Now that the claims process for players’ lost Full Tilt Poker funds is just about over, it’s time for – SURPRISE! – Absolute Poker claims. Seriously (or Cereusly…get it?). Absolute Poker.
Full Tilt Poker naturally got all the headlines after Black Friday as it was an extremely high profile online poker room founded by famous poker players and customers had well over $100 million dollars frozen. Absolute Poker was well known in the poker community – it was one of the higher profile U.S.-facing sites and famously was one of two (along with UltimateBet) that had a superuser scandal – but it kind of just disappeared. It may have been that it no longer had the big name pros attached to it, it may have been that after the superuser scandal, people weren’t surprised by more bullshit. Absolute Poker disappeared and that was that. Nobody really thought much of it, aside from players who lost thousands.
And now, suddenly, it looks like former customers of Absolute may be able to get their money back. But where did the money come from? It’s not like Absolute’s executives all of a sudden sat down with the U.S. Department of Justice and cut a check.
Apparently, money that is left over from the Full Tilt Poker claims process will now be used to reimburse Absolute Poker players. From a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York:
As alleged in the operative forfeiture complaints and indictments in this case, the three online poker companies, including Absolute Poker, and their principals, conspired with one another, and others, such as payment processors who worked with multiple poker companies, to carry out the offense conduct that served as the basis for the forfeiture of the Forfeited Poker Funds.
Additionally, the Department of Justice has concluded that players of Absolute Poker who were unable to recover their funds from Absolute Poker are similarly situated to the eligible victims of Full Tilt Poker, in that Absolute Poker, like Full Tilt Poker, did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all of its players.
Accordingly, remaining Forfeited Poker Funds will be used to fund a claims process for eligible Absolute Poker victims.
The process for players to claim the funds should be very similar to that of Full Tilt Poker. Former Absolute customers can go to the site the Garden City Group has setup, AbsolutePokerClaims.com, and click on the link to file a petition. Customers then either need a petition number and control number from an e-mail sent by the GCG or, if that e-mail never arrived, the info needed is player ID, last name, and Absolute Poker e-mail address.
As far as how much money players should expect, the GCG says:
It has been determined that the calculation formula to be used for the Petition for Remission process will be based on players’ last known account balance with Absolute Poker (the “Account Balance”). Note that an alternative calculation methodology will be applied to players who have been designated as “Affiliates” of Absolute Poker and to professional players. Account balances from online poker sites other than Absolute Poker are not included in this remission process. Petitioners must also meet all other requirements outlined in 28 C.F.R. § 9.8 to be considered eligible for remission.
If the forfeited funds available for distribution equal or exceed the aggregate Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners, each eligible Petitioner with an approved claim will receive the entirety of his or her Account Balance or approved loss amount. If the aggregate Account Balances for all eligible Petitioners exceed the funds available for distribution, payments shall be made to eligible Petitioners on a pro rata basis.