What many expected to be inevitable was finally announced today.. That's right, the NBC heads-up tournament is cancelled. Ha! I fool you. Ok ,really, did ANYONE watch two people playing "battleship" on TV? It just is not good TV. But, in a final coup for poker on TV, ESPN pulls the trigger on ending bad, edited poker and will open up the screens to their new, "See a flop, see the hole cards" philosophy. This worked so well in the early week of the WSOP, that I taped and watched all of it, sparing me the onslaught of pointless cutting to celebrities getting it all in, numerous interviews with Jason Alexander or 2 stupid dogs alumni Brad Garrett, and Norman Chad's "jokes". I actually just deleted the edited footage because why watch the highlight of a game that you already watched?
Bring on the future!
As for the future of the Full Tilt brand (today was employee cut-down day), it was widely publicized that there was a sale pending "Groupe Bernard Tapie", which broke in late Sept-early Oct. It was supposedly contingent on the settling of the DoJ suit. There are 3 notes here, which are speculation (but good speculation) on my part:
1. Subject to settlement of the issue means that they want the DoJ to unfreeze the funds and let the company keep them as assets. This would be used to attempt to pay back players of essentially (25%) of its liabilities/deposits. Why 25%? That's all the cash there is! This would end the new companies liabilities to depositors*.
2. That the DoJ will in effect, attempt to go after the Pocket Kings owners* and release the new owner from those liabilities and thus also potential lawsuits.
These are significant to both the DoJ and to the purchasers. Taipe could NEVER get item 2 if everyone washes their hands of the current liabilities to current depositors.
But the brand value is not there after paying 100% back, as the price is now to high. So, they offer to refund all the monies that the government unfreezes. Smart. and limits liability to what is already on hand. "everybody" wins. After all, do you want 25cents/dollar back or zed?
As for what Taipe PAYS for Full Tilt... Tapie has Pocket Kings over a barrel here and can pressure that "board" (if you can call it that) to "take what it can get before the value goes to zero". But it can't possibly be enough for the officers-owners to avoid bankruptcy and potentially a permanent ban from returning to the business. Not to mention the players who might literally "Beat the money out of them in a dark alley". If I were those guys, I would consider living LITERALLY outside the US.
And as I continue to maintain, do not compare this to poker-spot. It's like comparing a bank-failure tin 1930 to 2008. They are different animals.
3. And this is a big one... its in the best interest of Taipe to stall until they can see where H.R.1174 is headed. If it passes, they can recoup their investment relatively well. If it does not pass again and dies, they can pay rock bottom dollar for Full Tilt and take their sweet time drafting paperwork.