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Poker Players May Owe Full Tilt Poker $20 Million

Beleaguered online poker site Full Tilt Poker may be owed between $10 and $20 million dollars by poker professionals, a lawyer involved in the company's acquisition by Groupe Bernard Tapie said.

Benham Dayanim, a GBT attorney spoke to the Poker News, and said that the debts were discovered during the company's due diligence procedures.

"The due diligence process has indicated to us, or resulted in us understanding that the financial situation of the company is worse than we had anticipated, and there are a few significant obstacles that we need to sort out in order to get to closure." Dayanim said.

“We do not want to litigate a whole bunch of individual cases against professionals post-acquisition so we are trying to negotiate but we have not been making a lot of progress."

"The analogy that I like to use is that if you think of the target as a shiny apple. At the start of the diligence process, you expect that there are going to be some bruises on that apple, but after you finish your diligence, the problem here is that there are more and deeper bruises than we had anticipated. The professionals’ obligations to the company are a larger and deeper bruise than we had hoped, and we have had less success than we had hoped in trying to brush off that bruise."

"Is this the issue that the deal will turn? I can’t say that, but it is a substantial issue. Without resolving it, it’s difficult to see a path forward to completion."

The Poker News asked Dayanim if any of the poker pros had contacted the company about paying the debts. Answering that question, the lawyer said that he could not comment on individual cases but said "In some cases, professionals or their attorneys have responded to at least discuss the matter, while others have not. As of yet, with very few exceptions, none have expressed a willingness to resolve the matter. The reason for immediate attention has resulted in some encouraging signs, but we’ll have to wait and see."

The article can be read in full at http://www.pokernews.com/news/2012/02/groupe-bernard-tapie-attorney-ivey...

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