The arrival of each new calendar month brings fresh assurances of some kind of conclusion to the neverending negotiations between Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT), Full Tilt Poker (FTP) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for GBT to acquire FTP’s assets. On Friday, Poker Player Newspaper’s Wendeen H. Eolis quoted GBT lawyer Behnam Dayanim as saying he had “significant confidence in the prospects of completing the deal,” suggesting the respective parties could possibly put pen to paper “before the end of the first quarter.” Dayanim’s comments come exactly one month since he claimed the alleged $16.5m of unpaid debts owed to FTP by pro poker players plus the discovery of other unspecified financial liabilities represented a “serious obstacle” to a deal getting done.
Eolis also quoted several anonymous attorneys “not intimately connected” to the deal talks “but well informed for one reason or another” who offered several reasons why the deal may now be on firmer ground. Chief among the tidbits offered by these legal Deep Throats was the revelation that since Dayanim sounded the alarm in February that the deal was in jeopardy, a “late arriving investor” has reportedly added his financial support to GBT’s efforts. GBT’s Laurent Tapie had stated way back in September that GBT would be counting on third parties to shoulder some of the financial load of acquiring FTP, so it’s not clear if this is really a new arrival on the scene or someone finally deciding between shitting or getting off le pot.
Progress has also reportedly been made on a “more definitive plan” by GBT to restore the balances owed to FTP’s players outside the US. The full extent of FTP’s financial liabilities has supposedly been clarified, although this clarity was offset by the suggestion that the “sparse documentation” available on the aforementioned player loans will make collecting on these debts a dubious proposition. Will any of this make any difference? Ask us again next month!