Share this on
Tapie Planning New Online Poker Site

In the wake of the failed negotiations to purchase Full Tilt Poker between Group Bernard Tapie and the U.S. Department of Justice, Laurent Tapie has sent an email to Full Tilt employees that were working on a relaunching of the site, expressing his desire to start a new online poker room.

Audacious attempt to hire Full Tilt staff

Not wanting the more than half a year spent in negotiations with the DOJ and FTP to go to waste, Tapie has asked all key personnel of Pocket Kings, the parent company of FTP, to join him in his latest endeavor of launching a new website “that will be best of breed in 6-7 months,” it was reported by Diamond Flush Poker.

The younger Tapie explained in his email that following the breakdown in negotiations and as an alternate plan, he offered FTP honcho Ray Bitar the option to “license the {FTP} assets on a temporary basis, in order to relaunch the site, preserve the value of the assets and participate in an eventual auction as a bidder in the future.” Tapie believes it would be legal to do this, in spite of FTP’s insolvency. However, Bitar apparently consults with DOJ officials on all such matters and would not agree to this proposal without the DOJ’s blessing.

Tapie’s latest business model is to use the funds designated for the FTP purchase in launching a new poker room under his Game Cubed company in Ireland, provided that the Pocket Kings’ staff joins him at their current salaries with additional stock options. The plan also calls for Full Tilt players throughout the world (except the U.S.) to be given the option to “recover their lost balances” just as they would have under the failed acquisition plan, if they sign up and play poker at the new site.

Tapie ambitious

In urging Pocket Kings employees to sign non-disclosure agreements and partner up with him in this endeavor, Laurent Tapie says, “I have the money to make this happen” and that he is in contact with Alderney licensing officials to secure a license and to work out a repayment plan. In conclusion, Tapie asks for commitments from key Pocket Kings staff expeditiously in order to “build the best poker site in the business.”

It is not clear at this time how many, if any, Pocket Kings personnel will team up with Tapie in this venture. Although their job security is currently not very stable, the choices of remaining with Pocket Kings and possibly working as PokerStars employees if the reported deal becomes final, or joining Tapie’s new online poker site, seems to be a no-brainer, as PokerStars appears to be the model of efficiency in operating a business. Also, building a new site from the ground up takes time, certainly more than the 6-7 months that Tapie has estimated.

Affiliate plans

Tapie says ” I am also negotiating with Poker Strategy to resurrect an affiliate arrangement similar to that which I was negotiating with FTP.”

It’s yet to be confirmed whether or not the E-mail / source reporting this news is legitimate, but if true the plans would only proceed if the right people decided to take the leap of faith with GBT as mentioned. If that did happened, it would surely go some way to ruffle the feathers of Pokerstars and we could see a new player join the game.



Related Articles

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.