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Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Blog, General Poker | 2 comments

A Statement by Nolan Dalla on the Settlement Agreement on Pokerstars’ Acquisition of Full Tilt Poker



Today’s settlement agreement between PokerStars and the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), which includes an announcement that PokerStars will acquire the entirety of Full Tilt Poker’s global assets, is an encouraging development for all poker players, and particularly positive news for those owed monies via their immobilized account deposits.

In fact, today’s news is the first break in the black cloud that has hung over the poker industry for 15 months.  Given PokerStars’ longstanding reputation for integrity and the commendable manner in which they handled their own player-deposit crisis during 2011, all poker players should be grateful to the ownership and management team of this company for assuming a leadership role in what have been troubled times for the poker industry.

However, today’s announcement does nothing, nor should in any way, abdicate any of the principals associated with Full Tilt Poker for their irresponsible actions, criminal or not.  Neither does the announcement serve in any way to remedy the gross negligence that led up to the crisis, nor amend the utter indifference of Full Tilt Poker and its principals to the suffering of innumerable poker players who endured severe financial and emotional hardships since the events of April 2011.

Full Tilt Poker’s actions during both the pre- and post-Black Friday period, represented an unprecedented level of irresponsibility and a grotesque violation of trust.  The damage these industry outcasts have done to players, public confidence, and the game overall lingers and will not be forgotten nor forgiven until the principals have provided explanation, apology, and restitution.

Conversely, the actions of PokerStars during this crisis have continued to win favor from the poker community at large.  I am optimistic that all poker players – residing both inside and outside the United States — who are deemed “victims” in the precise language contained in the official press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York on this date will be reimbursed IN FULL (emphasis mine).  Moreover, the USDOJ should do everything in its considerable powers to ensure that all monies are returned as quickly as possible to all victims.

Nolan Dalla
Las Vegas, Nevada
July 31, 2012

Writer’s Note:  The opinions expressed here are my own and do not in any way reflect the position of any company, publication, website, or entity with which I have been associated.


  1. Very well said Nolan, but I have to comment on one part of your post:
    “The damage these industry outcasts have done to players, public confidence, and the game overall lingers and will not be forgotten nor fogiven until the principles have provided explanation, apology, and restitution.”

    Are you implying that should they provide an explanation and apology and PokerStars makes the players whole (constituting restitution) that they should be forgiven? If not, what other restitution would you like to see them make? These folks should be pariahs. Any statements they issue now will be self-serving at best (as have all of their actions since Black Friday). The principals could have saved Full Tilt Poker and gotten the players paid a year ago had they chosen to bring in qualified people to save the company. Instead, they chose to tightly control all negotiations, presumably so that they could make sure that they saved their own asses first and foremost. They have shown their true colors and their deeds should not be forgiven, and certainly never forgotten.

    Rumors are that Howard Lederer is having a celebratory party tonight at his big house in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, Howard is in the wrong “big house”.

    I am happy to see you taking a strong stance on this, and I wish more leaders in the poker community would speak so freely.

    • Thank you for the comments and your question.

      The principles of Full Tilt Poker have engaged in a conspiracy. The public has been owed two things from the very beginning which it never received — a sincere apology and a comprehensive explanation.

      PokerStars’ financial bailout of Full Tilt Poker does not change the fact that the profits and dividends — particularly those paid out to shareholders just prior to and around the time of Black Friday — amounts to blood money.

      While apologies, explanations, and retribution would serve the cause of justice, at the very least the public is owed something other than deafening silence and indifference, which is all Full Tilt Poker and its principles have provided up to this point.


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