Whether or not it was a huge bluff that PokerStars was buying out what was left of Full Tilt Poker (FTP) remains to be seen. There was massive excitement surrounding this topic just before the World Series Of Poker took place, but now the fuss seems to have died down. Popular opinion has it that the PokerStars/FTP Deal was only pie in the sky, and nothing much more. But of course, just as the possibility of the deal was conjecture, so, too is this opinion; but stranger things have been known to happen.
Discussions do however appear to have faded into the background. Rumour had it that PokerStars had been working with the U. S. DoJ to see if they could realize what Group Bernard Tapie could not. According to certain poker professionals who are in-the-know – these talks have ‘fizzled out’ – were "only hope and nothing more."(Matt Glantz).
Obviously it is wishful thinking for the online poker community to want this matter to be resolved. Any deal that any poker company might make with the US DoJ would have a vested interest for former poker players at FTP. It is no secret that the website was grossly mismanaged, and that millions of dollars worth of player funds were not been paid back to its members. The chances that these members will ever get their money back are indeed incredibly slim, despite the fact that there are half a dozen class action lawsuits still pending against FTP. We know that this deal would have brought some hope to FTP former-members, but there are huge problems involved for any online gambling or other company to attempt to rescue FTP from the morass.
First off we know that FTP’s Ray Bitar has faced the charges for Black Friday indictments, and plead not guilty; but PokerStars founder – Isai Scheinberg has not faced up to any charges, and does not intend to plead. This would probably be a pre-requisite for any DoJ deal, and PokerStars wants to avoid any leadership prosecutions. The Department of Justice (DoJ) is unlikely to decide not to pursue their criminal case against both Scheinberg and executive Paul Tate.
Even more telling with regards any discussion deal is the fact that there is no Federal landscape for online poker in the USA – so there is no ‘nationwide’ environment for PokerStars to get back into. Currently state-by-state individual changing of online poker laws is taking place, but the wheels of power are turning slowly, and there is not a great deal of incentive for PokerStars (a massive online poker offering in Europe) to offer ’íntrastate’ online gambling to the USA. Although to get a foot in the door; the efforts may be worthwhile. But then again, it would be smart business for big USA brands such as Caesars to keep this brand out of the USA, and Caesars as well as other big gambling brands have a lot of political influence.