7th of February 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Poker pros' Full Tilt account histories to be looked into
A statement arrived on Feb. 6 from Laurent Tapie of Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) that the comments made by his lawyer Ben Dayanim's regarding the money owed by ex-Full Tilt professionals is true. The claims involve sums of US$16.5 million is owed to Full Tilt by nineteen poker professionals, which was revealed after a due diligence audit.
In his statement, Tapie specified that some of the players have shown willingness to settle their debt, signing relevant contracts, whereas others have refused or have shown little interest in settling their debts or discussing the matter with the company.
As a response to such position, Tapie warned that Groupe Bernard Tapie would not be prepared to take on the extra costs generated by these players' debts and that these debts could represent a block in the takeover agreement. In that respect, he called on the poker pros to 'quickly' enter into dialogue in order to find a solution.
His full statement reads:
"As written in PokerStrategy, the argument of the players who say ‘we will refund if the money goes to the players' is misleading, since they know full well that the players will be refunded ONLY if GBT goes all the way with the takeover, and for that to happen it is necessary that the bulk of money owed by the pros is returned to Full Tilt.
“Otherwise GBT will have to make up the shortfall, generating an additional cost to the overall operation that GBT is not willing to take on, especially as the financial position of Full Tilt, as it appears following the audit, is actually worse than expected.
“Therefore the claim that this may block the deal unfortunately is true.
"The poker community, and particularly that made up of former Full Tilt players waiting to recover their funds, deserves to know the reality of the behaviour of some major poker figures who say they are ‘sorry about the Full Tilt player's situation and want to do everything they can to help them get their funds back, blaming the old management, but also refrain from saying how much they have borrowed from Full Tilt, and lost, playing on the site.
“However these losses represent some of the funds owed to the players who are waiting to be reimbursed.
“When you are a poker player, a great player at that, recognised and admired, the basic rule, it seems to me, is to honour your gambling debts."
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