Baby with Lollypop

Extreme Silliness: Americans Begging for FTP Points Redemption

Among the more curious asides from the Poker Players Alliance’s recent trip to chat with the Department of Justice about the slowly developing remissions process for former US players of Full Tilt Poker was the acknowledgment that the PPA asked that FTP points be included in refund calculations.

While Full Tilt’s FTPs (Full Tilt Points) could be redeemed for merchandise, tournament entries and so on, such loyalty rewards generally have no real cash value and are not transferable outside the business interests of the company in question.  That the PPA even brought up the topic shows something of a core misunderstanding of such loyalty programs, which one wouldn’t normally expect from supposed business lawyers.

Ah, well, it’s all worth a good chuckle.  Of note is a recent poll initiated over at 2+2, wherein one PPA exec served up this fine example of a poll question not really worth reading (click on image to view full-sized):

Which reminds me of Jimmy Fallon asking the little girl if she wants the lollipop and the Etch-a-Sketch:

You just can’t make that shit up.  Of course almost everyone would want to be be credited both cash and the supposed value of their FTP points, were such a thing legally feasible, but it almost certainly isn’t.  One remembers the example of Sharper Image a couple of years back, which in declaring bankruptcy automatically made all the SI gift cards that they’d sold to their customers worthless.  SI continued on (for a while), but those gift cards were instant landfill.

Such is the nature of any such internal loyalty program; whether expressly implied or not, there is no real cash value outside the company.  PokerStars certainly did not acquire any liability to these points, either since they purchased only the non-US assets of Full Tilt.

Nonetheless, Stars has chosen to honor some of those Full Tilt Points accumulations for its rest of world customers, if only for a short time.  This, however, was done as an incentive to those ROW players to return to Full Tilt, and Stars has already instituted legalese to make sure that it’s correctly viewed as a limited-time offer.

The following line was inserted onto the Full Tilt Points page of the FTP site when it was brought back online by Stars:

Please note: if you do not log in to your Full Tilt Poker account for two consecutive years, your Full Tilt Points balance will expire.

Given the April 15, 2011 cutoff date of Black Friday for the old Full Tilt, that means that PokerStars won’t honor these FTPs for former Full Tilters who choose not to return by April 15, 2013.

People can hope and wish and pray for any sort of remission they choose, including those FTPs.  But as with Jimmy Fallon and the little girl in the Capital One commercial, it’s just not reality.

Now just to fair, it looks like some good has come from that DOJ/PPA meet.  Even though the PPA learned nothing there, the increased attention may have spurred the DOJ to finally announce something concerning the FTP remission process.  This appeared as the latest entry on the DOJ page relevant to the case:

November 20, 2012Victim Update. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is evaluating applicants for the position of Claims Administrator to handle petitions for remission for U.S. victims of the alleged fraud that Full Tilt Poker committed relating to player funds. The United States Attorney’s Office expects that the Claims Administrator will be selected and begin work in January 2013.

So, work will begin some time next year, and perhaps toward the end of 2013, former US Full Tilters will be reunited with their funds.  Just don’t expect the supposed value of FTP points to be part of the deal.

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