Offiziell: PokerStars kauft Full Tilt! +++Update 19:00+++

Es ist nun endlich offiziell. Bereits am Wochenende waren die Spekulationen so heiß wie noch nie. Gestern sollte es eine große Ankündigung geben, die nun heute erschienen ist. PokerStars kauft Full Tilt Poker. 

Auf DiamondFlushPoker.com wurde die Katze nun aus dem Sack gelassen. Details folgen in einem weiteren Artikel aber hier schon einmal die Keyfacts:

– Full Tilt Poker verliert alle Vermögensrechte an die US-Regierung. Einen Teil der Vermögenswerte erhält danach PokerStars. 

– Alle Anklagen gegen die Full Tilt und PokerStars Unternehmen werden fallen gelassen. 

– PokerStars zahlt an die US-Regierung innerhalb von drei Jahren eine Geldstrafe in Höhe von 547.000.000 Dollar. 

– Innerhalb der nächsten 90 Tage muss PokerStars alle nicht-US Spieler ausbezahlen!!! Die Summer wird sich wohl auf ca. $184.000.000 belaufen. 

Wir werden die gesamten Pressemeldungen und Dialoge aufarbeiten und euch zeitnah alle weiteren Details auf Hochgepokert.com veröffentlichen! Stay tuned!

 

+++Update 1 – 18:25+++

Hier das Original Statement von DiamondFlushPoker, da die Seite momentan überlastet ist:

„After more than a year of wondering if their account balances at Full Tilt Poker would ever be worth more than monopoly money, the site’s online player base may breathe easier today, as an agreement has been finalized that will allow them to be reunited with their online bankrolls.

The agreement, approved by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, allows Full Tilt to voluntarily forfeit all assets to the US government. Such forfeiture is contingent that the USAO then transfer certain of those assets to PokerStars. In return for the forfeiture, the government agrees that all civil forfeiture claims and money laundering charges against the Full Tilt companies, as documented in the amended civil complaint, be dismissed with prejudice. There are absolutely no conditions that require any civil or criminal charges lodged against any Full Tilt related individuals to be dismissed or otherwise resolved, in whole or in part, as part of this agreement.      

Provided for in the deal, PokerStars agrees to forfeit the amount of $ 547,000,000. to the US government over three years. By doing so, all civil forfeiture and money laundering claims, as specified in the amended civil complaint against all named PokerStars companies shall be dismissed with prejudice. No criminal charges currently facing PokerStars related individuals are in any way resolved as part of the agreement, and these charges were never a part of the negotiation for this settlement.  Once the asset transfer has been completed, and within a period not to exceed 90 days, PokerStars committed to make available for immediate withdrawal, without limitation or restriction, other than required by applicable law, the online poker account balances of non USA Full Tilt Poker players. Such an amount is expected to equal approximately $ 184 million in total. While compensating Full Tilt’s  non US players for any other assets, like FTP points, etc., over their balances is not a part of the agreement, I was told by PokerStars sources that the company plans to have fair resolution for these assets. The settlement was negotiated by Anand Raman, John Caroll and David Zornow of Skadden,Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for the PokerStars companies.

US players with account balances outstanding, will be compensated separately. U.S. victims of the offenses allegedly committed by the FTP companies or other members of the FTP group as put forth in the amended civil complaint, shall have the opportunity to file a petition for remission with the U.S. Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture Money Laundering Service (AFMLS), taking into regard the PokerStars forfeited funds, to seek compensation for their losses. The value of the remission applications is expected to be approximately $ 150 million. For clarity of compensation purposes, US players and “rest of world” players shall be categorized based on their verified and approved locations on the Full Tilt site as of April 14, 2011.

In order to effectuate the purchase of assets alongside the corporate civil settlement, Isai Scheinberg will, within 45 days of closing, withdraw from and not serve in any managerial or director role at any PokerStars company, including any entity that may own or operate any of the forfeited Full Tilt assets or their present or future affiliates. This part of the agreement may be revisited by the parties, without order of the court, upon resolution of the Black Friday criminal case. 

Further part of the agreement, neither the Full Tilt Poker companies or PokerStars companies admit to any wrongdoing, nor do either of the companies, or the government, affirm or deny the merits of any charges. Once the forfeiture is completed, the domain name use agreement of both companies will be terminated and the in rem arrest warrants will no longer apply. The government agrees to petition that the restraining orders be lifted. Both Full Tilt Poker companies and PokerStars companies, or any present or future entities controlled by those companies or their principals, cannot offer online poker for real money play in the USA until and unless it is permissible under relevant law. Neither company can ever make any claim vs the USA, the FBI or the USAO SDNY resulting from the forfeiture or any properties seized relative to the civil charges. Full Tilt agrees to withdraw all claims against any seized or otherwise restrained assets. PokerStars agreed to release any claims to accounts of non-PokerStars entities. The value of PokerStars accounts restrained as a result of the civil action will be released by the DOJ. 

