On Friday, Garden City Group, the claims administrator for the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet remissions process, began sending out e-mails to former players of the two online poker rooms, confirming the approvals of claims.
AP and UB, which together comprised the CEREUS Network, are infamous in online poker history both for their superuser scandals perpetrated by some of the highest ranking people at the companies and for disappearing after Black Friday in 2011. Of course, in exiting stage left, the two poker rooms also vanished their customers’ money.
We all figured that was that for our poker funds on deposit with AP and UB; I wasn’t happy, but my life wasn’t over for losing $60 that I was just putzing around with, anyway. Others, though lost thousands upon thousands of dollars. Real money. So it came as a happy surprise when the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced in April that former customers of AP and UB would be able to submit claims for their missing funds, apparently using the excess from the Full Tilt Poker refund process to fund the payouts.
The applications for remission opened after that announcement was made. Players could submit their application using a Petition number and Control number found in an e-mail from the Garden City Group or with their login credentials for the poker rooms. I used the latter, as it had been so long since I checked my e-mail address used with AP and UB that was dormant and did not receive the e-mail.
And it was Friday that I and hopefully thousands of others received e-mails (one for each poker room) saying our applications were approved. Now it is on to the next step, which is submitting bank account information so that an electronic funds transfer can be received. Payments will supposedly be sent out in 4-6 weeks.
If you are not sure if you received the approval e-mail, check your spam folder and/or look for the subject line, “Absolute Poker Claims Administration Notice Regarding Payment” from [email protected] The e-mails for both Absolute Poker and UltimateBet have the same subject line and are from the same “do not reply” e-mail address.
Here is what the e-mails say (with pertinent personal information removed):
The purpose of this email is to inform you that your Petition for Remission has been approved and you are entitled to receive a distribution from the assets forfeited by PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker (the “Fund”), in connection with the settlement agreement resolving allegations in the amended civil forfeiture complaint in United States v. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, et al., 11 Civ. 2564 (LBS), in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Action”).
You will be receiving the distribution in the form of a domestic ACH payment. To enter your banking information and authorize GCG to electronically credit your account, please visit the administration website at www.AbsolutePokerClaims.com and click on the “Update Bank Information” tab located on the sidebar of the website. Log-in using the below Petition Number and Control Number, please enter all required banking information for the account you would like to receive the electronic ACH payment. When logging in, please use your last name as verification.
Petition Number: xxxxxxx
Control Number: xxxxxxxxxx
By properly submitting your banking information, you will receive an ACH payment in the amount of $xx.xx to the account number specified. This payment represents the full amount of your Absolute Poker / Ultimate Bet account balance which you confirmed on the Absolute Poker Claims Administration’s website. Payment will be issued within four to six weeks of submitting your information, so please submit your information as soon as possible.
If you have any questions, you can call us toll-free at (855) 907-3254, email us at [email protected], or write to us at Absolute Poker Claims Administration, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10277, Dublin, Ohio 43017-5777. For additional information you may also visit the administration website at www.AbsolutePokerClaims.com.