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Full Tilt Poker Remissions Applications Filed by Players

full-tilt-logoActivity has been brisk in recent days regarding the initial applications for remission by former American players of Full Tilt Poker, whose online balances have existed in limbo for nearly two and a half years following the “Black Friday,” April 2011 seizure of domains and bank accounts connected to the US-facing site, which was then exposed as being bereft of liquid assets and unable to pay its players.

Only a separate deal between the United States Department of Justice and former Full Tilt rival PokerStars created an avenue for former FTP players to be paid, via the acquisition of all remaining Full Tilt assets by Stars, including the sizable FTP international player database.  However, creating the mechanism for former US Full Tilters to be refunded was itself a complex task, and only this week has the actual process gone live, coordinated by Ohio-based Garden City Group (GCG), a prominent claims-administration firm with previous experience in fraud-based corporate remission settlements.

FlushDraw reported earlier this week on the latest steps in the process, including the e-mailing of initial applications to former FTP players, which began during business hours on Monday and has continued throughout the week, and an earlier examination of some of the legalese regarding the remissions process as provided by GCG and he DOJ, which at that time, a couple of weeks back, gave strong indications that several categories of players not prominently recognized as being part of Full Tilt might still be barred from the remissions process due to ongoing business relationships with the company.

Sadly, FlushDraw’s predictions regarding the fate of Full Tilt online affiliates and so called “red pros” seems to be born out by reports from the poker world, which include several instances of these affiliates and red pros being told, following direct contact with GCG, that they will not be eligible to take part in the remissions process.

In one example, a veteran blogger known as “BadBlood” (first name John, and he’s known to this writer), confirmed to 2+2 posters that he will be denied a refund of roughly $4,000, according to his conversation with a GCG rep.

Other former FTP affiliates shared similar tales, showing that the DOJ plans to use the definition of “marketing affiliate” rather than that of “business affiliate” in determining where to draw the line regarding associations with FTP.

Of note also is that several players who referred other players to FTP via various “refer-a-friend” promotions have reported no problems concerning theire own remissions applications to date.  While this might also be construed by many as being an affiliate relationship, there must be a specific difference.

Here at FlushDraw, we believe the difference is this: For those people that went through an applications process with Full Tilt to become an affiliate, were assigned a specific affiliate number or code, and used that embedded code in banner and other advertising intended to generate sign-up traffic for Full Tilt, these players are likely to be deemed as affiliates and would thereby be banned from the remissions process.

That seems to be the only logical place to draw the line, given the dozens of first-person reports that have emerged to date.

So what do most general players have to look forward to in the remissions process? This means regular players, and not former affiliates, red pros, and other high-rolling types who may be ruled ineligible.

All players who still have access to the same e-mail address they initially used to register with Full Tilt should have received an e-mail by now, with detailed instructions for visiting the GCG-supervised site at FullTiltClaims.com.  (Those with different addresses should contact GCG.)  That e-mail included a seven-digit “Petition” number and a ten-digit “Control” number.

Clicking on the link in the e-mail brings the player to a screen where that info is inputted, like this:

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The “Verification” field is a secondary check; I used zip code when checking my own account.  Once the Petition and Control numbers and Verification value is entered, a second screen appears, with more personal information available:

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Here’s a look at that second screen, where players must input a social-security number:

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Once you’ve inputted all that info, the system will finally believe that you are you, and show you the balance.

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If you believe the displayed balance is incorrect, this is where you should halt the process, begin assembling proof (including banking statements) that the shown amount is wrong, and initiate a new petition.  Do not confirm anything unless you agree with the amount shown.

However, if you do agree that the amount is correct, then you can continue once more, and go to a screen where your banking information can be put in.  Refunds will only be issued via ACH:

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In case you’re wondering, I didn’t feel like sending off my banking info to a company which was the lowest bidder on a large-scale government contract.  Not worth the $3 to me to put that info at risk.

But if you did give them the info and click “Continue” one final time, then it will file the petition, send off a verification e-mail, and put you in the completed-petition queue, where nothing will happen until some time after November 16th.  At that point, all approved petitions will be totalled, as will all denied or disputed ones.

If the total of both is less than the amount being held in abeyance against these claims from the Stars/DOJ settlement, then the payments for the non-disputed claims should be sent out shortly, possibly even by Christmas.  If the total of the approved and disputed categories exceeds the total amount being held against waiting claims, then the process will stretch out well into 2014 for everyone.

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