Attendance at this year’s World Series of Poker may benefit from a pending sale of Full Tilt Poker to PokerStars, a deal that would see thousands of players get their share of the reported $300 million the former online giant owes players who were “locked out…stranded” after the feds closed down the company a year ago.
A plan to have the disgraced company with the well-known brand purchased by a French investment company collapsed at least partly because the company was not willing to quickly pay the Full Tilt customers around the world. About half of the $300 million is reportedly owed to U.S. players.
The prospects of this kind of payday should do much to fuel the interests of poker players in a summer trip to Las Vegas for at least part of the World Series that will sprawl across seven weeks or so from late May to mid-July.
The depression that settled across the poker world after last year’s “Black Friday” has “pretty much eased,” according to an unofficial source familiar with World Series planning. “It’s also true that the economy has been getting better and poker is being added rather than eliminated at the bricks and mortar casinos.”
The WSOP insider who shared his thoughts with Gaming Today on the condition he not be identified since he is not a spokesman for the event, noted. “When it comes to pumping up consumer confidence, perceptions are a key element in the equation…
“We’re talking about a demographic in this case with an obvious predisposition to be part of poker’s biggest party of the year. They may not have their (Full Tilt) money in hand by the time of the World Series, but seeing that pot of gold on the horizon makes it easier to rationalize time spent at the World Series.”
As former WSOP director Eric Drache explains it, “The World Series is the beginning and end of the fiscal year for a lot of poker players.”