The once popular poker room Full Tilt, find themselves occupying the number four spot in global poker traffic stats since being reopened under the control of PokerStars.
When FullTilt Poker reopened back in November 2012, albeit without their USA players, they immediately catapulted back to their original second place spot that they had occupied prior to closing and it certainly seemed like Full Tilt were back on track to maintaining steady traffic flow once again, however this traffic was short lived as many players simply cashed out their funds (USA players can only cashout now) and moved on to greener pastures including the likes of PartyPoker, 888 Poker and iPoker (Titan,Winner).
To a large extent, FullTilt Poker have created their own demise by offering players below par bonuses and thinking along the lines of PokerStars management who offer little in terms of player rewards.
One could always argue that PokerStars deliberately intended to crash Full Tilt Poker, doing so would surely improve their own position in the market with less competition.
PokerScout Current Traffic rank (7 day average):
- Pokerstars - 23,600
- PartyPoker – 3,300
- iPoker (Winner, Titan) – 3,200
- Full Tilt Poker – 3050
- 888 Poker - 2,450
Full Tilt Poker’s Demise
While Full Tilt Poker player numbers continue to dwindle, one wonders what could have become of Full Tilt Poker had the GBT (Groupe Bernard Tapies) deal been approved, one thing for sure is they would have put up a far better fight and rivaled PokerStars for the ultimate number one spot, which at the end of the day would have been better for players.
Here are several key causes to what may ultimately lead to the demise of Full Tilt Poker:
PokerStars Always Wanted to Kill Full Tilt Poker
It could be argued that it was always Pokerstars intention to eliminate Full Tilt poker by buying the brand out in a last minute deal reached with the DOJ.
In doing so PokerStars have effectively eliminated their nearest competition, increased their own database of players and are set to dominate the entire market.
PokerStars also would have acquired many poker patents that Full Tilt owned and invented, like rush poker, mobile poker apps and the likes.
Meaning Pokerstars can continue offering sub-par player rewards and bonuses while continuing to be successful.
PokerStars Management Attitude
It could be that some of PokerStars management views have infiltrated deep into the newly recreated Full Tilt brand management.
The feel I have always had from any communication with PokerStars is that they are rather arrogant, they seem to think “We are PokerStars number one everyone else is no one”, had they carried that same attitude forward with Full Tilt Poker it would certainly fail simply because they are not PokerStars and should value their players with greater emphasis.
Sub-Par Player Bonuses and Rewards
Player rewards and bonuses issued by Full Tilt in recent times certainly were far from incredible and to a large extent sub industry standard, especially if compared with the like off 888 Poker who in my view consistently offer the best player rewards to existing players.
Affiliates got Screwed
Then there was the story with Full Tilt Poker refusing to pay outstanding affiliate balances which formed part of player balances as the monthly earnings were mixed into affiliates player accounts. Under the management of the Rational Group, Full Tilt refused to pay the amounts due, despite reaching an agreement with the DOJ that all player balances would be paid within 90 days of FullTiltPoker being reopened.
Clearly the affiliate earnings were part of their player balances and they refused to pay leaving affiliates with a feeling of hatred towards both PokerStars and the newly recreated Full Tilt.
No Full Tilt Poker Affiliate Plan
The management then decided that they don’t even need an affiliate program to relaunch the brand, and promised that in early 2013 they would create one from within PokerStars affiliate program which to date still hasn’t been done.
Which makes one wonder, just how serious they really are about the Full Tilt Poker brand?
Not that many of the previously burnt affiliates would care to offer Full Tilt Poker ever again.
Full Tilt Poker Mobile App
In their prime Full Tilt Poker really were a forward thinking company, always up to date with the latest technology and developments like rush poker and solid player promotions.
One of their key developments was their mobile based poker platform their "FullTilt Poker App" which has simply disappeared and never been relaunched despite the positive trend in Android apps and iPhone apps the Full Tilt Poker App has yet to make a reappearance
While I’m sure there are hundreds of other reasons that when combined could lead to to the ultimate demise of Full Tilt Poker.
One just has to question if PokerStars ever had the intent of recreating the brand of Full Tilt or just wanted the brand to kill it and own the rights of their patents.
If the latter is the case then one should question, why should players even bother with FullTilt Poker?
Why not rather play at another room that offers players better rewards and are taken better care of?
An excellent example of just such a room is 888 Poker who consistently offer their players better rewards; they have a casino and offer the 888Poker Android App along with the iPad/iPhone 888 Poker App on top of that 888Poker will probably overtake Full Tilt in the near future if the current status quo is maintained.
- Note: this is an opinion article that expresses the views of the author, should you disagree or have more reasons to add, simply add your comments and views below.