After more than two and half years, former Full Tilt Poker players from the U.S. are able to file a petition for remission to reclaim their account balances. The deadline for filing those petitions is tomorrow, November 16, 2013.
The company chosen to handle the administration of the remission is Garden City Group. GCG provides a website through which the petitions must be filed, and although they include some information, the site leaves open just as many questions as answers. No one at GCG is willing to address those questions with any members of the media. I wrote last month about some of the misinformation that has come from the group, and today I was told that they were aware of the article, however, they have not seen fit to respond to any of the issues raised, and once again today, the persons in charge of speaking with the media, have refused to do so. This has been the case since April 2013.
Players can check that site for instructions to file. If you have received your control number and do not plan to dispute the balance they have on record for you, you should be able to file and have little or no issue with receiving your funds. The Poker Players Alliance has reported that the AFMLS of the Department of Justice has indicated than an optimistic time frame for payments to begin in non-disputed claims may be first quarter of 2014. If however, you fall into any other category, you are still at the mercy of GCG employees who have shown little or no knowledge of the basis of those account balances at all.
We know that several account categories have been named as “ineligible” for repayment, according to GCG. According to their website, you are excluded from participation in the remission process if you are:
- A past or present employee of FTP or any of its past or present affiliates;
- A past or present Team Full Tilt player;
- A past or present shareholder of FTP, Tiltware LLC, Kolyma Corporation A.V.V., Pocket Kings Ltd., Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd., Filco Ltd., Vantage Ltd., Ranston Ltd., Mail Media Ltd., or Full Tilt Poker Ltd.;
- A past or present officer or director of FTP, Tiltware LLC, Kolyma Corporation A.V.V., Pocket Kings Ltd., Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd., Filco Ltd., Vantage Ltd., Ranston Ltd., Mail Media Ltd., or Full Tilt Poker Ltd., or any of their past or present affiliates;
- A defendant in any civil action or a claimant in any forfeiture action brought by the Department of Justice related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities); or
- A person who, as of the Bar Date, has been the subject of criminal charges related to the violations alleged in this action, or any related action (or any of his or her affiliates, assigns, heirs, distributees, spouses, parents, children, or controlled entities).
Garden City Group has done nothing to clarify what definition of “affiliate” is being used. In the interim, players that have never received even one dollar of referral money as an affiliate have been told they are ineligible.
Furthermore, phonecalls to customer service representatives at GCG by this author have yielded no information on what might happen to those players funds that should be held back due to outstanding loans to the company, players that never had their echeck deposits cashed but received credit for the funds which they will now try to collect, players that have no access to 2-3 year old email accounts that would confirm that moneys were deducted from their accounts but never sent to them, and other pertinent questions. In addition, the ineligibility list includes past or present “Team Full Tilt” players, but not all of those players are or ever were shareholders in the company. Classifications for otherwise named sponsored pros previously on the list have since been removed, but representatives have been unable to confirm that those players/pros are entitled to their full remission.
The website was updated on October 11, 2013 to reword their prior warnings of ineligibility, stating now that players that they have tagged as affiliates will have additional time to file a petition for their account balances that do not relate to their affiliate status. Supposedly they will, at some future date, email those “affiliates” and give them a 30 day additional window to file for remission. The problem is, no one has received such an email to date, and players have only what was told to them by telephone as to their eligibility status. Since the company does not acknowledge that they have previously suggested that players insert false information into their petitions (for example, using 999999999 as a social security number for a person that does not have one), there is no reason to trust that they would admit to having told certain players that they should wait for some future email about their affiliate status. For a player to believe in just that phonecall, with nothing in writing, in this author’s opinion they risk being denied later as having missed the November 16, 2013 deadline. Therefore, this author suggests that EVERYONE without something in writing as to their status from GCG, file a petition by tomorrow’s deadline.
If Garden City Group’s press relations manager returns the phonecall that was promised to me three hours ago (their limit, not mine) and has anything relevant to offer, this article will be updated accordingly.