02/24/2012 : GETTING THE SKINNY ON THE FULL TILT POKER DEBACLE
Top player and blogger is not optimistic on the Tapie deal
Prominent poker personalities who are also shareholders in the embattled Full Tilt Poker company have been subjected to extensive criticism and abuse from other poker pros and understandably frustrated unpaid players for their continued silence on the debacle and the serious accusations that have been leveled against them.
This week the respected pro player Matt Glantz used his blog at Cardplayers in an attempt to draw as objective a picture as possible of a complicated issue.
Glantz apparently embarked on a series of conversations with those concerned in his attempt to understand what is happening behind the scenes in the convoluted corporate environment. However, he has had to keep his sources anonymous due to fears that they may be blamed should the Groupe Bernard Tapie deal fall through…and at least some seem to fear that such a possibility could be on the cards.
Glantz comments: "It was surprising to me that only one shareholder told me not to post any of our conversation in the blog and I will certainly respect those wishes. However, the other shareholders seemed to be in contact with me mostly to explain why they can’t speak publicly in response to my last blog. There was also a disconcerting amount of trashing of other shareholders and their actions."
Shareholders interviewed explained their public silence was due to fear that any statement they may make might be construed as contributing to any failure that may come about that might stop GBT acquiring Full Tilt, and the benefits for unpaid players that could flow from such an event.
"Even though most of the insiders seem to conclude that there is almost no chance of this deal going through at this point, they don’t want any perception that their words caused the deal to fail," writes Glantz.
Although the GBT deal has a high profile in articles about FTP, one key shareholder told Glantz that there were "…still more viable options past Tapie."
The source emphasised that FTP’s best chance to get the players paid back in full was the GBT deal, and that everyone, shareholders included, would serve best to stay silent on the matter.
Glantz cautions that this statement may be "overly optimistic and somewhat self-serving," but is forthright in noting that his blog is his opinion, and that he cannot be sure he has been told the whole truth in pursuing his goal to present as objective a view of the situation as possible
"Without Tapie buying FTP there is little hope of the US players ever receiving their funds in their entirety," Glantz opines. "There are likely no other buyers on the horizon. Unfortunately I feel based on their recent actions, I believe it is inevitable that Tapie will be backing out. It looks to me that for whatever reasons they have no real interest in acquiring FTP.
"The reasons why they are hanging around giving the illusion that they are still interested are unclear. One can assume that Tapie has some ulterior motives for staying involved and they are just using the vulnerability of FTP to serve other purposes. They might think the publicity of them being a possible White Knight is positive for their own shady reputation. They also might be trying to use the publicity in the upcoming months to promote their stadium tournament in Europe, an event they have been working on for years.
"They have been publicly trashing the individual players who allegedly owe money to FTP. The truth is that some if not most of the players Tapie has outed do not have the money to pay the company back and it is not going to happen. One can assume that Tapie is only doing this to save face, so when they officially back out of the deal they will have public names to blame."
Glantz writes at some length on the deal to explain his perceptions and appears convinced that it is doomed to failure.
"Tapie has had several months to perform due diligence. The Dept of Justice cleared the way for Tapie to take over the assets of FTP over three months ago. Also, with their latest leaks and public embarrassment campaign of poker players involved, it just seems implausible for them to move forward.
“These are not the actions one would expect from an impending or serious acquirer. I expect the company to shut down and for the US Government to eventually disperse the assets under its control. A reasonable expectation under the circumstances is for the players to receive between 20%-40% of their account balances back from the government somewhere down the line," he opines.
Whilst he joins unpaid players in hoping for a positive deal, Glantz suggests that affected players may need to get past the issue.
"I do see all the hatred out there in blog responses and forum posts. I am recommending that these players move on as if the their funds are gone. Think of any money you may receive back from the FTP debacle in the future as found money. If you start to look at things from that perspective you will hopefully feel a much needed weight lifted off your shoulders," Glantz writes.
"It needs to be stressed once again that this entire blog is just my opinion and not hard facts," Glantz observes. "Unfortunately, this is as informed as you will be on the situation because the only people who do have the facts are unwilling or unable to talk publicly."
Read the full article at: http://www.cardplayer.com/poker-blogs/71-matt-glantz/entries/560780-whispers-from-full-tilt