Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:53 AM
Let me start by saying this is all speculation. It seems as though the Tapie group is relatively close to taking over FTP operations. May 3rd is a public hearing for the "New Full Tilt" to apply for a license and it appears they have been testing their servers recently in preparation for a relaunch. Obviously there will be no relaunch in the US any time soon, so paying US players wouldn't seem to be a priority, but paying ROW (rest of world) players is essential. My "guess" is that the Tapie group will cover the balances of ROW players, and the New Full Tilt group will be off the hook for the US player balance, instead forcing US players to try and get their balances from the DOJ. Seems like that could be a lengthy process, and in many cases not worth the hassle unless you had a significant amount of money tied up on the site. There is no need for a sense of urgency by the DOJ to settle US player balances and I don't imagine this process will go smoothly. Also, again this is just a guess, but I'd be really surprised if US players will be reimbursed for their FPPs. If the DOJ does take over the responsibility of paying back US players, I think that would be bad news for the bankrolls of Bitar, Ferguson, and Lederer. I would assume that the DOJ would look to nab any and all assets those board members have, and when they are done with that, it seems likely that they will then track down others with debts to FTP. If those people can't pay those debts back, I would think that could be really bad for them. Bitar, Ferguson, and Lederer ending up broke after running this company into the ground certainly feels like "justice served." I also think it will be hard for Ferguson and Lederer to get staked in any tournaments, so it seems like they will end up in ruin, and rightfully so. So, the question is: will FTP relaunch for real money despite all US players not being paid? I think yes. Just another guess, but based on how long it takes the government to process these types of things, a 6-9 month window post launch would seem like a win.****** What will the New Team Full Tilt look like? I imagine there would be a complete overhaul, but the problem you then have is where do you find 10-15 available "A-List" type pros to represent the site? Obviously you are going to have to pay a pretty penny in light of the company's history, but I can't think of 10 available names that would boast the same type of name recognition as the previous group that included the likes of Ivey, Antonius, Hansen, Dwan, and others. It's possible that some team FTP members would return to representing the company, but off hand, I can't think of any that would be likely to do that. It would also seem that the new team FTP would take on much more of a Euro look since the US market is still unavailable. I just can't think of too many unsigned players at this point who's name cache carries enough weight to excite the fan base enough to replicate what the "Old FTP" created. Sure, you have the diehard players/fans who are in love with some of the online superstars, but if the goal is to reignite a more mainstream fan base, then it's big names that sell. A Doyle Brunson type perhaps, but I don't see that happening.