Fresh off the one year anniversary of the darkest day in the company’s history, there are signs that Full Tilt Poker is about to finally stir back to life at the hands of Groupe Bernard Tapie.
After a long period of public silence, a wave of action began in March and has seemingly continued to build towards a relaunch of Full Tilt Poker in some form. The latest news involves the formation of a company called “New Full Tilt Limited”. The company, incorporated in Dublin on February 14, lists Laurent Tapie as Director. A similar company was incorporated one week ago in Malta.
In March, Prosper Masquelier was added as a second director of the company, and his ties to other Tapie projects made the partnership a likely one. Masquelier, along with Bernard and Laurent Tapie, is a co-founder of the International Stadium Poker Tour. The ISPT is set to hold the largest poker tournament in history at Wembley Stadium in London, with a guaranteed prizepool of €20,000,000. It’s not the first involvement Masquelier has had with poker, as he’s had a hand in quite a few French poker ventures. In 2004, Masquelier created The Tournament, one of the first poker shows created for French television, and in 2006 he got involved with the Partouche Group, where he worked until 2010.
Masquelier’s involvement is just another step in GBT’s continued pursuit of purchasing the assets of Full Tilt Poker. It has been nearly eight months since GBT emerged as the leading candidate to purchase the company, and it seems as if they are doing everything it takes to restart the company. In early April, there was news of FullTilt reapplying for licensing from the AGCC through one of their subsidiaries and a rush of temporary hires in the customer service department at Pocket Kings. All but one of Full Tilt Poker’s licenses with the AGCC were revoked after closed door hearings back in September.
When reached for comment, Tapie’s lawyer Behnam Dayanim simply stated that he is “not in a position to comment at this point on this issue.”
One other interesting wrinkle to the story is the sudden activity on the Full Tilt Poker homepage at FullTiltPoker.com. While the numbers at the bottom of the page representing the amount of players and tables in action were frozen for months, they recently spiked, leading to speculation that the Full Tilt Poker servers were being load tested in preparation for re-launch.