Email sent to Full Tilt Poker Employees by Laurent Tapie

Posted by Poker Videos on May 1st, 2012

It seems Pokerstars has made a deal with DOJ for Full Tilt Poker and it’s player base. Which leaves the question: Why would they do that is they already had most of those players and didn’t have exclusive rights to the software. It appear to me that (this is just a hypothesis based on industry knowledge and government), Full Tilt Poker must have made deal to avoid USA, let Pokerstars buy the poker software and license to the states, and partner with Tapie to create new site and license in Europe. Pokerstars becomes huge, makes money of state skins and shares that with Wynn, retains their Euro player base, and most importantly avoids anti trust laws in USA and Germany. Bitar and Ferguson stay out of jail, collaborate on new room with Tapie, keep some of their money, and won’t have to pay back the poker player base….. This is purely a hypothesis at this point. Will report as more info comes in.

Dear All,

Considering the work we have been doing together to relaunch FTP over the last 7 months, I feel it is my duty to inform you on the current situation, and my plan, before I release a press statement in the coming hours.

The deal with DOJ is off, and the negotiations are terminated. Ultimately, DOJ refused to accept GBT’s proposal for repayment of the ROW players – a proposal that we thought had been accepted – and, on 14 April 2012, informed my lawyer that they could only agree on an agreement where GBT would repay 100% of the 184M$ value of ROW players balance in a maximum of 90 days.

That clearly made the deal unworkable. And I believe no one would accept such terms.

I continue to believe that our plan for repayment was fair. We would have made all ROW players’ balances available for play on the relaunched site immediately. Furthermore, we would have repaid (allowed withdrawal of funds for) 94.9% of ROW players day 1, 4.9% of ROW players in 18 months and only 0.2% of these players in more than 18 months, with a maximum of 5 years for the very large balances. In addition, we agreed to a DOJ proposal to allow ROW players to submit petitions to the DOJ for compensation as well, and agreed both to reimburse DOJ for those players and to compensate those players for any amounts DOJ did not reimburse.

According to (finance employee’s name redacted by diamondflushpoker) last report, PK has enough funds to pay the april salaries but not May.

Therefore, as an alternative to the purchase, I offered Ray Bitar to license the assets on a temporary basis, in order to relaunch the site, preserve the value of the assets and participate in an eventual auction as a bidder in the future.

Ray required DOJ’s aproval to do this. My own understanding of the situation was different : I thought that since the companies were clearly in insolvency, as a legal representative Ray should have immediately accepted this licensing offer which was the only concrete offer to preserve the jobs, the cash, and the value of the assets of the companies. Futhermore the DOJ is not the owner of the assets until it decides (if it ever decides) to forfeit them.

But Ray stayed on its position that DOJ’s aproval was necessary.

So we made the offer to DOJ but despite our best efforts, and with no surprise on my side, DOJ was unmoved and, on 20 April 2012, reaffirmed that its decision was final, that no licensing agreement of any kind would be accepted by them, and that our negotiations were ended.

I met Ray last friday and suggested him to place the companies into insolvency in each of the countries where they are (my understanding of the situation is that he legally should), and inform the staff that he can no longer guarantee their jobs.

Considering he has always required US DOJ’s aproval before taking any decision for the last 7 months I have been observing him, I don’t know if he has or if he will.

But on my side, I am unwilling to allow 7 months of effort to go to waste, to see 200 employees lose their jobs and to witness former FTP players around the world go unpaid.

For that reason, I have decided to devote a significant portion of the funds that I was planning to use for the acquisition of the FTP assets instead to launch my own company, under the auspices of Game Cubed, the company I have created in Ireland. 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 weall will share in what I believe to be the exciting upside this opportunity represents.

We will write a new poker software platform based on your knowledge and relaunch using a new brand, with an offer to former FTP ROW players that will allow them to recover their lost balances if they come to our new site, just as we had planned in our agreement with DOJ.

I have the money to make this happen and am working with the Alderney licensing authorities on obtaining a license and getting their help on the repayment plan.

I am also negotiating with Poker Strategy to resurrect an affiliate arrangement similar to that which I was negotiating with FTP.

In order to make this work, I need commitments from you all very quickly. I am sorry to put this pressure on you, but timing is critical if this is to work. I need to know whether I have sufficient critical mass to move forward no later than the end of THIS WEEK.

