Saturday August 4,2012 : CALLING IN THE FULL TILT POKER LOANS
Ray Bitar's spreadsheet on loans to poker aces could run into millions
In the wake of the Pokerstars takeover of Full Tilt Poker the story of generous loans made by the failed online poker operator to a number of high profile players/stakeholders…and when the new owner will call them in…is gaining traction in news media this week.
Groupe Bernard Tapie, the erstwhile front-runner to acquire FTP, revealed earlier this year that its due diligence checks had uncovered a number of generous loans totalling over $18 million that had been dished out to favoured players by FTP's CEO Ray Bitar.
Respected pro Barry Greenstein confirmed that he was one such recipient, and that he would be repaying the $400,000 he had been loaned once the ownership question was clear. Other recipients of Bitar's generosity were not so forthcoming.
The loans issue was further revitalised when it was revealed in recent documents pertaining to the Pokerstars takeover that Bitar had delivered up to Pokerstars an Excel spreadsheet detailing the disbursements.
Neither the amounts involved nor the names on the spreadsheet have been made public, but inevitably leaks have led to claims on poker message boards that top players like Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, Erick Lindgren and David Benyamine are involved.
Leading message boards like twoplustwo sport long threads of mainly speculative posts regarding the FTP loans from ordinary players who have been waiting impatiently for payment for the past 15 months, and therefore have a lively interest in how FTP monies were spent… and how much will be recouped by the new owners.
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