With the year coming to an end within a matter of days now, we thought we would share what we feel were the biggest poker news stories of 2012, these are not in any kind of order or rank, simply the five biggest stories of the year.
PokerStars Acquires Full Tilt Poker!
With the former players of Full Tilt Poker having seemingly lost all of their funds to the site due to the former ownership being described as nothing more than a ‘ponzi’ scheme on a truly massive scale, they were in the dark for a good year and a half about whether they may ever get the chance to see their money again.
However, on Tuesday the 31st of July it was announced that PokerStars had stepped in and made a deal with the DOJ to acquire FTP. The best news about this deal was that PokerStars would be paying each and every player the funds owed to them, with the total being $334 million. Though PokerStars was able to handle the repayment to non-US players itself and has in fact repaid each one of them, the DOJ has the US-based player’s money and is yet to pay the former players.
On the 6th November Full Tilt reopened its doors to all players that were legally allowed to play online poker from their country.
Howard Lederer Interviews!
After PokerStars had acquired FTP, Howard Lederer decided to break his near two year silence since the closure of Full Tilt Poker. He agreed to do an exclusive interview with Pokernews in an attempt to get his side of the story across.
The interviews did not come across well with the poker population, with Lederer claiming in most cases not to be aware of what was happening at FTP. He accepted absolutely no responsibility and basically laid the blame on all of the other board members.
Amarillo Slim Passes Away
The poker world lost one of its biggest legends in 2012, with Amarillo Slim passing away in April. The former world champion was one of the original men in poker and will be sorely missed; however he wasn’t the only man in poker to leave us. We also tragically lost young pro Ryan Young in a car accident and Lou Krieger who was one of pokers most creative wordsmiths.
Antonio Esfandiari Scoops “Big One For One Drop”!
The WSOP saw a new event in 2012 with the “Big One For One Drop” offering players the chance to win monumental amounts of money in exchange for a buy-in of $1 million. That was the world record buy-in and also produced a world record payout when Antonio Esfandiari beat Britain’s Sam Trickett heads up to take the first place prize of $18.3 million.
The event also pledged $111.111 of each players buy-in to the “One Drop” charity, bringing a total of $5.33 million going to help bring clean water to those around the world that desperately need it.
Marvin Rettenmaier Wins back To Back WPT Titles!
The poker industry had already started to take notice of Marvin Rettenmaier due to his consistent tournament performances, however once he took down the WPT $25k Championship people had no choice but to accept that he was once of the best up and coming stars in poker.
However, nobody expected him to then go and win the very next WPT Main Event at the WPT Merit Cyprus Classic. That made him the first player to ever win two WPT Main Events in history, which also led to him winning a number of Player of the Year awards.