Pro debts damaging FTP deal

Millions owed by former pros

Lawyers acting on behalf of Group Bernard Tapie, the French investors said to be acquiring Full Tilt Poker, have sensationally revealed that debts of between ‘$10 and $20m’ owed to the site by ex-Full Tilt pros are holding up any potential buyout.
According to a interview with Behn Dayanim, who represents the Tapie Group, Full Tilt’s financial situation is ‘substantially worse’ than investors had anticipated. And one major reason for the surprise is the amount of outstanding debts owed to the company by the likes of Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow and Barry Greenstein, thought to be between $10 and $20m.
Despite such issues, GBT Groupe Director Laurent Tapie has said he still expects a deal for Full Tilt to be completed by the end of February.
‘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 Erik Lindgren. Barry Greenstein, Mike Matusow, and others owe a smaller but still significant amount,’ said Dayanim.
‘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.’
Since the revelation, the pros mentioned have been largely quiet. But Barry Greenstein has responded to the acussations through TwoPlusTwo, claiming that GBT contacted him to ask if he would ‘pay them directly’.
‘Their attorney offered me the opportunity to pay in installments so I could have a chance to use money owed to me. He even offered me the opportunity to discount my debt if the US players don’t get paid in full,’ said the Hall of Famer.
‘I told him that I have never paid less than I owe on any debt and I would rather wait until the DOJ establishes a fund for the US players. I don’t believe my debt has any impact on the sale to the Tapie group as they have alleged. 
‘I was concerned about taking money due to US players and giving it to the Tapie Group because it is understood that the Tapie Group won’t be the one paying the US players.’
The full post can be found here. As always, PokerPlayer will bring you more on this latest news as it develops.

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