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PokerStars Makes Purchase of Full Tilt Poker Official

On Thursday PokerStars made their agreement with the US Department of Justice to purchase the assets of Full Tilt Poker and begin the repayment process for players around the world official, by sending the US DOJ a check (?) for some $225 million. PokerStars will now have until November 6th, 2012 to repay all non-US players from Full Tilt Poker, while the US DOJ will hopefully begin the remission process in the near future.

Per the agreement that was announced last week, PokerStars had six days to send the DOJ the first payment of the settlement ($225 million) which when all is said is done will total over $730 million when you include the $184 million the site will repay non-US players. PokerStars will now have to pay the remainder of the $557 million forfeiture over the next three years.

In addition to the official announcement FullTiltPoker Doug was back on the 2+2 poker forums, but no longer using his FTPDoug screen-name. According to the Full Tilt Poker FAQ thread posted on Thursday, FTP Doug was in fact Full Tilt Poker Cardroom Manager Shyam Markus, who offered up as much information as possible on what will occur as FTP begins to come back online.

You can read the entire thread HERE

Here is a look at the questions and concerns Markus discussed in the thread:

1. When will we be able to log into the Full Tilt Software?

- We’re all working hard on getting everything up and running, but we’ve lost a lot of great employees over the last year and there’s a ton of work left to do. Now that the transaction is complete (the official closing date is today), we will definitely relaunch within the next 90 days, but we’re probably looking at late October or early November.

2. Anything going to change with existing rakeback accounts?

- The decision has been left to the Marketing and Poker Room departments at Full Tilt Poker, and all of the issues will be considered before a final direction is chosen.

3. Will we be allowed screenname changes?

- At the moment there are no plans to adjust this policy, so Player IDs will not be changing.

4. What happens to all the screen names for US players? Are they recycled? Will players be forced to use them again once you re-enter the US market?

- US players will still be able to log in and play for play money, so their account details won’t be changing at all. That means all the Player IDs will be kept.

5. What are your plans on handling FTP points/Ironman medals/loyalty rewards for former US players?

- Generally speaking, US players should only have cash and points in their accounts at this point (Iron Man medals were already converted to FTPs). As we now know, they will have to go through the remission process to claim the cash. I don’t have an answer for what will happen to the FTPs.

6. If I’m an American player and fail to apply with the DOJ for remission, will my Full Tilt account balance remain intact if the day comes when Full Tilt is able to operate in America?

- No, you have to go through the remission process.

7. Will FTP have € accounts as well?

- We had planned on bringing out this feature (the option to keep your account balance in other currencies) last year, and we are still planning on it. I don’t have any kind of timeline (it’s a little difficult to see past the current 90 day deadline at the moment), but I’m confident it will happen.

8. Any plans on bringing back the Full Tilt Poker forums?

- I believe so. It’s likely it won’t be back up before the site itself is up and running, though.

9. What about the FTP store… I know that most of us had enough FTPs to buy stuff from there and they had some cool stuff, so was just wondering about the store as well.

- The details of exactly what will be available in the FTP store immediately on relaunch are still being worked out, but there will be a store at relaunch.

10. Will FTP open up as .eu thus making it tax-free in a country like Sweden/Finland like PS did?

- We are working on getting a .eu site up and running as soon as possible. We don’t know yet if it will be ready in time for the relaunch, but it’s definitely coming.

11. What about my FTOPS jacket I have been waiting on for 15 months. Any chance I will receive this in the near future?

- I hope we can clear up these kinds of issues shortly after relaunch. So maybe towards the end of the year if no other issues pop up.

12. What about FTP promotions? There were daily happy hours, 0-deposit midyear and endyear bonus on FTP, frequent rush weeks, etc. Does Stars taking over spell the likely end of promotions on FTP?

- There will still be promotions!

13. Immediately before AGCC pulled the plug, a lot of us were in the middle of clearing the mid-year bonus for which we played consistently 6 months before that.

- The mid-year bonus hadn’t been awarded yet (it’s based on your Iron Man participation for the first 6 months of the year, and June wasn’t over when the site went down). But yes, there will be a satisfactory resolution to the mid-year bonus issue.

14. What will happen to active bonuses? I had just bought the 1.1million FTP’s 5000$ bonus with about 3500$ remaining to be cleared.

- If you purchased a bonus and hadn’t finished clearing it, you will be refunded your FTPs (on a pro-rated basis depending on how much was left to clear) before we relaunch.

15. What will happen regarding Full Tilt Pros?

- The Full Tilt Marketing department is working on this, and no final decisions have been made yet.

16. Will there be cool promotions like ‘re-deposit bonuses’ to account for the long closure?

- Yes, it’s safe to say you can expect some promotions right out of the gate. Of course, I hope there will be cool promotions all the time on Full Tilt Poker.

I’ve seen a number of posts assuming that since PokerStars does something some way that now FTP will necessarily do it the same way. This isn’t the case. The Full Tilt Poker site will be managed separately from PokerStars and the offerings and experience will continue to be unique to the online poker world.

That’s it for now. I’ll come back and give updates as often as I can. I may not have a ton of great answers for the next few weeks as we try to get everything figured out and moving again, but we’re all very excited to be coming back to life and look forward to what’s to come.

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