If I do, I will schedule a meeting in Paris with the top 5-10 key peopleat the end of this week. We will take care of your travel and accomodation.

I look forward to partnering with each of you to help build the best poker site in the business.

Laurent Tapie

Directeur Général

BLT Développement


[O]pinion is a way of getting at the truth, and we tend to forget that sometimes in America.

Posted by Poker Videos on April 26th, 2012

As news readers, we are not and should not be scared of others’ stances, whether they come from peers, edlers or institutions. Perhaps NYU professor Mitchell Stephens said it best:
”[O]pinion is a way of getting at the truth, and we tend to forget that sometimes in America. Sometimes you think that American journalism has gotten so opinionphobic that it has lost a tool that contributes to people’s understanding.”

In response to NoahSD and Michael Minkoff aka Professional Poker

Posted by Poker Videos on April 26th, 2012

Here is the Post that has NoahSD 'panties in a bunch.  T... on Twitpic

NoahSD and Michael Minkoff aka Professionalpoker have made on of their priorities censoring members of Two Plus Two. As you remember, Michael Minkoff is the one who banned Daniel Negreanu a few weeks back and received overwhelming backlash. Yesterday, one of our writers posted the post above and was temp banned. So, in response to the temp banning, the writer made a post in the “About the Forums” Section. Keep in mind, the writer was invited to post there should he have any disagreements or bereavements. The post was in response to NoahSD posting his post in the “sticky” section (pictured above). The response read as follows:


I want to address NoahSD and his censoring and ridicule of my posts. I’ve been a contributing member of this forum for quite some time now and I’m very disgruntled with Noah and ProfessionalPoker. For the last couple of months many of my posts have been censored, deleted, and now posted in stickies to ridicule me.

Case in point this one:

If your goal of Two Plus Two is an open discussion then I will contribute and provide insight. If your goal is to be a lobbyist and sway people in one direction by allowing 20 threads of PPA to sway the people in way that benefits only casino monopolies, then you should put a disclaimer on your site.

I want to go line by line about my post and directly address each sentence and why this post and others should be allowable. Secondly, it’s mind boggling to me that this post was isolated ,yet thousands of threats against Full Tilt Poker owners have been allowed and not deleted. Not only that, but countless slanders of the owners as well. And yes I know that you want people to let off some steam.

I will start with the first line of my statement:
[QUOTE]Remember They need to use Licensed Casino in USA for legal poker here. Pokerstars owner will step down.[/QUOTE]

Rational behind this statement: First part- It is unlikely that the Nevada Gaming Control Board would grant Pokerstars a license while the owner is under indictment. It is conceivable they would grant if he stepped down and it was someone else as Chairman… like Wynn. They could be granted even though they operated in USA because of the lobbyist they hired pushed the bill for them to be able to do so. :

Second source for statement I made Shaun Deeb quoted on Cardrunners:
[I]“Anyways the deal is already done by what I am told;

Players will be paid within 90 days
FTP will be open in the US market
Isai [Scheinberg] will be stepping down from the company

“Anyways the deal is already done by what I am told;

Players will be paid within 90 days
FTP will be open in the US market
Isai [Scheinberg] will be stepping down from the company”


3rd It would be plausible for Wynn to be Chairman because they were agreeing to 50/50 partnership before black Friday and could do so once again. It poker bills were passed and Isai stepped down it is certainly plausible that in 50 50 partnership Wynn could be at the helm. My post was deleted when I posted link to the source of there partnership for posted link that was posted before. Yet there are constant links to same article in Subject Poker. I was posting to article and it was deleted and my account temp banned most likely by Professionalpoker.

I will post more and show reasoning behind each line I posted.

Professional Poker or NoahSD quickly deleted the post and Perm banned the writers account:
You have been banned for the following reason:
enough- 2+2 is not your blog

Date the ban will be lifted: Never

This all began with the writer posting in the thread where Dutch Boyd lost his case to Two Plus Two. The writer was asked questions in that thread, even by mods, and was completely censored. The writer even asked permission to post out of fear of ban and was granted permission by Michael Minkoff VIA Mason Malmath himself (owner of Two Plus Two) or owner on paper at least.

