Looks Like There’s Enough Cash to Pay Back All U.S. Full Tilt Players

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All eligible ones, at least.

That’s my takeaway from the most recent update in the Full Tilt Poker remissions process for American players.

Full Tilt affiliates now able to file petitions

The update, posted last night by claims administrator Garden City Group, offered a piece of much-desired clarification regarding how so-called “affiliates” will be treated under the current rules for FTP remissions.

Specifically, affiliates – now clearly defined as players who “signed up with FTP as an Affiliate” – will “be able to submit Petitions for Remission to recover the portion of their account balances that does not relate to their Affiliate status.”

I have a hard time believing that the GCG and the DoJ would expand the pool of eligible claimants if they weren’t very sure that sufficient funds existed to make all eligible players whole.

So while the announcement doesn’t come out and say that there’s enough cash to pay back all eligible U.S. Full Tilt Poker balances, I think it’s a very clear signal that is in fact the case.

Details of affiliate petition process

The affiliate petition process is going to work a bit differently than the standard remissions process. Read the update for complete details.

The basics:

  • The GCG will email affiliates who are eligible to submit petitions.
  • Affiliates will have 30 days from that email to file a petition (apparently a time frame independent of the November 16th deadline).
  • Affiliate petitions will “not delay the processing or payment” of other petitions.

Many affiliates could see zero balances

Depending on how the GCG defines “portion of their account balances that does not relate to their Affiliate status,” many affiliates could end up with a zero balance at Full Tilt Poker – effectively negating their ability to take part in the remissions process.

For example, the GCG may decide to count the lifetime affiliate earnings of the account against the final balance. That scenario would leave many affiliates with zero balances.

Feedback matters, optics a concern?

Another takeaway from this most recent update: The GCG and the DoJ have at least some concern for the optics of the remissions process and are keeping a channel open for player feedback.

Otherwise, I don’t think we would have seen the clarification / reversal on the affiliate issue.

I’m certainly not arguing that players have the power to alter any and every aspect of the Full Tilt remissions process simply by complaining about it. But the move by the GCG / DoJ on the affiliate issue does suggest that coordinated campaigns can move the needle on points of the process that are illogical or overly ambiguous.

PPA seeking answers on other points of player concern

The Poker Player’s Alliance sent a letter to the DoJ on October 10th (one day before the GCG update) outlining the primary points of concern.

Chief among those points was the affiliate issue, which has now been quasi-resolved. But, as the PPA letter notes, there are still a number of critical, legitimate questions players have about the process.

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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