Well, it looks like Full Tilt Poker may actually be saved by Groupe Bernard Tapie. I don’t know if “surprised” is the word I’d use about this news so much as “pleasantly optimistic.” I guess I always felt that the software and database had a certain amount of value. I just never had any idea of how much. Now I know.
It’ll be interesting to see how much long-term damage there is with the brand. Who knows how the public will react? I guess that depends on the new owners. People played on UB when the same people that cheated them continued to own it, so it seems the poker masses are a fairly forgiving group. Or they just don’t care, so long as they can play poker.
I get asked a lot about Howard and Chris from other pros and from poker fans. Everyone wants to know if they’ll show their faces at a live event again–or if so, when. Honestly, I think they will, especially if players get paid back their bankrolls. I think people think Howard and Chris have been more stupid and arrogant than dishonest. I mean, did Chris Ferguson really have much to do with the financial workings of the company? Nobody thinks so. Not that he shouldn’t have known, because he should’ve, but he probably didn’t know. And really, things at Tilt seemed to fall to shit after Howard stepped down or became less involved in the overall management of the company. I believe the blame falls squarely on Ray Bitar.
Now the next big question we all talk about from time to time is when will online poker finally be legalized in the U.S. I think it is inevitable. How soon? That’s a good question. I tend to think shortly, maybe after the next election things could move quickly. I hope it happens in a big way. People want to watch poker. People will pay to produce top quality poker shows. Fuck, my life would be greatly enhanced financially if things were to be legalized in the USA. So hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer.