According to a source close to PocketFives, Group Bernard Tapie Managing Director Laurent Tapie (pictured), who is overseeing the much-anticipated acquisition of Full Tilt Poker, has moved to Dublin, Ireland. The significance? Dublin is the site of the headquarters of Full Tilt Poker’s parent company, Pocket Kings, and according to our source, Tapie is working in Dublin several days per week gearing up for a re-launch of Full Tilt.
Our source echoed the latest rumblings from Wicked Chops Poker earlier this week, which indicated that Tapie’s acquisition of the now-dormant Full Tilt Poker is nearing its completion. The original rumors had the deal being finalized by the end of February, although this was later delayed to March 16th and then March 23rd. Now, as the industry is closing in on the one-year anniversary of Black Friday on April 15th, one question looms large: When will Tapie complete its purchase of the assets of Full Tilt?
“They are finalizing the deal with U.S. Department of Justice, but it’s a done deal,” our source said about the latest news. “Tapie is getting ready to reopen Full Tilt Poker in Europe. The deal should be signed next week.” Whether this information turns out to be true remains to be seen, but our source is very well connected within the online and live poker communities. Tapie is rumored to be re-launching using the Full Tilt Poker brand name, although many believe Full Tilt to be too badly tarnished.
On Thursday, a second source close to the negotiations told PocketFives there was no indication whether an agreement would be signed anytime soon: “I don’t want to speculate. It is anybody’s guess whether it is this week or next.” Then, on Friday, a separate source bluntly stated, “Nothing today.”
In a thread in the Poker Sites forum, members of PocketFives were understandably growing weary of the week-by-week teases. One poster referenced the recent introduction of PokerStars Zoom Poker when trying to value Full Tilt: “Wondering if these delays will have an impact on the value of Full Tilt? Rush Poker was a big draw for them, but now that PokerStars has Zoom Poker and it looks like Unibet, iGame, and Betsson will have their version called Fast Poker by the end of the month, could this affect how much Full Tilt is still worth?”
On TwoPlusTwo, another poster questioned, “Unless GBT gives away the world in promotions, what commercial/software advantages are they going to have? Are they going to have name pros? That hasn’t worked out well for FTP1.” The first go-around of Full Tilt ended in allegations of a “global Ponzi scheme” from the U.S. Government. In addition, 19 pros, including the likes of Phil Ivey and Mike Matusow, allegedly owe $16.5 million to the room.
The rumored purchase would see the U.S. Department of Justice pay back American players, while Tapie would be responsible for refunding users from the rest of the world. How long the repayment process will take has not been announced.
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments right here on PocketFives.