Official PokerStars acquires FTP & settles with DoJ Q/A

    • LeeJonesPokerStars
      LeeJonesPokerStars
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.02.2012 Posts: 27
      Hi folks -
      Obviously it's been a crazy week. I will post a bunch of Q/A's here and answer as many questions as I can when they come up.

      Here's the official annoncement.

      Here's our corporate blog post.

      Here's my personal "trip report" about what it was like in the PokerStars office.

      And the FAQ...

      Q: Will Full Tilt be closed down permanently?
      A:
      No. We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days). At that time, player accounts will be fully available for use, play or withdrawal. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. For Full Tilt players in these markets, we will work with regulators to determine the appropriate mechanisms for making funds available. In any case, these funds will be available as soon as possible.

      Q: When will Full Tilt be re-opened?
      A:
      We plan to re-open Full Tilt in most markets within 90 days of closing (which will take place within seven days).

      Q:I play on PokerStars but not on Full Tilt. How does this affect me?
      A:
      This will not impact players on PokerStars in any way. You can continue playing as before and your money is completely segregated and safe for play and/or withdrawing at any time you please.

      Q: What countries will Full Tilt Poker reopen in?
      A:
      Full Tilt Poker will reopen in most countries and we plan to apply for a global license with the Isle of Man and Malta gaming authorities. We are not currently planning to seek a license to operate Full Tilt in France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and Estonia. Full Tilt players in these countries will be able to play on PokerStars.

      Q: Does this settlement mean I can play real money online poker in the United States?
      A:
      No. Under the terms of our agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, we will not offer real money online poker in the U.S. until such time as there is regulation and licensing permitting this. The agreement does expressly allow for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands to apply for such licenses in the U.S. whenever they are offered.

      Q: Can I transfer my FTP funds to an account on PokerStars?
      A:
      We hope to have the functionality in place to allow inter-site transfers between Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, so that you can enjoy playing again on either platform of your choosing. We will provide additional guidance on this in the coming weeks.

      Q:I’m from Italy (also: France, Spain, Belgium, Estonia, Denmark). Can I use my funds on PokerStars, due to not having the option to play on Full Tilt Poker again?
      A:
      We are currently working with the relevant authorities in your country and hope to put in place a solution that allows you to transfer your Full Tilt funds to a PokerStars account.

      Q: How do I cash out my funds? (US)
      A:
      The process of reimbursing Full Tilt US players will be addressed by the US Government.

      Q: What is the definition of a "U.S." player?
      A:
      A player whose account at Full Tilt Poker had an address in the U.S. or U.S. Territories as of June 29, 2011.

      Q: Is there anything I can do to change that (US versus "Rest of World") status?
      A:
      No.

      Q: When will I be able to cash out my funds? (France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Estonia, Denmark)
      A:
      We are currently working with the regulators in your country on the mechanisms required to withdraw your funds. We are committed to making these funds available within 90 days of the formal closing of the deal, which will be within seven days.

      Q: Will I be able to cash out my entire balance? (ROW)
      A:
      Yes. Full balances will be made available for immediate withdrawal once the site is reopened.

      Q: What cash-out methods will there be? (ROW)
      A:
      We will strive to ensure our complete payment offering is available at the time of launch. Where possible this will be consistent with the current offering at PokerStars.

      Q: Are there going to be play-though requirements before I can cashout? (ROW)
      A:
      No. You will have full access to your funds immediately and in most cases will be able to fully withdraw funds using the same methods previously available in your market.

      Q: How long will my cash-out take to process? (ROW)
      A:
      Processing times will differ depending on the method of cashout.

      Q: What happens to my Full Tilt loyalty rewards?
      A:
      We are reviewing all previous Full Tilt reward programs and will provide more details on plans for these programs in the near future. We intend to have a fair resolution for players with accumulated points and other rewards under the program.


      Q: Can I use my FTP funds on PokerStars?
      A:
      We are currently working on solutions for players to have inter-site transfers between FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com.


      Q: Who should I contact in the future to discuss my Full Tilt account?
      A:
      You should contact support@fulltiltpoker.com where one of Full Tilt's representatives will assist you with your account query.