Then, a couple days ago he was temp banned without for posting to this credible site:
THis was first post temp banned for.  Linking to w... on Twitpic

NoahSD claimed on Twitter it was for posting old link. Well Noah, link was relevant again. How many links do you allow to Subject Poker? To say you don’t profit from this is ridiculous to say the least. Shortly after Subject Poker he was offered security job. So you gain access to back end of Full Tilt which was unauthorized, then get security job? Doesn’t make sense.

He was going to wait for response and continue to back the original post with sources and logic. It is painfully obvious that something in this post struck a cord NoahSD or Professionalpoker and they banned the writer prospace. They would then proceed to post a sticky for a small post like the original. Not to mention that the “about the forums section” post was to back the writers statements up with sources and reasoning. Michael Minkoff and NoahSD are way out of bounds here.

BTW Before this article was even finished, TWO PLUS TWO Hacked and users data compromised.

Pokerstars settles with DOJ

Posted by Poker Videos on April 25th, 2012

It’a wonderful that all the players will be getting their money back. What is unsettling is that the US government is for hire. Not only is the government for hire, the department that controls the FBI is for hire and has been bought by the biggest lobbyist groups in the world. Not only have they been bought but the head of the DOJ Eric Holder was a lobbyist and is the attorney general of the USA.

Pokerstars was settled their billion dollar fine at and discount and has received their top competitors software and player database for free essentially. Pokerstars has long been in collusion with Steve Wynn to partner in the online poker industry. The question is: Why did they need a partner before the domain name seizures? If they have always had advice from their lawyers that they could stay in the US market, why the need to partner up with Wynn after the UIGEA unless they knew that Black Friday was going to happen?

Pokerstars settlement with DOJ:

Pay $330,000,000 to Players
Pay $420,000,000 in Fines to DOJ

What about Full Tilt Poker? Well I guess they get to stay out of jail and keep a couple million to live on. This is a classic tale of Kleptocracy that the ancient Greeces used to describe. The government is outright corrupt and handing money over to their friends.

Steve wynn storms out of interview

Kleptocracy, alternatively cleptocracy or kleptarchy, (from Greek: κλέπτης – kleptēs, “thief”[1] and κράτος – kratos, “power, rule”,[2] hence “rule by thieves”) is a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often without pretense of honest service. This type of government corruption is often achieved by the embezzlement of state funds.

Kleptocracies are generally associated with corrupt forms of authoritarian governments, particularly dictatorships, oligarchies, military juntas, or some other forms of autocratic and nepotist government in which no outside oversight is possible, due to the ability of the kleptocrat(s) to personally control both the supply of public funds and the means of determining their disbursal. Kleptocratic rulers typically treat their country’s treasury as though it were their own personal bank account, spending the funds on luxury goods as they see fit. Many kleptocratic rulers also secretly transfer public funds into secret personal numbered bank accounts in foreign countries in order to provide them with continued luxury if/when they are eventually removed from power and forced to leave the country.
Kleptocracy is most common in third world countries where the economy (often as a legacy of colonialism) is dominated by resource extraction. Such incomes constitute a form of economic rent and are therefore easier to siphon off without causing the income itself to decrease (for example, due to capital flight as investors pull out to escape the high taxes levied by the kleptocrats).
An early phase of this is driven by tenderpreneur elites who seek to capture resources for personal benefit.[3]

The effects of a kleptocratic regime or government on a nation are typically adverse in regards to the faring of the state’s economy, political affairs and civil rights. Kleptocracy in government often vitiates prospects of foreign investment and drastically weakens the domestic market and cross-border trade. As the kleptocracy normally embezzles money from its citizens by misusing funds derived from tax payments, or money laundering schemes, a kleptocratically structured political system tends to degrade nearly everyone’s quality of life.
In addition, the money that kleptocrats steal is often taken from funds that were earmarked for public amenities, such as the building of hospitals, schools, roads, parks and the like – which has further adverse effects on the quality of life of the citizens living under a kleptocracy.[4] The quasi-oligarchy that results from a kleptocratic elite also subverts democracy (or any other political format the state is ostensibly under).[5]

Essentially, what took place is exactly what Jack Abramoff pulled off with Sun Cruises Casino ships. It was lobbyist using government connections to indict persons who held assets that the lobbyist clients want. To read more about how Jack Abramoff’s game plan worked go here.

Copyright © 2007 Poker Blog. All rights reserved.