FTP Financials Show Phil Ivey Owes Tiltware $6 million

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Phil Ivey: the myth, the legend, the Tiger Woods of poker. What does a successful poker player look like? Phil Ivey, right? As it turns out, the popular view of this poker icon might be remarkably different from the truth.

Most readers will be aware of the still-ongoing public spat between Tiltware (the company behind Full Tilt Poker) and Phil Ivey. Phil Ivey chose to boycott the 2011 WSOP until the company processed cash outs for Full Tilt players. Tiltware accused Phil Ivey of being sanctimonious and defensive, and notably, stated that Ivy owed Tiltware a “significant sum” of money.

Most would agree that approximately $6 million would constitute a “significant sum” of money, a figure derived from recently obtained Full Tilt Poker (FTP) financials. The records detail the internal FTP transactions performed on Phil Ivey’s crypto gambling account. Keep in mind that they do not reflect any transactions made outside the company, such as bank wires or transfers between personal accounts. In this way the data is incomplete; however, if the reports do not offer a comprehensive view into FTP financials, they do offer an approximation of where the two parties stand.

Beginning in June 2009 through April 15, 2011 (Black Friday), Phil Ivey was loaned money by FTP eighteen times for a grand total of $10,715,000. These loans were dispersed primarily in groups of $500,000 or $1 million, each of them marked with the word “advance” and many marked with an approval by Rich Bitar, the company’s handler for sponsored pros. Ivey repaid part of the loan, as his account was debited by the company.

The total difference between what Phil Ivey was loaned and what he paid back is $6,215,000. In other words, what he owes Tiltware.

These transactions reveal the nature of Phil Ivey’s relationship with FTP and Tiltware, how the poker site handled its money, and how the owners paid themselves. How Ivey will repay Tiltware, without the constant loans to bankroll his lifestyle and poker playing, is unclear.

Weeks ago, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) suspended Full Tilt Poker’s gambling license. The AGCC has just released a statement that Full Tilt Poker has paid its overdue licensing fees, which will allow the hearings on its suspended license to proceed without hindrance. One giant leap for Full Tilt Poker, one small step towards getting American players’ money back. Reports have listed the total fee at $250,000.

In the statement, the AGCC said that immediately following Black Friday and before suspending the license, it “began immediate discussions with FTP’s management in order to protect the interests of players.” These discussions with Full Tilt Poker management were ultimately fruitless, and it wasn’t until the U.S. Department of Justice seized Full Tilt domain names that the AGCC suspended the license.


The statement covers Full Tilt’s neglecting the licensing fees, until they were past overdue. During a hearing in late July, the AGCC brought up the issue, and demanded that it be dealt with before even considering lifting the suspension on Full Tilt’s gambling license. The two parties stalemated until today, when Full Tilt apparently caved in and put forward the fee.

The statement reads: “At the hearing the Commissioners of the AGCC, acting as a tribunal, decided to adjourn the hearing to a date no later than 15th September, as they felt that this was in the best interest of the players using FTP’s services. The recent payment of overdue license fees by FTP is also in players’ best interests since it allows commercial negotiations to take place that might result in a successful refinancing deal. Further details regarding the exact date and venue of the next hearing will be announced as soon as possible.”

This means that the hearing will continue to move forward and, quite likely, the eventual restoration of Full Tilt’s gambling license. With this in place, the company will be able to complete any takeover or financing deals and one day successfully resume business.


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