Friday, February 28, 2014

Green Friday

Well, today was the day. Nearly three years after Black Friday -- and the subsequent discovery by all of us in the U.S. who played on Full Tilt Poker that not only could we not withdraw the funds from our accounts but there were no funds at all -- some American players have finally had their money returned to them.

If I’m following the story correctly, during this first wave around 30,000 players are getting around $82 million back. I believe that represents a little over half of the total U.S. players had in their accounts.

News that the Garden City Group was about to start shipping these payments came not too long ago, and indeed it sounds like from forum posts and tweets that many have already seen the “pending” notice of the wire transfers coming in, apparently designated as coming from “DOJ Poker Stars.”

A friend sent me a note a few days back letting me know he was one of these first 30,000. He’d gotten an email from the GCG telling him he was about to see the payment come in the next seven business days. “This payment represents the full amount of your Full Tilt Poker Account Balance, which you confirmed on the Full Tilt Poker administration online filing site,” he was told. I assume he’s seeing the pending transaction notice now or perhaps has already gotten his cabbage.

I filed my petition back in early October 2013. I wrote about doing so here, explaining how I had not received any email and thus had to create a new petition, then having seen my balance reading as “$0.00” I had to try to provide some supporting documentation to show that I indeed had a few hundy in there.

Anyhow, not to rehearse the whole process again, I had again failed to receive any emails from the GCG as this first round of payments was approaching, so my friend’s email prompted me to give them a call to check on the status of my petition.

Have to say I’ve been pleased the two or three times I’ve called the GCG, with the support being very friendly and communicative in every instance. We found my petition, then I was told that since I was designated an affiliate I wouldn’t be included in this initial wave of folks getting repaid but would be later on. I actually wasn’t an affiliate at FTP (i.e., I never made a dime there except by playing poker), but it’s possible I might have been designated one at some point -- I honestly can’t remember.

I also apparently am being given a new petition number (I’m not sure why), but I’m told I’ll be contacted soon regarding my status. I updated my contact info, including my mailing address and phone, and now sit tight hoping that indeed things start to move forward for me.

I’m not too worried about it all, both because of what I’m perceiving to be a process that appears to be functioning as it is supposed to and because of the relative small amount of funds I’m seeking. Am glad for others today, and like others feel good about PokerStars having stepped in here John Wayne-like to help make things happen for FTP players. I understand how doing so has served their own interests, too, but still it’s so easy to imagine a different, much less sanguine outcome here.

Can’t really see “Green Friday” sticking as a name for this particular day, nor people really remembering years from now when exactly U.S. players finally started getting their money back off the site. There’s some anticlimax, too, of course, but three years of waiting around will do that.

I’d hope people getting their money back won’t cause them to forget how egregious and fraudulent those who ran Full Tilt Poker 1.0 really were, although that may well be a side effect. After all, as much as we talk about not being “results oriented,” most of us are.

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Blogger Herb Wolfe said...

Got my notification earlier this week and my funds yesterday. :)

3/01/2014 1:49 PM  

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