After more than 15 months in limbo following the indictments of Black Friday, players with money locked up on Full Tilt Poker finally got the news they were waiting for this week. PokerStars bought the assets of the former online poker giant from the Department of Justice in a deal that will see foreign players repaid and give Americans the ability to request repayment from the DOJ.
While this development on Tuesday was the clear highlight of the week, there were a number of other noteworthy stories that took place as well. A brand new Player of the Year update saw a new number one and a whole lot of shakeups, and we actually covered some poker tournament as well.
Long-Rumored Deal Between PokerStars and the Department of Justice Completed
More than a year after the events of Black Friday, PokerStars negotiated a deal that brings closure to many players and paves the way for them to receive their outstanding Full Tilt Poker balances. PokerStars agreed to pay a $547 million fine to the DOJ and will acquire all of the assets of Full Tilt, which they will relaunch at a future date as a separate site for European players. Players outside of the U.S. can expect to receive their balances within 90 days, while the process for American players to collect their balances from the U.S. Government has yet to be released.
These developments obviously caused a wave of reactions from personalities throughout the poker community. With some players holding six and seven-figure totals that were locked up on Full Tilt Poker, a chance for them to recover those funds when there were significant doubts for months was cause for celebration. We also showed just how much things have changed over the last 15 months with a special edition of By the Numbers.
Dan Smith Takes BLUFF Player of the Year Lead Amidst Massive Shakeup
In the latest Player of the Year update, Dan Smith rode his dominance in $5,000 No Limit Hold’em events to the overall lead. His third place finish at the World Series of Poker gave him enough points to pass Phil Ivey for the overall lead, but he’s not the only one who made significant strides. Marvin Rettenmaier rose to third, Vanessa Selbst jumped up to fifth, and a total of five new players found their way into the Top 20.
The amount of movement in the top 20 was such that only three of the 20 players stayed in the same spot they were in in our previous update, and Daniel Negreanu, Tommy Vedes, and Bruno Lopes each had to earn some points just to do so.
Greg Raymer Captures An HPT Title, Dan Sun Takes MSPT Meskwaki
2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer was out on the road this week, specifically Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he cashed in big time in his stop on the Heartland Poker Tour. Raymer captured his first career HPT title and one of his biggest cashes in recent memory, worth over $70,000. Dan Sun had an equally successful week in the BLUFF Mid-States Poker Tour event in Meskwaki, taking home over $77,000 for his win in the $1,100 Main Event.
One Last Look at the Summer Outside the World Series of Poker
This week’s Tournament Tracker took a look back at some of the bigger tournaments that took place this summer outside the halls of the Rio convention center. The Venetian, Bellagio, and Caesars each had some serious action despite contending with the WSOP in Las Vegas, and they’re not the only ones to put together impressive fields and prizepools. Despite the majority of pros being in Vegas for the summer, the Borgata was able to draw a big crowd of their own in July.
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