The ominous Black Friday of online poker that occurred in April of 2011 devastated countless American poker players. Millions of dollars belonging to US players became tied up in the seizure of Full Tilt Poker, the second largest poker site named in the injunction by the US Department of Justice. More than a year later, Full Tilt Poker has agreed to a settlement that will see American poker players, including poker pro Daniel Cates, finally returned the assets due from their accounts.
No one is more excited about the settlement than Daniel “Jungleman12” Cates, who claims to have about 80% of his entire bankroll tied up in the system. Those who have been following the online poker debacle for a while now might remember that Daniel Cates was in the throes of one of the largest ever upswings in the history of online poker, up over $7 million when the DoJ seized Full Tilt.
The settlement that was reached on Tuesday involved both Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, the largest online poker company in the world at the time of its appropriation by the US government. The companies agree to settle for $713 million, to be paid by PokerStars. Full Tilt will not be responsible for paying the defrayal due to the negotiations of the settlement which state that Full Tilt Poker must cease all independent operations, while PokerStars has been given the right to continue operations and apply for US licensing in the future.
A large portion of the $713 million will be used to return funds to American online poker players who were left high and dry by Full Tilt Poker. After Black Friday hit on April 15, 2011, Full Tilt claimed that it would be able to pay back its players, but instead, the company paid off shareholders, all but bankrupting the company and providing no compensation for player accounts.
Cates was duly infuriated by the whole situation. He told reporters that there were times he actually considered filing a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker for the money owed to him, but that he knew the situation had the potential to resolve itself, and that getting so emotional over the matter was pointless.
Now that the catastrophe is coming to a long overdue close, Cates admits that the whole fiasco put a halt to the extraordinary momentum he had going. “Full Tilt was where I had my success,” said Cates.
Daniel’s intense level of skill at nosebleed stakes had attracted so much attention he was invited to compete in the exclusive Durrrr Challenge. The Durrr Challenge was considered the ultimate opportunity for online poker players, giving them a shot at the notorious Tom “durrrr” Dwan in a heads-up match. Dwan originally initiated the supreme challenge, hosted by Full Tilt Poker, by basically betting that no one could play 50,000 hands against him and lead in chips at the end. When the challenge between Tom Dwan and Daniel Cates went on hiatus – thanks to Black Friday – Cates was actually up $1.2 million.
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