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Will the GBT Full Tilt Poker Deal Get Done?

January 31, 2012  By Scott Jack


Recent reports have started to surface about the Groupe Bernard Tapie and Full Tilt Poker deal. The deal may be completed soon although there have been some reports circulating that state Chris Ferguson and his attorney Ian Imrich may try stalling the deal.


Quick Summary of the GBT – Full Tilt Poker Deal

  • On November 17th 2011 the US DoJ and GBT signed an agreement. The agreement stated that GBT would be able to purchase the assets that Full Tilt Poker forfeits to the US DoJ for $80M. GBT would also need to payback over $150M to non-US poker players that still have funds sitting in their Full Tilt account.


  • On December 15th 2011 GBT and Full Tilt Poker came to an agreement that would allow the transfer of Full Tilt assets to the US DoJ. Full Tilt owners voted on the deal and agreed upon the terms. Owners would be able to buy minimal shares of the new Full Tilt Poker although the shares won’t have voting privileges.


  • The US DoJ stated that the previous board of directors at Full Tilt Poker wouldn’t be able to purchase any shares in the new company. At this point Chris Ferguson and his attorney Ian Imrich have requested to see the accounting of Full Tilt to determine if money has been spent unwisely after Black Friday.


Chris Ferguson May Stall GBT – Full Tilt Poker Deal

Chris Ferguson and Ian Imrich have requested to see the accounting of Full Tilt Poker. Ferguson wants to recoup roughly $14.3M that was used towards Black Friday expenses such as paying out US poker players. Subject Poker recently released a report that shows Ferguson not only received $25M in payments to his US bank account, but that he also funnelled $60M into a bank account held for him by Pocket Kings Ltd.

The US DoJ knew about the $25M Ferguson was in control of in his personal US bank account, but they weren’t aware that Chris was also controlling a bank account held by Pocket Kings Ltd. from 2007 – 2011. The US DoJ is suing Ferguson for roughly $25M at the moment because they could only recover roughly $300K from him. Ferguson and Imrich were experts at funnelling money around the world and the US DoJ can’t even seem to track down most of the money.

According to the report released by Subject Poker, Ferguson was able to spend or withdraw roughly $45M from the bank account held for him by Pocket Kings Ltd. The remaining amount of roughly $14.3M was used towards Black Friday expenses and Chris is now stating that he wants the money since he can no longer receive $14M in stocks of the new company.

Reports have stated that Ferguson and Imrich are considering filing for injunctive relief and a constructive trust. This would delay the current GBT – Full Tilt Poker deal and poker players have been outraged by the recent reports. Many poker players can’t believe that Ferguson would consider delaying the deal for his own personal greed, but he’s obviously only worried about himself.


Is the GBT – Full Tilt Poker Deal Going to Get Done?

It doesn’t appear that Ferguson or Imrich have filed a suit that would stall the deal yet. Even if Ferguson did try filing a suit it isn’t clear whether or not that would affect the deal that’s already in place with Full Tilt owners, GBT and the US DoJ.

A few days ago there were several reports that began circulating on poker sites stating that GBT had found 1 or possibly 2 new investors that are interested in getting the deal finished. Right now GBT just needs to send the US DoJ $80M to purchase the forfeited Full Tilt Poker assets plus have $150M+ available for non-US players with money stuck on Full Tilt.

Individuals that are connected to the deal have recently stated that the deal is almost done. GBT just needs to find investors that can put up enough cash to get the deal through the final stage. It has also been reported that Full Tilt Poker could be open again by the 1st quarter of 2012, but I personally think that’s a bit optimistic.

Poker players with money on Full Tilt Poker are still skeptical about the deal getting done anytime soon, which is easily proven by reading some of the online poker forums. None of the new potential investors have been named and until concrete details come out that state there are real investors ready to get the deal done I’m sure a lot of players will be sceptical.

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