After two years of review by the United States Department of Justice and pressure from the Poker Players’ Alliance, the appointed claims administrators for Full Tilt Poker are preparing to release funds to players who have not yet received them.
This affects all U.S. based players as well as a number of overseas players who did not cash out prior to the seizure of the U.S.-based company’s assets. Unfortunately, there is no indication that the players who were affected by the seizure will see anywhere near the amount of money that they had tied up in the site.
The saga started on April 15, 2011, when 76 bank accounts belonging to Full Tilt Poker, Cereus, and PokerStars in over 14 countries were frozen by the U.S. Department of Justice.
On September 20, 2011, after an internal audit was conducted, the Department of Justice accused Full Tilt of defrauding poker players of more than $300 million in a Panzi scheme that allowed the company to pay out more than $444 million to the principals of the company.
As of November 2012, PokerStars had acquired Full Tilt Poker’s software and players and reopened real money play at the tables, but the lingering halo of Full Tilt’s mismanagement and fraud still hangs over its head for international players.
Its traffic, once the second largest site on the Internet, has dwindled to just more than 4,000 players per day. Over the last six months, its traffic has continued to drop.
Fortunately for Full Tilt Poker and its current players, this final payment will mark the end of the fraudulent operations of the site. While payments will likely be pennies on the dollar for both the U.S. and overseas players involved in the claim, there will be no further legal recourse for any parties, and the company will have done its best to make good on its debts.
On that day, when the final payment is processed and the last check is deposited, Full Tilt Poker might once again rise from the ashes as a place where you can “Learn, Chat, and Play with the Pros.”