The Full Tilt Companies forfeiting their assets include:  B.T. Management, Dromane Limited, Filco (Holdings) Limited, Filco Limited, Fitzroche Limited, Graybel Limited, Irolo (Italy) Limited, Kolyma Corporation AVV, Ludus Limited, Cyprus, Media Management GmbH, My West Nook Limited ,Oxalic Limited, Orinic Limited, Pocket Kings Consulting Limited, Pocket Kings Limited, Ranston Limited, Real Media Limited, Rekop Limited, Rosbull Limited, Rullan Joyce Limited, Tiltproof Limited, Tiltware LLC., Tiltware Merchandise Services LLC. and  Vantage Limited.  The settlement was negotiated by Jeff Ifrah of Ifrah Law, Barry Boss and Anne Madonia of Cozen O’Connor for the Full Tilt Companies.

The forfeited assets include:

 Accounts receivable or monies owed on date of forfeiture or later

All gaming data and history relating to the business, computer records, database, operating reports, and any reconciliation files

All tangible property

Documents  that are used in, or intended to be used in, the Full Tilt business

Any rights under NDA’s

All rights of supplier agreements, etc

All cash and equivalents in bank accounts etc

All intellectual property

All other intangible property

Customer and supplier databases since inception of the company

All present and potential claims against any third party

Any other assets of the Full Tilt Group used in the operation of business not expressly excluded

At this time, a specific date for relaunch of the former Full Tilt Poker site is unclear, but PokerStars sources confirm that it’s a priority to see this happen as soon as possible, certainly within the prescribed 90 day time frame as set forth in the agreement. 

For the past many many months, all parties have been restricted from releasing any public information regarding the negotiations until every part of the settlement had been executed and accepted by the court. Diamond Flush Poker has been mindful not to overstep those boundaries to protect the continuation of the negotiations which could have been put in jeopardy, or any other sanctions that may have occurred by a premature release of information.“

 

+++Update 2: 18:35 – Offizielles PokerStars Statement+++

Today’s announcement of our settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) closes one chapter in our corporate history and opens another.

We have admitted to no wrong-doing with regard to our past U.S. operations and can now focus all of our energy and resources on advancing our global business, which now includes operating Full Tilt Poker. You can find details of the announcement at our PokerStars press center.

We plan to re-open the Full Tilt site and, most importantly, we will make available all funds for players outside the U.S. within 90 days of the formal close of the deal, which will occur in the next seven days. The money paid to the US Government will in part be used to reimburse former Full Tilt Poker customers in the United States, through a remission process to be administered by the Department of Justice.

Paying back Full Tilt players was a key component in our agreement to acquire the assets. This is not only important to the individual players who have had their bankrolls tied up for more than a year, but it’s also vital to re-building trust in online poker and instilling confidence in the global poker economy.

It’s too early to begin disclosing many details about our strategic plans for Full Tilt, but our first order of business is to re-open the site, pay back all of the players and begin rebuilding Full Tilt’s reputation. Going forward, we will operate Full Tilt as a separate brand, giving players another leading and trusted platform to enjoy the game. The re-launched Full Tilt site will bring back the innovative features, the authentic poker and the cutting-edge software that made it so popular with millions of players worldwide.

Getting the site up-and-running and paying back players is a complex challenge involving technical, practical and logistical hurdles affecting millions of player accounts. We’re confident we can work through the challenges and our track record as a responsible and responsive company will hopefully bring some comfort to the players that have waited so long for resolution. We ask for just a bit more time and patience as we sort through the details.

One final word about the future U.S. market. Our settlement acknowledges that both PokerStars and Full Tilt are eligible to apply for a license in the U.S. to offer real money poker when states or the federal government offer such an opportunity. We look forward to this opportunity and are confident that we bring tremendous value, regulatory experience, market credibility and financial integrity to the marketplace.

We’re optimistic about the future and we look forward to sharing the next chapters in our history with you.

 

+++Update 3 – 18:40: Full Tilt kommt wieder auf den Markt+++

Laut der Pressemitteilung von PokerStars plant das Unternehmen, Full Tilt Poker als eigenständige Marke mit einem neuen und unabhängigem Team an den Markt zu bringen. Die Full Tilt Zentrale wird sich weiterhin in Dublin befinden. Bis Ende Oktober werden die Spieler in Nicht-US Spieler ausbezahlt! Somit dürften alle Spieler in Deutschland ihr Geld wieder bekommen und die Hoffnung und das monatelange Warten wird nun endlich doch noch belohnt. 

