Exclusive: Groupe Bernard Tapie Unable to Collect Owed Funds from Several Pros

In an exclusive statement to PokerStrategy.com, Groupe Bernard Tapie attorney Behn Dayanim has revealed that the French investment group has discovered a significant sum of money still owed to the company by several pros.

As most poker players already know, Groupe Bernard Tapie (GBT) is a French investment group which is currently in the process of taking over Full Tilt Poker. The group already has a signed agreement with the US Department of Justice to purchase the assets of the company for $80 million, assuming several other conditions are met.

GBT has recently been conducting due diligence in order to gain a complete awareness about the financial situation and inner workings of Full Tilt. Behn Dayanim, an attorney representing GBT, told PokerStrategy.com that the due diligence stage of the takeover is currently "nearing completion, but not yet done."

During this process, GBT discovered that the financial situation of the companies comprising Full Tilt is substantially worse than they had hoped. One of several financial issues negatively impacting the situation is that many well-known poker players still owe the company substantial amounts of money. Most of these players have expressed a lack of willingness to address this.

"It could put the deal in serious jeopardy."

Due to the fact that the Full Tilt companies are in worse financial condition than had been anticipated, the collection of these debts has assumed increased importance.

Behn Dayanim explained the situation to PokerStrategy.com:

"GBT doesn't want to acquire assets which will need to be litigated over later. In total, the sum owed to the company is between $10 and $20 million. Several of the players who owe money and have not yet expressed a willingness to pay their debts include Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine, and Erick Lindgren. Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, and others owe a smaller but still significant amount.

If the money doesn't come in, it creates a serious obstacle to completion of the deal. This isn't the only issue with the takeover, and the deal won't end on any one issue - but this is a substantial item."

Some pros have argued in the past that they don't want to pay GBT and that they would only consider paying their debts if the money goes directly to players. Today, this argument can reasonably be viewed as disingenuous taking into account that the completion of this deal would lead to a substantial infusion of cash to players from GBT.

As always, PokerStrategy.com will continue to keep you informed on this and any other developments related to Full Tilt Poker.


By Matt Kaufman

Comments (44)

newest first
  • #1

    Be interesting to hear why a Stars Pro, Barry G, owes FTP money
  • #2

    That's what I thought. I guess he got it via Ivey but as for why, who knows? Can't imagine Greenstein doing anything untoward though.
  • #3

    And the plot thickens...
  • #4

    So sick...Start of another brutal downswing?
  • #5

    In short: the pros are trying to play the good guys to the poker community by giving a nice excuse not to pay back millions they know they owe. Nice.
  • #6

    Yesterday I was like'yeah,baby!'.Now I wanna cry...sob sob sob...
    This deal is never gonna finalize...
  • #7

    loaning millions to degens.. thats a good idea
  • #8

    i'd rather loan it to bernie maddof
  • #9

    In a deal that's costing GBT more than 200 million dollars, how does this money owed but the deal in jeopardy? It's not like FTP owes these pros money. I don't see this ruining the deal, but I'm glad they're trying to shame these pros into paying them back.

    Pay your debts, deadbeats!
  • #10

    this story is brutal...

    lets hope there aren't more pot holes like this one.
  • #11

    Time for these "Pros" to cough up, or find a deep hole to hide in?
  • #12

    happy times.
  • #13

    greedy fucks
  • #14

    Does anybody know if the pros actually have enough money, at least officially, to be able to pay the debts back?
  • #15

    if the laws were good, "pros" should pay all the owed money :P
  • #16

    r.i.p full tilt been strong along again.
  • #17

    the show must go on...
  • #18

    Its not the END!
  • #19

    Hopefully they will pay or their name's will be tarnished for ever if the deal sinks.
  • #20

    i got more trust to a drug addict rather than the FTP DOJ GBP AGCC companies and stuff
  • #21

    What i don't Understand is How do they owe money? I mean how is that possible, What do they get floated the money millions I dont get it. And the money would be in there accounts so how could they owe money it makes no sence. can someone explain
  • #22

    It does not even seem fair or legal if they just float money to pro's when people like me gota use real money, man it seems so wierd and a great way to rape peoples bank roll when the money is somehow fronted. I may be way off but what the hell how can you owe millions of dollars, I mean you put money in the account from your bank, can someone explain to me how they owe so much money how is it possible.
  • #23

