True or not, it brings more controversy and questions to light in the Full Tilt Poker saga. More than one online media site is reporting that Groupe Bernard Tapi has been contacting ex-Full Tilt Poker players by telephone to find out how they would like to be paid back. The contacts appear to be happening in Europe with no mention of United States players.
It appears that, somehow, the Tapi Group has accessed the Full Tilt Poker database and has the phone number of online poker players that have accounts at Full Tilt Poker. Does that mean a 'for real deal' has been cut with Full Tilt Poker and Bernard Tapi Group?
An interesting article from Spanish poker site Poker-Red made its way to TwoPlusTwo on Tuesday. According to the report, an employee of Poker-Red received a phone call from a French magazine, LivePoker, to answer a survey about Full Tilt Poker. The magazine has apparently been reaching out to Full Tilt Poker players who have mid-to substantial amounts of money stuck on the site. After the survey was finished, survey takers were polled about preferred payout options if they were to get their funds back.
What's interesting about this French magazine is that it is run by George Djen, founding partner of FullFun Company. FullFun recently partnered up with Groupe Bernard Tapie to create the International Stadium Poker Tour. As you know, last month, Groupe Bernard Tapie signed an acquisition agreement to purchase Full Tilt Poker and all of its associated assets.
The telephone canvasser has been asking the online poker player “warm-up” questions such as:-
What online poker room are you playing on?
How much money do you have stuck in FTP?
Would you play on FTP again?
What were your usual cashout-deposit habits?
Once they have built up a rapport with the interviewee, the canvasser then states that there is a “rumour” that Full Tilt Poker could open again within a matter of weeks, and asks which of the following options the player would prefer as a means of releasing their Full Tilt Poker bankroll.
Investing part of their funds in company shares. This option had already been weighed as a way to reduce the amount of money needed to relaunch the business. Afterwards, players would be able to sell their shares back to FTP and therefore get all their funds back.
Cashout all their account balance with a PENALTY, which would mean a percentage of the whole balance. There is no information on how much this percentage would be.
Small cashouts that would unlock throughout time. FTP would not charge anything for a player to recover their funds but it would take around a year.
The canvasser quickly adds that option number three has been the favoured response to date.
Allegedly, representatives from the group have been contacting players by phone and asking a series of warm-up questions including “what online poker room are you playing on?”, “how much money do you have stuck on FTP?”, “would you play on FTP again?” and “What were your usual cashout/deposit methods on the site?”.
Once they have built up a rapport with the ex-player, the canvasser then informs them that there is a rumour that Full Tilt could open again in a matter of weeks and asks then gives them several options over how they would like their FTP funds released.
Options include investing parts of their money in FTP shares which could then be repurchased by the company at a later date, cashing out their entire balance with an undisclosed penalty charge or releasing their balance slowly over the course of a year.
Is there any way out for U.S. Players at this point? Rumors are flying, players are trying to maintain some sense of logical positivity but the going keeps getting rougher as the days go by. In the meantime, 180 Full Tilt employees lost their jobs in Ireland at Pocket Kings recently.