A few minor items from the ongoing soap opera that is Full Tilt Poker (FTP).
Sources have told Subject: Poker’s ‘Diamond Flash’ that the acquisition agreement Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) signed with FTP last week requires the appointment of a chief restructuring officer (CRO) to prevent FTP principals from making off with the silverware while the acquisition is pending. Any decision by FTP’s current ownership would require the CRO’s approval and there are to be absolutely no dividends or disbursements made to shareholders while FTP’s fate is being considered. The selection of the as yet unnamed CRO is entirely up to GBT.
On Sept. 30, the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed a forfeiture claim against FTP’s domain name, as well as those of fellow Black Friday indictees PokerStars, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. Thing is, Kentucky has been claiming legal ownership of 141 gambling-related domains — including the four sites listed above — since Sept. 2008, when it seized them all as unlawful “gambling devices.” Since this latest claim was filed in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), where the Black Friday indictments were filed, we guess Kentucky’s Secretary of Justice and Public Safety J. Michael Brown just wants to remind US Attorney for the SDNY Preet Bharara who was first in line.
Elsewhere, GBT’s Laurent Tapie apologized for the ham-fisted launch of the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT), Tapie’s co-venture with fellow-Partouche Interactive veteran Prosperer Masquelier. The ISPT has been confounding poker players since this past weekend, when a casual mention sent people scurrying to a website that was operational but nowhere near ready for prime time.
Tapie told PokerStrategy.com that the first ISPT press release wasn’t supposed to go out until November, and the surprise traffic to ISPT.com caught them off guard. The listed date for the ISPT’s inaugural event at Wembley Stadium turned out to be months off the mark, and the precise date still won’t be set until the English national footie team’s schedule comes out next month. Tapie admits that he has yet to acquire the necessary gaming licenses to host the event, and still needs to sign up the global online poker partners to host the ISPT’s satellite qualifiers. Regardless, Tapie maintains that the ISPT “is real,” and that the $30m prize pool is already on deposit in a separate account. Real or not, given FTP’s much-maligned media strategies, the ISPT’s bumpy birth left some suggesting that Tapie will fit right in at FTP.