      Q: Will US players (for the purposes of this discussion, any player whose address was in the U.S. or U.S. Territories) be able to log into their FTP accounts to see their balance, or have some other method to view their balance?

      A:
      Unfortunately, we don't know the exact mechanism by which you'll be able to view your account balance once Full Tilt re-launches. We are working on that now and will let you as soon as it's finalized.

      Q: What if Player A purchased the funds in Player B’s FTP account? Will PokerStars cooperate with that?
      A:
      No. We will not get involved in brokering sales of the funds in Full Tilt accounts.

      Q: How do FTP players who don’t remember email/password information for their account get their money back?
      A:
      We have an obligation to protect the security of the players’ funds. As such, we will establish a procedure for verifying the information for player accounts if they don’t remember the email address and password. Only fully verified account owners will have access to their Full Tilt Poker account.

      Q: I’m an American (that is, I have a Full Tilt account with an American address as of June 29, 2011). But I have moved out of the US and have received permission to play on PokerStars. Can I play on the newly reopened FTP?
      A:
      Anybody residing outside the U.S. (and the IT/EE/ES/BE/FR/DK countries) can play on Full Tilt Poker once it re-launches. We are still determining the exact mechanism by which formerly American Full Tilt players will restart their play on Full Tilt (from outside the U.S.).

      Q: Can a player who is defined as a U.S. player, but is now living outside the U.S., simply reopen his account and have access to the funds in it?
      A:
      No. You have to apply to the U.S. DoJ for remission (i.e. to get your money back). Again, we don't know the exact mechanism by which former U.S. players will restart at Full Tilt; we'll let you know as soon as we have it confirmed.

      Q: If I’m an American player and fail to apply to the DoJ for remission, does my FTP balance remain intact if/when FTP reopens in the US?
      A:
      No. The only way you can get your money is by applying to the U.S. DoJ for remission.

      Q: Full Tilt froze my account before they shut down (investigation for collusion, chip dumping, etc). What happens to my account balance?
      A:
      If you are a U.S. player, you will have to deal with DoJ . For Rest of the World players, we will restart the investigation and take it to its appropriate conclusion.

      Q: How do I apply for a job at Full Tilt?
      A:
      There will be a “Jobs” section on the FTP website where you can apply for open positions.

      Q: Will screen-name changes be permitted at FTP?
      A:
      There are a number of questions such as this one that are directly related to how FTP manages their operation. The FTP folks will be in the forums in the not-too-distant future; they can address your questions directly then.

      It’s still early days yet – we all need some time to work these questions out and make sure we do the right thing.

      Q: Am I going to get rakeback on FTP?
      A:
      That’s a question for the FTP folks. At some point in the not-too-distant future, they’ll be here and you can bring it up with them.

      Q: What will the FTP reward program be like? More like the traditional FTP reward program or more like the PokerStars VIP program?
      A:
      Once again, this is an operations decision that the FTP management and marketing teams will make. We’ve got 90 days before the answer really matters – please give them some time to figure out the answer.

      Q: Is a player who is banned or self-excluded on FTP (collusion, multi-accounting, problem gambling, etc) automatically banned on PokerStars and vice versa?
      A:
      Our systems will not allow barred or self-excluded players on one site to play on the other site. We will ensure that we have the technical solutions in place to preserve our game integrity and responsibility in responsible gaming. However, we will deal with exceptional situations on a case-by-case basis.

      Q: How will you deal with exchange fluctuations since the Euro has devalued since last year?
      A:
      All Full Tilt account balances were held in U.S. dollars (USD), so whatever local currency you receive in your cash-out will be based on the exchange rate with the USD on the day you cash out. For example, let’s suppose you have $100 in your Full Tilt account and you cash out on December 19, 2012. You will receive $100 converted to your local currency (e.g. EUR) using the exchange rate for 19/12/12.

      Q: What about phantom deposits to FTP which were never collected? Are they still treated as valid account balances? Will you attempt to collect phantom deposits?
      A:
      Our finance people don’t yet have all the data they need to make a decision on this. We will let you know as soon as we can.

