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Potential Full Tilt Owners Struggle to Get Cash Back From the Pros

By Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

Groupe Bernard Tapie’s deal to take over Full Tilt Poker and relaunch it has hit a snag. A number of well-known poker pros owe the company between $10 and $20 million. The group’s lawyer, Behnam Dayanim, has stated that Full Tilt’s finances are in much worse shape than they had originally thought, so collecting these debts is important to the viability of the deal.

Dayanim explained that they want all legal claims settled before concluding the deal. They don’t want to start their ownership of the re-born Full Tilt with the possibility of years of litigation hanging over them.

“Several of the players who owe money and have not yet expressed a willingness to pay their debts include Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, and Erick Lindgren. Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, and others owe a smaller but still significant amount.

If the money doesn't come in, it creates a serious obstacle to completion of the deal. This isn't the only issue with the takeover, and the deal won't end on any one issue - but this is a substantial item."

The Pros' Position

Several of the poker pros have argued that they won’t pay until they can be sure that the money will go to the players who lost out when the company folded after Black Friday. Dayanim described the current situation:

“As of yet, with very few exceptions, none have expressed a willingness to resolve the matter. The reason for immediate attention has resulted in some encouraging signs, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Hopefully, the deal can go through regardless of the outcome of this dispute. With the livelihood of so many people on the line, we hope that the pros and the Tapie group can reach an agreement such that the average players who are owed money aren't the ones who suffer.

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