PokerStars has moved to squash a rumor started by former Party Gaming legal counsel James Barnes that the site folded on their interest to buy Full Tilt Poker.

Said Barnes on Twitter last week, “Pokerstars folds on FTP deal. Never real deal, just bluff to prevent Tapie from bringing FTP back to market – great bargaining chip with DOJ.”

Barnes was referencing the failed bid by Groupe Bernard Tapie to acquire Full Tilt Poker.

The tweet caused a raucous in the iGaming community as players with money trapped on Full Tilt began to fear the worst. PokerStars was quick to squash the rumors. Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars, told ESPN that the rumors were false.

ESPN’s Andrew Feldman tweeted, “The Head of Corp Communications for @PokerStars @erichollreiser says the Twitter rumors of PS folding on the FTP deal are ‘false.’” Hollreiser then retweeted Feldman’s message but did not make any specific statements on his own.

Hollreiser retweeted two more tweets claiming the rumors were false. The first was from PokerNews’ editor-in-chief Matt Parvis who said, “Thanks to @LaneyLV digging, source from PokerStars tells PokerNews there are many false tweets in regards to PS/FTP rumors.” Hollreiser also retweeted a message by PokerNews contributor Elaine Chaivarlis which stated, “PokerStars’ @erichollreiser told me a bit ago that there are many false tweets out there in regard to PokerStars and FTP.”

It has been two months since rumors first surfaced that PokerStars intended to buy out their largest competitor. Much speculation exists as to what is holding up the deal from reaching completion. Some have speculated that a deal remains to be worked out with the DOJ regarding Black Friday defendant and PokerStars founder Isai Scheinberg. It could be possible that the DOJ is insisting that Scheinberg turn himself in as part of the deal.

Two weeks ago, Full Tilt Poker CEO Ray Bitar surrendered to U.S. authorities. Upon his surrender, Bitar released a statement through his attorney that said, “For the last 15 months, I have worked hard on possible solutions to get the players repaid,” he continued. “Returning today is part of that process. I believe we are near the end of a very long road, and I will continue to do whatever is required to get the players repaid, and I hope that it will happen soon.”

Barnes has not made any follow-up comments to his Twitter account since he initially reported the deal between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker was off. Players are still awaiting on word from PokerStars regarding the status of their efforts to acquire Full Tilt Poker.


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