Über die FPP’s auf Full Tilt Poker wurde bisher noch nichts vereinbart, allerdings, laut PokerStars, wird auch hier für eine spielerfreundliche Lösung gesorgt. 

 

+++Update 4 – 18:50: offizielle Pressemitteilung des DOJ+++

Hier die offizielle Pressemitteilung des Department of Justice. 

 

+++Update 5 – 19:50: FAQ’s von Lee Jones bei 2+2+++

Hi folks –
Obviously it’s a big day for all of us. If you haven’t seen the official announcement from PokerStars yet, please go read it now. There is also a corporate blog post that you may find interesting reading. My job here is to provide a FAQ about what’s going on. Like any good FAQ, it will grow and expand as time goes on.

General

Q: Will Full Tilt be closed down permanently? 
A: No.
 We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days). At that time, player accounts fully available for use, play or withdrawal. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. For Full Tilt players in these markets, we will work with regulators to determine the appropriate mechanisms for making funds available. In any case, these funds will be available as soon as possible.

Q: When will Full Tilt be re-opened?
A:
 We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days).

Q:I play on PokerStars but not on Full Tilt. How does this affect me?
A:
 This will not impact players on PokerStars in any way. You can continue playing as before and your money is completely segregated and safe for play and/or withdrawing at any time you please.

Q: What countries will Full Tilt Poker reopen in?
A:
 Full Tilt Poker will reopen in most countries and we plan to apply for a global license with the Isle of Man and Malta gaming authorities. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. Full Tilt players in these countries will be able to play on PokerStars.

Q: Does this settlement mean I can play real money online poker in the United States?
A:
 No. Under the terms of our agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, we will not offer real money online poker in the U.S. until such time as there is regulation and licensing permitting this. The agreement does expressly allow for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands to apply for such licenses in the U.S. whenever they are offered.

My Account

Q: Can I transfer my FTP funds to an account on PokerStars?
A:
 We hope to have the functionality in place to allow inter-site transfers between Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, so that you can enjoy playing again on either platform of your choosing. We will provide additional guidance on this in the coming weeks.

Q:I’m from Italy (also: France, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Denmark). Can I use my funds on PokerStars, due to not having the option to play on Full Tilt Poker again?
A:
 We are currently working with the relevant authorities in your country and hope to put in place a solution that allows you to transfer your Full Tilt funds to a PokerStars account. 

Cash-outs

Q: How do I cash out my funds? (US)
A: The process of reimbursing Full Tilt US players will be addressed by the US Government.

Q: When will I be able to cash out my funds? (France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Denmark)
A:
 We are currently working with the regulators in your country on the mechanisms required to withdraw your funds. We are committed to making these funds available within 90 days of the formal closing of the deal, which will be within seven days.

Q: Will I be able to cash out my entire balance? (ROW)
A: 
Yes. Full balances will be made available for immediate withdrawal once the site is reopened.

Q: What cash-out methods will there be? (ROW)
A:
 We will strive to ensure our complete payment offering is available at the time of launch. Where possible this will be consistent with the current offering at PokerStars.

Q: Are there going to be play-though requirements before I can cashout? (ROW)
A:
 No. You will have full access to your funds immediately and in most cases will be able to fully withdraw funds using the same methods previously available in your market.

Q: How long will my cash-out take to process? (ROW)
A:
 Processing times will differ depending on the method of cashout.

Q: What happens to my Full Tilt loyalty rewards?
A: 
We are reviewing all previous Full Tilt reward programs and will provide more details on plans for these programs in the near future. We intend to have a fair resolution for players with accumulated points and other rewards under the program.

Q: Can I use my FTP funds on PokerStars?
A: 
We are currently working on solutions for players to have inter-site transfers between FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com.

Contact

Q: Who should I contact in the future to discuss my Full Tilt account?
A: 
You should contact support@fulltiltpoker.com where one of Full Tilt’s representatives will assist you with your account query.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back here 2-3 times per day to update you. As you can certainly understand, I’m not going to be shooting from the hip in this thread; please allow me time to collect questions and get approval for the answers. But you’ll be seeing a lot of me here over the next few days. 

Also, a brief personal observation: I know this has been a long and painful period for many of you. It’s been that way for us too; a lot of people have worked extraordinarily hard to bring this to a successful conclusion. I’m prouder than ever to work for PokerStars.

Best regards, 
Lee Jones

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