There has been a string of reports over the last 24 hours that the deal between PokerStars and the US Department of Justice to purchase Full Tilt Poker is “done,” set in stone and that an announcement is imminent. Reports vary on the exact timing of the day of the announcement: Some implied yesterday, more said Monday and others claim Tuesday.
The story first started on Poker Player Newspaper by Wendeen H. Eolis, who stated: “Without giving away the identity of a consistently impeccable resource, it is now safe to say announcements for public dissemination are in the works. At this point I am ready to go out on a limb; FTP customers will see their monies well in time for Christmas shopping.” She later tweeted that FTP will be “ready to pay/play by November” but did not speculate further.
Gambling911 were quick to confirm the story, citing their own source of information to corroborate Eolis. An announcement “was forthcoming, perhaps as early as next week” according to the article, and all players will be repaid in full.
It should be stated upfront: No official announcement has come from any party involved and, until that time, the deal is not complete. To the best of our knowledge, based on sources close to the issue, the reports yesterday are false, there is no set date for an announcement, and there is still the possibility for the deal to fall through.
However, we have also heard there is good reason for cautious optimism. We understand that significant legal progress was made recently that could lead to the imminent closure of the deal.
But to repeat, the deal is not complete. In all practicality, it is only done when announced by the parties involved. No party will stall on an announcement, nor take days to prepare a press release. There were previous reports—like this one also written by Eolis—that PokerStars would stall on announcing anything during the WSOP for fear of everyone cashing out. These too were incorrect and for the same reason. When it’s done, we will know.
In fact, the reports this weekend are following the same pattern as reports six weeks ago during the WSOP. There were many independent reports that the deal was “done” and would be announced live during the series. And those reports, just like the ones today, are wrong but not a complete fabrication: It is our understanding the deal really was on the cusp of closing around the end of June. For reasons unknown, progress stalled and no announcement came. It turns out the deal was not, in fact, done.
Now we are apparently at that same point again. But among the debate of she-said / she-said, the retweets and the forum thread refreshing, there is good news: There is certainly a strong indication that a major milestone was reached on Friday that allows for the deal to proceed.
For those with money stuck on Full Tilt, there is good reason to feel optimistic. When an announcement comes, you can rest assured you will read about it on this site, and everywhere else.