      Q: I requested a cash-out from FTP and it was debited from my account, but I never saw the money. Do I get the money back?
      A:
      All player account balances and transactions will be reviewed, including pending cash-outs. Once account balances have been verified (including any adjustments for pending cash-outs), players will be able to cash out. At this point, we have no access to individual accounts so we’re unable to discuss your particular case. We appreciate and thank you for your understanding and patience until we can get this resolved.


      Q: I got a check from FTP but it bounced. The money was still debited from my account. Do I get that money back?
      A:
      Almost all of the cases involving bounced checks are for “defined” U.S. players (those with an account address in the U.S. and U.S. Territories as of June 29, 2011). We have absolutely no involvement with refunding those players – you will have to deal with the U.S. DoJ.

      For the relatively few players who are “defined” RoW, we will have to wait and review your account once we have the data. That’s going to take some time; we appreciate your patience while we do the necessary review and audit.

      =======================================

      Okay, that's a lot of material - you may want to get a cup of coffee and take a few minutes to digest it all. I will keep PokerStrategy up-to-date as we learn more; obviously, we'll all be learning more in the coming days.

      Also, a brief personal observation: I know this has been a long and painful period for many of you. It's been that way for us too; a lot of people have worked extraordinarily hard to bring this to a successful conclusion. I'm prouder than ever to work for PokerStars.

      Best regards,
      Lee Jones
  • 87 replies
    • MJPerry
      MJPerry
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2011 Posts: 4,908
      Awesome, thanks a lot Lee.

      I'm sure our community will have more to ask as well :s_cool:
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Originally posted by LeeJonesPokerStars
      Q: Is a player who is banned or self-excluded on FTP (collusion, multi-accounting, problem gambling, etc) automatically banned on PokerStars and vice versa?
      A:
      Our systems will not allow barred or self-excluded players on one site to play on the other site. We will ensure that we have the technical solutions in place to preserve our game integrity and responsibility in responsible gaming. However, we will deal with exceptional situations on a case-by-case basis.
      Hi,

      I have a question about this. If a player was banned on FTP pre-shut down, will his Stars account also be in danger or will this only apply after the takeover has been done and FTP reopened?
    • BObamaJr
      BObamaJr
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.01.2012 Posts: 232
      I placed an order for a bunch of goods from the FTP store three days before the shutdown. I never received them.

      How will the new management deal with FTP orders from the pre-shutdown era?
    • rent90
      rent90
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.05.2010 Posts: 150
      I ordered some stuff from the Full Tilt Store and never got it, will I get my points back or the merchandise I ordered?
    • datsmahname
      datsmahname
      Global
      Joined: 23.11.2009 Posts: 1,366
      Hi Lee,

      I am very happy with PokerStars' decision to ban players from both sites if they are banned from one site. However, FTP may have had some financial incentive to ban players who were attempting to withdraw funds. I'm aware of at least one case like this and no explanation for his ban was given.

      Will you be looking into the bans issued by FTP, especially in the weeks prior to going offline to insure that their reasons for player bans were legitimate?
    • Heffron89
      Heffron89
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.01.2009 Posts: 813
      Originally posted by datsmahname
      Hi Lee,

      I am very happy with PokerStars' decision to ban players from both sites if they are banned from one site. However, FTP may have had some financial incentive to ban players who were attempting to withdraw funds. I'm aware of at least one case like this and no explanation for his ban was given.

      Will you be looking into the bans issued by FTP, especially in the weeks prior to going offline to insure that their reasons for player bans were legitimate?
      They said on 2+2 that they will review the bans case by case.
    • supergaijin
      supergaijin
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.09.2010 Posts: 133
      Hi,

      Not sure if this should be in FTP forums or the Acquisition Q&A in Stars forums but here goes.

      Prior to shut down the FTP mobile app was available for Canadians; however, the Stars mobile app is not. On re-opening of FTP will Canadian players be able to use the FTP app?
    • MJPerry
      MJPerry
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.10.2011 Posts: 4,908
      Originally posted by datsmahname
      Hi Lee,

      I am very happy with PokerStars' decision to ban players from both sites if they are banned from one site. However, FTP may have had some financial incentive to ban players who were attempting to withdraw funds. I'm aware of at least one case like this and no explanation for his ban was given.

