Wednesday, May 2,2012 : NEVER SAY DIE FOR TAPIE POKER VENTURE
The FTP deal may have petered out for Groupe Bernard Tapie, but the French have another plan…
The poker information site Diamond Flush Poker had the drop on other publications Tuesday with its exclusive story on new internet poker plans by French-owned Groupe Bernard Tapie in the wake of its failure to acquire Full Tilt Poker recently .
Citing a leaked email (which just goes to show you can't trust everyone with confidential information like this), Diamond Flush reported that Tapie has clearly not given up on the idea of an online poker venture…and is doing something concrete towards achieving its goals.
Laurent Tapie, son of the group's owner and the man who has been spearheading its online poker drive, reportedly tried to poach 16 key employees of FTP poker parent Pocket Kings, offering them the chance to work on a new poker site to be run by the recently registered Tapie company Game Cubed and for the same salary they are currently being paid, along with the possibility of stock options.
Tapie made his offer conditional on the acceptance of all 16 employees.
The leaked email noted: "I will do this only if I can attract all of the Pocket Kings key staff to join me. With your help and know-how, we will launch a new website that will be best of breed in 6-7 months.
"I know that any such step requires a leap of faith, so here is my offer: as of May 1, I will hire the entire Pocket Kings key staff – every single one of you – at your current salaries and with your accumulated benefits intact. I also will include stock options in the new company, so that we all will share in what I believe to be the exciting upside this opportunity represents."
Tapie's plans apparently include developing new software and branding, and a competitive plan to attract former Full Tilt ROW players by offering to credit their FTP losses if they migrate to the new site.
That could be a move that Pokerstars will note with interest in view of its reported takeover offer on FTP.
Diamond Flush Poker reports that Tapie made his move immediately before issuing a statement withdrawing GBT from the FTP deal, and the take-up on the offer is not known.
In the email Tapie reportedly wrote that the US Department of Justice had ultimately refused to accept the Tapie Group’s proposal for repayment of the FTP players on April 14, 2012, because it wanted GBT to pay back 100 percent of the $184 million owed to ROW players within 90 days.
GBT lawyers contacted by Diamond Flush Poker to confirm the authenticity of the leaked email declined comment.