A professional poker player hailing from Dalkey in south Dublin is set to gain a nice windfall without even having to look at his cards. Donnacha O’Dea had just over $40,000 in his Full Tilt Poker account as the company was suddenly seized and had all of its accounts frozen by the US DOJ back in April last year.
The player seriously thought the money was gone and he would never see it again, simply because Full Tilt were illegally withdrawing huge amounts of players money. However, just this week and largely unexpected Full Tilts biggest poker rival PokerStars came to an agreement with the justice department to acquire Full Tilt in a massive $731 million deal.
Under this agreement any player who had funds in their original Full Tilt account will be completely reimbursed or allowed to continue you to use their funds in the account for poker. One small downside is that they will not be paid any interest even though their money had been held in for about 15 months, though we doubt that will worry many.
O’Dea was warned by a full tilt official he knew to get his money out of the site as quickly as he could just a few days before the site was seized. However, every time he tried it kept coming up that he had made an error with his application. So in the end he was simply not quick enough.
“I had around $40,000 in my FT account, but they had put a limit of only $10,000 withdrawals per day” he said. “I attempted to apply for 4 separate withdrawals but for each one I got an email stating that I had made some kind of mistake in the request I made, I kept trying but the same email kept coming” he added.
He spread the word quickly to whoever he knew about the pending seizure, including his own son who is also a professional poker player. What amazed him was that everybody he told was able to withdraw their money, even his son who had a lot more in there than he did.
“I told Eoghan my son to get his money out of Full Tilt quick, and luckily he was able to do that” he said. “I was very angry though because I was still unable to withdraw mine, somebody there had made a decision to hold my money. I even transferred half of it to Eoghan and he too was unable to withdraw those funds.”
O’Dea and his son are two of the most successful Irish poker players, his son even more so than him after finishing 6th at the 2011 WSOP Main Event and cashing for $1.6million, whilst he himself has career earnings over $1million.