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Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

Full Contact: No More Contact

BY TOM SOMACH

Full Contact Poker (www.fullcontactpoker.com) is the latest casualty in the online poker wars.

The once-popular online poker room closed up shop last week, announcing it was “merging” with the still-popular online poker room Poker Stars (www.pokerstars.com).

Despite the “merger” announcement, Full Contact Poker is still going out of business as an active online poker site.

The only thing that’s actually “merging” is Full Contact Poker’s customer base with Poker Stars’ customer base.

An announcement on the Full Contact Poker website, in part, states:

“After much thought and consideration, Full Contact Poker (FCP) has decided that it is in the best interest of its poker players to merge with one of the industry’s top poker sites, PokerStars.com. As part of this merger, all FCP player balances (cash and player points) will be transferred to Poker Stars. Full Contact Poker and Poker Stars will try to make the account transfer process as easy and seamless as possible…

“Full Contact Poker will cease all poker and casino operations in all countries and return FullContactPoker.com to its roots as a forum-based poker community that features Daniel Negreanu and his popular blog, video diaries and a new video poker school that is in development. FCP players now have the opportunity to shift their FCP accounts over to Poker Stars, where they will join over nine million other players on the world’s largest poker site, assuring themselves of a game of poker any time of day…

“We sincerely thank you for your business and support during the past two years and look forward to an exciting new beginning with a restructured FullContactPoker.com website and a relationship with Poker Stars.”

No reason for the so-called “merger” was given by Full Contact Poker, but as in most business failures, it’s likely the company was either losing money or not making enough to be profitable.

Full Contact Poker also announced on its site that its paid flack, Canadian poker pro Daniel Negreanu, will now become a spokesman for Poker Stars.

Negraneanu, who in a brief career has already won three World Series of Poker (WSOP) championship gold bracelets and written a top poker book, joins an already-stellar lineup of Poker Stars shills that includes 2003 WSOP main event champ Chris Moneymaker, 2004 WSOP main event champ Greg “Fossilman” Raymer and 2005 WSOP main event champ Joe Hachem.

The man who won the 2006 WSOP main event championship, Jamie Gold, had been a paid mouthpiece for Bodog Poker (www.bodog.com), but was fired after it was revealed he was involved in a messy lawsuit over his WSOP earnings.

A man who claimed Gold promised to split his $12 million first-place prize with him sued after Gold won the title, and the case was settled out of court.

After Bodog bounced Gold, no other online poker room picked him up as a spokesperson.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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