Noah Stephens-Davidowitz or NoahSD on Two Plus Two has released partial data of Phil Ivey and David Benyamine’s debts to Full Tilt Poker. It is not exactly stated in the article on SubjectPoker.com who the source is from Full Tilt Poker, but the evidence seems real. It is data from notes on their poker accounts and may not include payments made offline.
Early in the data, Phil Ivey’s account was frequently debited directly for some, though not all, of the money that he was loaned there. For example, Ivey borrowed $3 million in six $500,000 installments spread throughout July and August 2009. He then repaid $1 million on October 29th, borrowed another $500,000 on November 13th, and then made two separate $1 million repayments on November 20th and 22nd respectively.4 Ivey’s results on the datamining site HighstakesDB suggest that he earned approximately $5 million in cash games on Full Tilt Poker in October and November of 2009, so this success may be the reason that he repaid. (Ivey went on to borrow $1 million on November 29th.)
However, this pattern stops. The last repayment in our data (for $1 million) happened in the spring of 2010, but after this date, Ivey received eight additional loans, ending in January 2011 and totalling $3,215,000, bringing the total difference between loans and repayments in our data to $6,215,000.5 It is of course possible that Ivey repaid some or all of this debt off of the site, but Tiltware’s reference to a “large sum that he owes the site” and Ivey’s historical pattern of repaying through his account suggest that he did indeed owe the site money as recently as June 1st.
So it is possible that Ivey still owed the site $6,215,000. This was reported (but not with exact figures) when Full Tilt Poker made a statement a few months back after Phil Ivey filed lawsuit against them:
Full Tilt Poker responded to Phil Ivey’s lawsuit:
“Contrary to his sanctimonious public statements, Phil Ivey’s meritless lawsuit is about helping just one player – himself. In an effort to further enrich himself at the expense of others, Mr. Ivey appears to have timed his lawsuit to thwart pending deals with several parties that would put money back in players’ pockets. In fact, Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site. Tiltware doubts Mr. Ivey’s frivolous and self-serving lawsuit will ever get to court. But if it does, the company looks forward to presenting facts demonstrating that Mr. Ivey is putting his own narrow financial interests ahead of the players he professes to help.”
Phil Ivey playing craps image from Pocket Fives
“Mr. Ivey has been invited — and has declined — to take actions that could assist the company in these efforts, including paying back a large sum of money he owes the site.”
In addition to Phil Ivey owing the company money, David Benyamine also had substantial loans from Full Tilt Poker:
In 2008, David Benyamine apparently owed Full Tilt Poker money, and at least some of this debt was being repaid directly from his salary, wages, and bonuses. This is quite clear from the notes on his FTP account. He received many payments from Full Tilt during this time period directly into his account, and almost all of them were taken out of the account on the same day with the note “for a loan collection.”7
In 2008, Benyamine received directly to his account a $15,000 per month base salary, roughly $12,000 more per month on average from rakeback and hourly wages, roughly $4,000 per month in logo bonuses and other marketing bonuses, and roughly $10,000 per month in other payments. So, assuming that our sample is typical, his annual earnings sent directly to his FTP account were roughly $500,000 at the time. (It is of course likely that he received money off of the site as well.) However, it appears that almost all of this was going directly back to the site to repay Benyamine’s debt.
As of right now all real money poker play in USA and abroad is closed on Full Tilt Poker. There was a leak over a month ago that the site was sold to a European investor, but this seems less likely now.