In an even more shocking news story for Full Tilt Poker fans, the 2nd largest poker site in the world had its eGaming license removed in the end of June. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC), the body which licenses Full Tilt Poker, forced the online poker site to suspend all of its operations.
No new players can make a deposit or fund an account at Full Tilt Poker. Unlike the Friday Blackouts back in April 15th, the closure of Full Tilt Poker has also affected non-US players who are unable to log in, yet alone withdraw any money that was still in the poker.
48 hours after the poker site was taken offline, the owners of Full Tilt Poker reportedly entered into a $150 million deal to sell a majority take of the company to European Investors. In a desperate attempt to pay back their US player funds, the owners of Full Tilt Poker (owned by the Irish holding company Pocket Kings) have had to raise huge amounts of cash. Most poker players and leaders in the gaming industry suggest Full Tilt Poker could go bankrupt like we saw with UB/Absolute Poker if they don’t get the investment required quickly.
The biggest problem for the move going forward however is that the European Investors need a guarantee from the DOJ that they won’t further suspend the site and can release US player funds. PokerStars has successfully managed to release $130 million in US player funds after they struck a deal with the US Department of Justice. This went a long way to restoring faith in the company from the player’s perspective.
However, with Full Tilt Poker now closed down at least for a month (there will be a hearing on the 26th July in London) every other poker site is doing their best to take advantage of the opportunity. Party Poker, now the 2nd biggest poker site in the world, has decided to remove all tournament fees during summer. This has been an obvious attempt by Party Gaming to take advantage of the opportunity. 48 hours after Full Tilt Poker was shut down PokerScout.com reported a 500 increase in cash game players on average. Party Poker has been keen to take advantage of the flurry of poker players without a home and hopefully keep them at their site for good through a range of loyalty programs, bonuses and rewards. Party Poker now offers a $500 internet poker bonus to new players that sign up to their site, on top of other promotions such as WSOP/EPT/Aussie Millions seats, Steps Tournaments, Beginner Freerolls and Tournament Leader boards.
If you had money left in Full Tilt Poker like me (I had $300 in my account) than you’re going to have to wait until AT LEAST the end of July to have a chance of getting it back. The worst case scenario is that Full Tilt Poker goes under just like UB.com and no one gets their money back. This would be a massive blow to the industry and the world’s former 2nd biggest poker site.