    So they loaned money witch is just basicly so unethical. All these people
    idolize they guys yet they are useing huge bankrolls of millions and its LOANED.. its like playing against the house then. I am in shock...
  • #24

    They owe 10-20 million? There is a difference betewwn 10min and 20 mil. Do they even know how much money they lent out exactly? Or it was just all under the table. Also was the money given as a loan or as a stake.
  • #25

    Hopefully the named pro's will be shamed in to paying up.
  • #26

    @21-23 im wondering, too, how this is possible...

    btw the $10-20 mio maybe not so much money in comparison to the initial amount of more than $250 mio which got 'lost' (or confiscated) around the events of BF - or did i miss some updates on that?
  • #27

    no.9 exactly, GBT just attempting to shame the players into paying through the media but cant see this stopping the deal
  • #29

    #9 i'm puzzled by this too, the only idea that comes into my mind is that GBT is slowly trying to back out of the deal. I just dont understand how this could be such a bit obstacle. What's next? GBT saying they they wont complete the deal till Lederer, Ferguson and Bitar pay back hundresds of millions they stole? Complete BS if you ask me, screw FTP and screw poker, i'm sick of this.
  • #30

    @ people wondering why it is such a big deal: 10-20million is alot of money also to a group of investors.

    If these players pay back that would mean that GBT have to put substantially less of their own money at risk in this.

    It's the same like you buy something from a guy but he says , yo it actually costs 20€ more than the pricetag because someone still owes me money and doesn't want to pay it back.
  • #31

    #30 Lol yeah, people here are talking like 15mil is pocket change lol.
  • #32

    #30 +1
  • #33

    why don't they just agree with FTP that they'll just lower the purchase price based on the uncollected debts?

    for example, $20million is owed by the pros. instead of paying $80M, they just pay $60M and let former FTP management worry about collecting their "PRO's" debts.

    so that they could just go on with the deal and let FTP come back. HAAYYYzzzz
  • #34

    now what interests me the most, is how GBT finding this only now? I mean come on, they been on this process for what? 6months+++? LOL. How can somebody pass 10-20mil through their eyes when they were looking at balance sheets? I think its just a way to put pressure on the pros, and get the loans. And now community full of angry people will do. I already send a tweet to all of them :D ofc it doesnt help, but theres like 10k+ of these tweets, so it kinda shows something. Just send some goons after those assholes who own you money and get done with it. jeeezzzz
  • #35

    # 34: they probably didn't keep it out of the public to give the onces that still owned money to pay without it being publicly know
  • #36

    bastard leeches, to pay its debts

    motherfucker

    damn bastards.

    ...l...

    fk
    Phil Ivey, Layne Flack, David Benyamine , y Erick Lindgren. Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow fuuuuuuu

    fuuuuuuuuu
  • #37

    What I dont understand is how can Tapie say yesterday that FTP ll be launching by the end of Feb if there are no last minute surprises? And now this! He calls the abscence of 20 million a last minute surprise??? They should have been already aware of this and taken it into account before stating 'hey,guys,we are good to go!'
    Screw this!Back to the drawing board...
  • #38

    The worst thing is Ivey is close to a $20m winner on FTP, money won through a bankroll he never actually possessed. They should all be banned from taking part in any form of organised poker until debts are repaid imo. Time for the poker community to stand up and unite!!
  • #39

    #38 and do what? i wish i could participate in same tourneys as they do, and just give him a bad time all day long. how i wished i could yell at him.
    @#35 if you would take a look at greenstein post in 2+2, he said they contacted him a week ago. That means maybe they only found out it now or just started taking actions. Either way, seems a bit weird for professional investors make such mistakes.
  • #40

    so the pros owe millions to FTP. And ftp owes millions to the players. wtf was ftp giving our money to mega rich pros?
  • #41

    It appears that some, perhaps even most of these well known players are living the high life with kited money. This won't happen but, if they really want to prove good faith, they could put this money into a legal trust. I suspect they really don't have the money. Welcome to the real poker world suckers! No heroes just a bunch of crooks plying their trade. Seems an awful lot like government.
  • #42

    he all so z it would be up and running for march it never will bye bye bank roll we,ve been made mugs of for sure.
  • #43

    i dont understand why the pros need to boro money i thot they where all million airs.
  • #44

    This deal was supposed to be done by now, I'm losing hope.