with the AGCC is held on September 19. Postponed from its earlier hearing date of July 29, the hearing between the AGCC and Full Tilt officials will be held in private, rather than the public hearing in London that occurred last time. There were multiple reasons given by the AGCC to hold the hearing with Full Tilt in private next week.


After the July hearing, the AGCC released a statement that read, “As a result of the arguments on behalf of FTP during the pre-hearing application, the Commissioners decided to adjourn the hearing as they felt it was in the best interests of FTP’s customers. A key consideration in their decision was to allow FTP licensees to further pursue advanced commercial negotiations which could lead to a more beneficial outcome for player interests.”


As of today, those “advanced negotiations” have led to no change in ownership or the leadership of the company. In their August statement, Full Tilt stated that six different groups have looked at purchasing or investing in the company, but no one has stepped forward to do so. With an estimated $150 million owed to American players from their accounts, another $15 million allegedly owed to Canadians, untold millions owed to the remainder of the world and no money being earned by the company while shut down, Full Tilt Poker, in reality, should have a difficult time in front of the AGCC next week.


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Earl Burton
Earl Burton is a veteran journalist in the poker industry, having covered the game since 2004. He has played the game much longer, however, starting out playing in family games at a very early age. He has covered tournaments across the United States, including the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker and various charitable events. Earl’s background includes writing for some of the top poker news sites in the industry as well as other poker media outlets that include Poker Player Newspaper and Canadian Poker Player Magazine. Earl keeps an unblinking eye on the poker world, offering coverage of news from the industry, tournament action, player interviews, strategy and his opinions on the game. Whenever possible, Earl will also step to the tables to demonstrate that there’s more than just writing talent behind his poker game!


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