PokerStars Buys Full Tilt Poker. Hallelujah!

Aug 06 2012 |

The poker world was greeted with amazing news on the last day of July. While many have been awaiting the outcome of the PokerStars-Full Tilt deal with great anticipation, the wait is finally over. PokerStars is buying Full Tilt and players will get their money back.

It's been nearly three months since word broke that PokerStars was looking into buying Full Tilt and was in talks with the D.O.J. Groupe Bernard Tapie, a French investment firm, was first in talks with the American government about buying Full Tilt, and initially looked like the savior for all players who had funds stuck on the once-powerful site. However, in a last second turn of events, Groupe Bernard Tapie pulled out of the deal, citing no resolution could be made and the funds needed to complete the deal were too steep.

Poker News, PokerStars, Full Tilt

It was a whirlwind of news coming in during the first announcements of the PokerStars deal. The poker forums were buzzing with rumors and speculation and more importantly, hope.

The deal features some very crucial items. First, PokerStars has been resolved of any wrong doing while operating in the United States before "Black Friday." Second, it allows them to apply for a license once regulations have been lifted.

Mark Scheinberg, Chairman of the Board of PokerStars, said in a statement, "We are delighted we have been able to put this matter behind us, and also secured our ability to operate in the United States of America whenever the regulations allow."

The best news of all is that players will be paid in full any balances left in their Full Tilt accounts. Non-U.S. players will be the first to be re-paid via PokerStars. U.S. players will be refunded by the D.O.J. using what's called a remission process. The settlement in total was worth $731 million. After paying back non-U.S. players with the allotted $184 million, the U.S. Department of Justice will have collected $547 million from the deal, and will use part of these funds to repay American players.

There is no official word on when Full Tilt will re-open, but it's stated that players will have access to withdrawal funds within 90 days of closing the deal. The site is planned to be re-launched by November and available to everyone but Americans. It's interesting to see how all this will play out, but if the past is any indication, PokerStars will run the transition smoothly and professionally.

You can read the full details of the settlement and Pokerstars' official press release here.

On a side note to all this, it's known that many players were selling their bankrolls for pennies on the dollar. Some people had all their poker bankrolls on Full Tilt and with no funds to play, they were left little choice but to get some sort of bankroll so they could continue working or pay bills. Many thought the funds would never be recovered and that selling a $10,000 bankroll for as little as $4,000 or less was the smart thing to do.

A lot of people are going to be cashing in on their investment. Some may be regretting their actions now that they can see their Full Tilt accounts again.  There is no jurisdiction in this area, as it's mainly an agreement between two people, and hopefully things will go down smoothly.

The good news is, people will be getting their funds back and one of the greatest sites will be back open – at least outside the U.S.. Full Tilt had arguably the best software of any poker room, and was my personal home of online poker. It's sad that I can't join in with the rest of the world when it's back up and running, but I'm happy for all those with funds they will now get it back.

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