As their now-dark website continues to languish in online purgatory for the second month, Full Tilt Poker issued a press release stating that their original plans have now gone awry.
In the statement released to PokerNews and reported by Chad Holloway, Full Tilt Poker quashed many of the rumors that have been roaming about regarding the deal that would have not only allowed the site to reopen for business but also would have allowed payment to American players. The statement begins by saying, “On August 16, Irish based Pocket Kings Ltd., brand executor for the Full Tilt Poker moniker, concluded the exclusivity period of negotiations with their current potential investor. While Pocket Kings Ltd. plans to continue discussions with its current investor, the company has now begun negotiations with additional potential investors to conclude the sale/partnership of the Full Tilt Poker brand and its assets.”
While not mentioning the potential investor, there have been many thoughts as to who it would be. The prevailing thought is that it was a group of European investors who were quite interested in maintaining the site for the international community but was not interested in taking on the American issues with Full Tilt Poker and the U. S. Department of Justice. The discussions, which were ongoing at the time of Full Tilt Poker’s hearing in front of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) were a prime reason for last month’s hearing’s suspension and any future hearings to be held in private.
Full Tilt Poker, who has had little to no contact with American customers since “Black Friday” and even less with international customers since the AGCC revoked their license in June, also took the time to attempt to placate its patrons. “Full Tilt Poker apologizes for its lack of communication with its customers over the last month and a half, but it has been grappling with unexpected and complex legal and financial issues arising from Black Friday and its aftermath. In addition, the company has had to be circumspect about disclosing the progress of negotiations with potential investors because there is often a requirement of strict confidentiality.”
“To the extent that it can do so without jeopardizing future opportunities, Full Tilt Poker will strive to have better communication with its customers going forward,” the statement to PokerNews concludes. “Full Tilt Poker’s number one priority remains the same: to secure an infusion of capital to repay all of its worldwide customers.
The breakdown in negotiations could even have an effect on the next hearing in front of the AGCC, which is scheduled for September 15. According to an article from OnlinePoker.net, the attorney for Full Tilt Poker, Jeff Ifrah, has stated that Full Tilt Poker is looking for another extension in the ongoing AGCC hearings beyond September 15. He is quoted by OnlinePoker.net as saying, “Nobody wants to come to September 15 and not have a deal which is either finalized or close to finalization, to the point that it can be shared with Alderney and result in the extension of that date.”
In a nutshell, the announcement from Full Tilt Poker only darkens the picture on many aspects. There will probably be another extension in the AGCC hearings beyond the September 15 date, which will delay the return of the site in any form. For those with money tied up on the site, which could reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide, there will be no payouts in the foreseeable future. For those who, even after the past few months, would like to continue playing on the site, the return of the site to the online poker industry isn’t likely without two things: new ownership and the ability of that owner to take care of the issues that have plagued the site since “Black Friday” occurred.