Within the next 10 days Full Tilt Poker will begin paying out the first round of cash outs to the American players, who has had funds stuck since the room closed down. This means that around $82 million will be paid out to around 30,000 different accounts, possibly creating a possible boost in the online poker economy but most importantly creating more trust towards the industry.
American players have not been able to get any of their cash out of their Full Tilt Poker accounts since Black Friday happened in April of 2011. It has taken almost three years or 1,000 days before the first players receive any funds from Full Tilt Poker, but despite the long waiting time the industry is happy to see that a site closing down actually ends up in players getting paid.
Garden City Group are the administrators for the repayments to the many American players that still have balances with Full Tilt Poker. It is estimated that American players have roughly around $300 million in balances in Full Tilt, showing that $82 million is only 1/4 of the total balances.
When Full Tilt Poker closed shop in June of 2011, rumours started flowing around the industry saying that Full Tilt Poker had no funds to pay players. This culminated in Full Tilt Poker being accused of having run a global scam and lots of players panicking. Many players decided to sell their bankroll to other players for much less than they were actually worth and others just expected to never see it again.
But then along came Pokerstars and in April 2012 it was clear that they had made an agreement with the US Department of Justice. The agreement was basically that Pokerstars would have to pay all non-American players bankrolls, which amounted to around $184 million and then pay another $547 million to the DOJ which they would use to repay American players.
Doing so was a good deal for Pokerstars, as they ensured themselves being on good ties with the DOJ and the American government as well as taking over all of Full Tilt Poker's business - Their closest competitor prior to Black Friday. Pokerstars re-opened Full Tilt Poker in November 2012 and paid out all funds to the players wanting to withdraw, only half as long as the American players.