Absolute Poker/UB Players Next In Line for RefundsApril 11, 2017 9:59 am
On April 15, 2011, a day referred to as Black-Friday in the poker community, PokerStars, Full Tilt, Absolute Poker and its sister site Ultimate Bet were seized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and forced to stop serving American players. While PokerStars and Full Tilt subsequently cut a deal with the DOJ, the parent company of the latter two sites, Bianca Games, filed for bankruptcy in May 2011, leaving its customers high and dry.
In March 2013, Full Tilt then started recompensing its beleaguered customers in a process that saw 44,320 claimants receive $118,116,918 in funds, with the process overseen by claims administrator, the Garden City Group (GCG). With the process wrapping up, GCG has announced that Absolute Poker Ultimate Bet players are now next in line to receive remuneration.
For those of you affected by the sites’ closure six years ago, a compensation claim can be filed here, or those people requiring further information can reach the claims administrator here.
The government apparently has a fund of around $42 million set aside to repay affected customers, which is the balance between the $160 million that was originally earmarked for disenfranchised Full Tilt Poker players, and the $118 million that was successfully claimed for and paid out to them. It does mean, however, that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet players may have to accept a percentage of their original losses if the amount of total claims exceeds the balance.
That said, the lengthy amount of time since the site’s shut down probably means that a significant number of claims are unlikely ever to be made. Furthermore, most of the pros avoided the sites following the 2005-2007 cheating incident in which a group of players, most prominently 1994 WSOP Main Event champion Russ Hamilton, accessed a superuser accounts to see opponents hole cards and relieve them of up to $22 million of their money. That then leaves thousands of mostly recreational players to file a claim with the DOJ, who will either not be aware that a compensation process is being made available to them, or alternatively will not be able to remember their account balances, or even log-in information to move a claim forward.