      Will you be looking into the bans issued by FTP, especially in the weeks prior to going offline to insure that their reasons for player bans were legitimate?
      Relevant part bolded:

      Q: Is a player who is banned or self-excluded on FTP (collusion, multi-accounting, problem gambling, etc) automatically banned on PokerStars and vice versa?
      A: Our systems will not allow barred or self-excluded players on one site to play on the other site. We will ensure that we have the technical solutions in place to preserve our game integrity and responsibility in responsible gaming. However, we will deal with exceptional situations on a case-by-case basis.
    • suitedeule
      suitedeule
      Black
      Joined: 18.12.2006 Posts: 9,822
      any estimations wether the new FTP will feature € accounts? after the FTP shutdown i converted all my funds to €, if FTP will still be $ only id have to find a cheap way to convert funds agian
    • JBCMaster
      JBCMaster
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.03.2009 Posts: 4,348
      If I want to play at FTP in the future, then I have to cashout first my old FTP bankroll and then cashin again, is that right?
    • Bunghole
      Bunghole
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2006 Posts: 87
      The news from July 31st stated that "A $225 million payment must be made within 6 days of this announcement."

      Has this payment been made? Because this is the only thing that really assures the players that PokerStars is serious about making this happen!
    • smokinnurse
      smokinnurse
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.03.2007 Posts: 14,745
      Q: What if Player A purchased the funds in Player B’s FTP account? Will PokerStars cooperate with that?
      A: No. We will not get involved in brokering sales of the funds in Full Tilt accounts.


      no account to account transfers allowed?
    • m4cs3th
      m4cs3th
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2010 Posts: 4,815
      Dear Lee,

      Can you tell us what happens with the tracked accounts on Full Tilt?
      I am currently tracked with a company other then pokerstrategy.com and would like to change that... will that be possible?
    • ChrisDePiss
      ChrisDePiss
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2009 Posts: 1,453
      Dear Lee,

      can you even name a specific date or a detailed time range for the relaunch (instead of the next 90 days)? That would be awesome :) ...


      Thanks
    • Razorheart
      Razorheart
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.09.2010 Posts: 1,098
      Hi Lee.

      The FTOPS was running when black friday occured.
      I and many players (like me) had satellited in to big events.
      Will those tickets be converted to Tournament Dollars or real funds?

      Or is this something you have not considered?
    • Thrashattack
      Thrashattack
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.08.2007 Posts: 6,880
      Hi Lee.

      In the first instance I want to thank you very much for the wide range of detailed answers you gave.

      However, I still have a question which also might regard many other former FTP Players. At the time when the platform crashed, I was chipleader of a $26 MTT with only 11 Players left, granting the first more than $2k. This money, of course, would also belong to the balance.

      How are you going to deal with such matters?

      Many thanks in advance.

      Best regards,

      Thrashattack
    • LordHase
      LordHase
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2012 Posts: 696
      if i played underaged on FTP will i be allowed to open up a new account ?
    • Falco35
      Falco35
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.06.2010 Posts: 12,031
      Hi Lee,

      Q: Can I transfer my FTP funds to an account on PokerStars?
      A: We hope to have the functionality in place to allow inter-site transfers between Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, so that you can enjoy playing again on either platform of your choosing. We will provide additional guidance on this in the coming weeks.


      Ive read some posts in our german forum and some people were apprehensive for the security of their Pokerstars accounts if this happens.
      Pokerstars offers RSA - Token. So will it be secure to have a Stars RSA-Token "protectetd" account connected with a FT non RSA-Token account?

      Im not a native english speaker, hope you get the point!?

      :)
    • Cornie4ever
      Cornie4ever
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2009 Posts: 8,223
      Hey Lee,

      thanks for all the details and great news :f_cool:

      My cashier on FTP was protected with the security token. Can you please confirm if the security tokens will still work? Or will I log in to my account only using nickname + password? Or can I expect issues?

      Thanks a lot,
      Pavel