For months, the poker world has been on edge about the future of Full Tilt Poker. Players want to have a shot at getting their account balances back, and after the failure of Groupe Bernard Tapie to make a deal with Full Tilt and the United States Department of Justice, hopes were renewed when PokerStars stepped forward and made an effort to purchase their old rival.But without anything firm being announced, some doubted whether that deal would ever materialize. On Wednesday, those doubts and fears were seemingly validated, as word began to spread that PokerStars had backed out of negotiations to purchase Full Tilt Poker.And then, just as quickly, word began to spread that this was just a rumor, and that PokerStars was just as committed as ever to purchasing the beleaguered poker site.What led to this confusing series of events? Well, it started as many tumors these days do: with a tweet. Former Party Gaming legal counsel James Barnes tweeted the following message yesterday, which immediately flew through the poker community:“Pokerstars folds on FTP deal. Never real deal, just bluff to prevent Tapie from bringing FTP back to market – great bargaining chip with DOJ”When pressed for details, Barnes said that according to a source of his (one he wouldn’t divulge), the idea was for PokerStars to agree to buy the Full Tilt Poker assets in exchange for having the changes against owner Isai Scheinberg dropped. Scheinberg was among the 11 individuals named in the Black Friday indictments, and while the relationship between the US government and PokerStars has clearly been better the one enjoyed by Full Tilt or Absolute Poker, Scheinberg is still a fugitive at the moment. According to Barnes, the DOJ rejected the proposal to have the charges dropped, which would scuttle the dealHowever, these stories were quickly met by denials from PokerStars, with ESPN poker reporter Andrew Feldman saying that PokerStars Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser called them “false.” That’s left the issue somewhat murky, with numerous possibilities in play – including that Barnes has elements of the “deal” correct, but that nothing has yet been decided by the parties involved.PokerStars has so far denied to make any further comments on the issue.
Rumors Fly about PokerStars and FTP July 13, 2012