Full Tilt Poker (FT) has recently started showing signs of resurrection – although none of the FT or Group Bernard Tapie (GBT) officials have made any comment on the progress of the deal between the two sides and the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). Various signs have shown that progress could be in the air and the only hope for players is that it's positive progress.
The most recent news from the FT-GBT front is that the Group's executive Laurent Tapie became the director and secretary of the newly established New Full Tilt Ltd., registered in Ireland. The entity, which was founded on February 14th, declares a capital of €1 Million. The original New Full Tilt Ltd. was registered in Malta along with another possible Full Tilt-related body, Full Tilt Holding Ltd.
Full Tilt Poker's re-establishment process seems to be going in the right direction (the term “right” in this case is used only under the conviction that positive outcome and re-launch of Full Tilt Poker would lead to the site paying back its debts to players worldwide) despite the ongoing legal process against three of the company's major shareholders, Ray Bitar, Howard Lederer, and Chris Ferguson. The latter two have been named in a new class-action complaint by a number of Full Tilt players claiming that Lederer and Ferguson have “exercised unlawful dominion and control over players' funds that were held in Full Tilt Poker accounts before and after Black Friday.”
Earlier this month rumor spread about Pocket Kings, Full Tilt's software development subsidiary based in Dublin, Ireland, hiring new staff members. Full Tilt seems to have taken yet another step this week when they started testing their online software. A number of players reported seeing 411 online players showing on FullTiltPoker.com and spread the news via poker forums. Some players that tried to access Full Tilt's poker client said they were asked to upgrade their FT software to the latest version.
Does this mean Full Tilt Poker is actively preparing for a fresh start? It is possible the site would get back on its feet and start running like the old days. However, the first and most important condition for it to happen would be that Full Tilt Poker pays back every penny it owes millions of players all over the world.
Should everything go according to the three-way deal between FT, GBT, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the French investment group would buy Full Tilt Poker from the DoJ for $80 million and be responsible for returning the $150 million debt to the site's non-US players – according to an agreement that was reached in November, 2011. The Department of Justice would then return the $150 million owed by FT to American players.
Of course none of this means that Full Tilt Poker is going to be back up and running in the next couple of months or that all players are suddenly going to get back their money, but in this case any progress is better than nothing.
Updates will be added as the story develops.