By now, much of the poker community has heard that the US Department of Justice has approved $82 million worth of Full Tilt Poker repayments. Over 30,000 players will be receiving money back that was previously locked up on Full Tilt.
With the US DOJ’s approval now official, the Garden City Group can begin distributing tens of millions of dollars to affected players. And now that people will finally be getting their money back, one huge question is if this is going to have a big impact on the poker community.
Most of those who are owed money didn’t have a significant amount on Full Tilt. It’s being reported that the majority of players are looking at getting back $200 or less. However, there are also a number of grinders who are going to receive a fortune.
Take Blair Hinkle, for instance, who won the FTOPS XIX Main Event along with a $1 million prize. Hinkle took this event down just weeks before Full Tilt stopped servicing American players due to Black Friday. Shortly after Black Firday, he wanted to cash out $48,000 of the winnings, but was given the runaround by Full Tilt’s staff.
This was just a precursor to what many other pros would experience in the aftermath of April 15th, 2011, when $82 million worth of American players’ funds were stranded on Full Tilt. And when the US DOJ took over following the site’s financial meltdown and PokerStars buying Full Tilt, it only delayed the process. But now, many of these pros are getting their money back, which could mean great things for poker.
With so much cash going back into players’ hands, we should definitely expect some more high stakes play. Furthermore, we can expect more players at all cash stakes and tournaments. This is $82 million that was taken out of circulation over two and a half years ago. So it’ll definitely be nice to see at least some of it returning to online poker and making the games more juicy.