Online poker firm placed in liquidation


The original Irish arm of Full Tilt Poker, rescued by a rival last year following a US lawsuit, has been placed in liquidation owing creditors a reported €3 million.

Rival PokerStars took over Full Tilt, whose service hub is in Dublin, last August, following a court settlement in New York that involved paying about €600 million to the poker site’s former players and a complete split from its previous owners.

It emerged yesterday that Declan McDonald of accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has been appointed liquidator to Pocket Kings Ltd, one of the Irish-based subsidiaries that provided services to the original Full Tilt operation, whose main customer base was in the US.

It is understood the company owes about €3 million to creditors, mainly trade and suppliers, and is liable for some inter-group debts.

Former directors have provided a statement of affairs and PricewaterhouseCoopers is contacting creditors.

Full Tilt began trading again last year. The website, not now available in the US, is now part of the Isle-of-Man-based Rational Group, which also owns PokerStars.

An Irish subsidiary, Rational FT, based in Full Tilt’s old offices in Cherrywood in Co Dublin, began hiring staff in the final months of 2012.

It employs about 200 people who provide back-up services and marketing to the Full Tilt website. A spokesman said yesterday the site is trading well.

Full Tilt’s former chief executive Raymond Bitar is facing criminal charges in the US alleging he was involved in siphoning off about $400 million belonging to the site’s members. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In 2011, a New York prosecutor accused former Full Tilt executives and shareholders of siphoning players’ funds. A court-approved settlement allowed Full Tilt’s takeover by PokerStars.