Posts Tagged ‘Groupe Bernard Tapie’

PokerStars, Full Tilt Deal would be Huge

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

These past couple of days have been pretty hectic throughout the poker community with lots of talk surrounding PokerStars bid to buy Full Tilt. Now you may already know that, for the past several months, Groupe Bernard Tapie had been pursuing a deal with the US Department of Justice to buy Full Tilt Poker for $80 million.

However, the big problem with the deal was that GBT wasn’t prepared to spend/didn’t have the money to pay player deposits back. Eventually, this hangup caused any potential deal to fall through because the US Department of Justice wanted player deposits paid back within three months of the purchase. After all, nobody wants to see a Full Tilt Poker scandal part II.

In any case, the absence of Groupe Bernard Tapie now means that PokerStars is stepping in to fill their shoes, and potentially purchase Full Tilt. Much like with GBT, their biggest obstacle will be negotiations with the US DOJ. But it’s also very likely that PokerStars actually has the hundreds of millions of dollars to pay players back worldwide.

If they can complete the deal, Stars stands to add another huge chunk of players to their already massive base. Remember, FTP was the world’s second largest poker site (behind Stars) before the US DOJ’s actions started their downfall. And if PokerStars can acquire this player pool – along with the FTP software – their product will only be that much better.

Of course, one big thing to keep in mind here is that a PokerStars-Full Tilt deal probably won’t be completed any time soon. The US DOJ is dealing with a totally new buyer now, so it’s a good bet that they’ll prolong the process for a few months just like with GBT. Hopefully this time the deal goes through though.

Full Tilt Poker seeking US Online Poker License

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Proving that anything is possible, Full Tilt Poker reportedly has a very good chance to get a US online poker license if the game is ever legalized and regulated in America.

Full Tilt’s lawyer Jeff Ifrah came out with this news after his dealings with Groupe Bernard Tapie and the US Department of Justice. He said that, in addition to the $80 million deal between GBT and the US DOJ, there is also a very good chance for Full Tilt Poker to be accepted for a US online poker license if America does pass favorable legislation within the next year or so.

Right now, Groupe Bernard Tapie and Full Tilt Poker are in the process of finalizing the aforementioned $80 million deal. As part of the deal, GBT will pay back the $300 million-plus that non-US online poker players are owed from Full Tilt, while the US DOJ will pay the estimated $160 million that Americans have wrapped up in the site.

For the time being, there’s no word on what will become of the current Full Tilt board members such as Chris Ferguson, Ray Bitar and Howard Lederer. This trio, along with other higher-ups at FTP, are blamed for players not being able to cash out money after the US DOJ came down on Full Tilt; they took too money from the player deposits for themselves, and didn’t leave nearly enough to cover cashouts.

This being said, it’s interesting that Full Tilt Poker would still be considered for licensing within the US. After all, many online poker players were inconvenienced by this dilemma because some of them had thousands or even millions stuck on FTP. Hopefully though, the Groupe Bernard Tapie deal can bring an end to this whole mess.

NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship Cancelled

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The effects of Black Friday (April 15th) continue to linger today after the National Heads-Up Poker Championship was recently cancelled by NBC. Adam Freifeld, who is the NBC Sports Senior Director of Communications, announced the sad news when he said the network wanted to, “continue to evaluate our poker programming.”

The 64-player poker tournament had ran since 2005, and saw both poker pros and celebrities face-off in heads-up matches. Popular pro Erik Seidel won the 2011 National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which appears to be the last event – at least for now. Of course, Freifeld’s wording does make it seem like the Heads-Up Championship could come back beyond 2012.

But before this happens, there will need to be some major sponsors because both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker kept this event going. These were the two largest online poker rooms in the business for a while, and their millions of dollars in advertising revenue helped keep the Heads-Up Championship afloat. In addition to this, they also paid the buy-ins for many of the sponsored pros.

However, it’s obvious that Full Tilt Poker won’t be pumping any more advertising money or buy-in fees into the tournament since they are losing a fight for their very existence. And last we checked, the Groupe Bernard Tapie rumored acquisition is only going to be a minority ownership deal – if it even amounts to anything.

As for PokerStars, they’re doing quite well, but they no longer cater to American players. That said, there’s no reason to sponsor the National Heads-Up Championship because NBC is based in the United States. And while the TV show drew a considerable amount of viewers from outside the states, the number isn’t high enough to justify keeping the show on air.

Wembley Stadium Poker Tournament will offer $30 Million

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Groupe Bernard Tapie is at it again, and this time they’re in the process of staging a $30 million guaranteed poker tournament at London’s Wembley Stadium. The tournament will come at the peak of the proposed International Stadiums Poker Tour, which will see one mega poker event held in a different stadium each year.

French billionaire Bernard Tapie’s son, Laurent, talked about the project by saying, “The ISPT is the largest poker event of all times and in the future will be held annually. The tournament series will always be held in famous stadiums in various countries.”

The French company appears to very serious about the ISPT since they’ve already signed a contract with Wembley Stadium for a date some time next year in May. As of now, Bernard Tapie is expecting 20,000-30,000 players to fill up the tournament field, and the top prize would be worth $10 million. Assuming this plan comes to fruition, it would be the largest poker tournament ever in terms of entrants.

Of course, this is a pretty ambitious plan, and we’ll have to wait to see if it comes to life. Looking at the amount of expected entrants, and the guaranteed prize pool of $30 million, it’s likely that Groupe Bernard Tapie could charge a relatively low buy-in – like say $1,000 or $1,500 – which would attract a lot of players.

This potential project definitely shows that Groupe Bernard Tapie is very serious about getting involved in the poker world. The company has made some waves lately with their proposed acquisition of Full Tilt Poker, which is based on various conditions. The most notable thing that has to happen is FTP settling their dilemma with the US government. Assuming this happens, Groupe Bernard Tapie could become the new owners of Full Tilt Poker.