Groupe Bernard Tapie Speaks Out on Player DebtPublished on February 4th, 2012 10:21 pm EST
In an interview with IgamingFrance.com (link below) released yesterday, Lawrence Tapie of Groupe Bernard Tapie confirmed the existence of $16.5 million in outstanding professional player debts to Full Tilt Poker.
It’s been an interesting week on the Full Tilt Poker front. After months of quiet negotiations, Groupe Bernard Tapie lawyer Behn Dayanim went on the offensive and revealed the existence of millions of dollars in outstanding pro player debts to Full Tilt Poker. Dayanim, who claimed that the debts could potentially hold up a deal for Full Tilt Poker, even went as far to reveal the names of players who owed money to Full Tilt Poker. Phil Ivey, Layne Flack and even Barry Greenstein were just some of the players who reportedly owe large sums of money to Full Tilt Poker.
Lawrence Tapie said yesterday that “19 pro players”, who “never paid their debt to the other players at Full Tilt”, owe a combined $16.5 million.
Tapie claims that some of the listed players have already gotten into contact with Groupe Bernard Tapie regarding their debts, while others have not yet contacted the company.
Here is what Tapie said:
“Fortunately, among the 19 players we have attempted to contact, some we have immediately called back and work with us on a repayment plan or clearing their debt, and we are already finalizing contracts to that effect.”
According to this Cardplayer.com article, Phil Ivey and Erick Lindgren may both owe Full Tilt Poker $4 million.
Considering that Groupe Bernard Tapie has reportedly agreed to a purchase price of $80 million for Full Tilt’s assets, $16.5 million is not an insignificant amount of money.
The big two questions at this point (at least as it relates to the $16.5 million) are:
1) How much of this money will be paid back or pledged via a signed repayment plan?
2) If a significant amount of this money remains unpaid, would it actually result in the GBT/FTP deal coming off the rails?
Groupe Bernard Tapie went public with these outstanding debts in order to put pressure on the people that owe the money. It will be interesting to see how much money they are able to recover..
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