PezRez and md261 are two of the poker world's most consistent 6-max SNG players. Together they run, which offers coaching and staking services. Here they dissect hands and games they've played. Also found at:

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Full Tilt Hearing

PezRez on 2nd August

Hey guys,

No strategy discussion for this post, but I thought I would talk a little about the situation at Full Tilt. As I'm sure everyone is aware, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, who regulate Full Tilt, pulled the plug a little while back, throwing everyone's funds into limbo. There was a lot of vitriol directed online to the AGCC, and to the United States - and President Obama. While Obama may or may not be a tool, in this case I suspect the real culprit are Full Tilt. If the AGCC had discovered, for instance, that Full Tilt were unable to pay out their customers, then by pulling the plug they absolutely did the correct thing. If they knew that there was a rotten company trading, they could not do nothing and allow people to put more money into the business with little hope of getting it back. Having said that, the AGCC should make every effort to ensure players get their funds back, and they don't get sucked into the Black Hole of Doom that is the US treasury, to cover interest on repayments to China and bullets for shooting Afghans.

So the AGCC public hearing was held in London last week, and Al(md261) and I decided to go along to see if we could find out what was happening to our money. The room was full, with maybe 70-80 people, and proceedings started a little late. As a portly gentleman whose interest was obviously as a player rather than an industry observer derisively snorted, the lawyers for Full Tilt, explained that they wished to make a preliminary appeal for the hearing to be held in secret. They had good reasons, they said (to more snorts from our friend in the fifth row); just those reasons were a bit sensitive too, so they made a Pre-Preliminary Appeal to explain to the AGCC exactly why the preliminary appeal needed to be held in secret.

Now I'm not a big fan of secrecy, but as ridiculous as it sounded, this seemed quite reasonable. Our portly gent, no doubt planning to make a scene from the get-go, stormed out, saying, "This is a disgrace, you should be looking after the players and not this corrupt company", or some such. But I think maybe that's what the AGCC were doing. The thing is, it sounded to me like Full Tilt needed a rescue in order to save it from oblivion. There have been rumours swirling around about a possible buy-out, which if it occurred, needless to say, would result in the players being returned their funds as a matter of priority. However, Full Tilt's argument was that, essentially, they had been so naughty (tsk tsk) that if it was revealed what they had been up to, their reputation and so any hope of a rescue for the company (and my cash) would be destroyed. Which is absolutely understandable. Of course, Full Tilt were acting in their own interests when they asked for secrecy, but in this case I think it's quite likely those interests coincide with our own, as players hoping to retrieve the money we may have lost. So I think that man's self-indulgent rant, planned from the beginning, was a little off the mark.

In any case, secrecy was granted and nothing much happenned that day. There is to be another hearing, some time in September I think, which after this experience I will think twice about attending. For all of us hoping to recoup our losses, let's hope that Full Tilt gets bought out swiftly.


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