First Round of Full Tilt Poker Refunds Sent to U.S. Players



There are a lot of poker players in the United States simultaneously experiencing great relief and a revival of their frustrations with their federal government.* After nearly three years, thousands of former Full Tilt Poker customers have finally received their funds that had been in limbo since Black Friday.

According to the Garden City Group (GCG), which was assigned to be the Full Tilt Poker Claims Administrator, over 27,500 players were paid approximately $76 million this past Friday, February 28th. Payments were made via electronic funds transfer to bank accounts specified in players’ petitions to the GCG.

The GCG stated that many who had refunds coming should have seen the money show up in their bank accounts on Friday, though depending on the financial institution, the transfer “may not be received for several business days.”

Not that we expect the record of the deposit to be difficult to spot, but for reference, this writer’s refund was labelled as “DOJ POKER STARS POKERPAY01.”

There will be another round of transfers soon for those who had previously filed a valid petition, but had included incorrect or incomplete bank information. Those people should have received an e-mail notice from the GCG to with instructions on how to correct the claim. Those who correct their information by March 13th will be included in the next round of refunds. No date has been specified for that second round.

There are also some former Full Tilt players who may be eligible for a refund but who owe a debt (unpaid taxes, for instance) to the U.S. government. It appears that those players will be able to receive their funds, but only after they are used to pay off the debt through the Treasury Offset Program. A Unified Financial Management System Vendor Request Form must be submitted to the GCG in order for everything to be processed properly.

For most people, this whole experience with Full Tilt Poker and frozen funds was merely a lengthy annoyance. We wanted our money and were angry with both Full Tilt’s leaders and the government that it took so long to get them back. But as frustrating as it was, the loss of that money wasn’t the end of the world. To others, though, the missing cash represented all or most of their poker bankrolls, the bankrolls with which they made a living. For them, the last three years, or at least the beginning of that period, have been extremely difficult. We hope everybody has been or will be made whole and can finally put this ridiculousness behind them.

*That shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that we have forgotten about the heads of Full Tilt who thought it would be a good idea to use customer deposits and replace them with IOU’s, a la Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. But the government could have made things so much easier. In related news, remember Chris “Jesus” Ferguson? He used to be popular.

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