Expert View of Full Tilt Poker
Although not as prominent of a poker room as they once were, Amaya-owned Full Tilt Poker is a very safe poker room these days. However, you are better off playing on PokerStars given the fact the brand gets much more attention.
More About Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker Poker Summary
Full Tilt Poker was once the second largest online poker room in the world, a title they gained by accepting US players after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act became law in 2006. They lost their position when they went offline in June 2011 after its company and officers were indicted by the US Department of Justice on Black Friday.
Full Tilt has operated under new management since 2012, when it was purchased by PokerStars, and then subsequently acquired by Amaya Gaming. With that acquisition every concern about Full Tilt’s safety is not relevant today. Since its launch, Full Tilt Poker’s traffic fell and ultimately merged player pools with PokerStars, where they share a very similar software.
These days, there is not a very good reason to play on Full Tilt if you already have a PokerStars account. PokerStars seems to be the preferred brand from Amaya and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Full Tilt brand was retired at some point.
Players that sign-up to Full Tilt can enjoy a 100% up to $600 first deposit bonus and the renowned PokerStars VIP program.
A Personal Opinion of Full Tilt Poker
What I like about Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker is operated by Amaya, the same company that operates PokerStars. They have a great reputationof paying players quickly and have set the bar for excellent service. The abundance of games, software and VIP program (from PokerStars) are also very strong and popular with players.
What I do not like about Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker has played second fiddle to Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars for the last few years. Although playing on Full Tilt is essentially playing PokerStars, it seems the brand at this point is mostly an afterthought.
What Full Tilt Poker Players are Saying
Now that Full Tilt Poker is a skin on PokerStars, the room is essentially a watered down version of PokerStars. And because PokerStars is the premier brand on the network, there is no real reason to have a Full Tilt Poker account. For this reason, there is little player comment on Full Tilt Poker these days.
Despite the lack of attention on the Full Tilt Poker brand, players on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker generally look fondly on the poker rooms for its traffic (highest in the world), above average customer service, good promotions and interaction with the poker community.
Some players complain that since the time PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were acquired by Amaya Gaming, that they have lost some of the magic of previous years. A general trend towards tougher games and less decreased VIP rewards has also angered some higher volume players.
Just because a poker room has a clean record, doesn’t mean there can’t be issues in the future. If you have a problem or know about a problem with Full Tilt Poker, please let us know about it.
Depositing and Withdrawing at Full Tilt Poker
Owned by the same company that owns PokerStars, depositing on Full Tilt Poker is very easy and safe. If you have an active PokerStars account, you can even transfer funds to and from your Full Tilt Poker account to PokerStars.
As far as depositing in a traditional manner, Full Tilt Poker offers players a wide variety of safe and secure methods such as ewallets like Neteller and Skill. Additional methods include, Visa, Mastercard, echeck, PaySafeCard, Solo, Maestro, ClickandBuy, Ukash, Entropay and Instadebit.
Once you have made your first deposit, Full Tilt will offer you the option of Single Click deposits, a quick way to get money into your account without leaving the poker table. Single Click deposits can be enabled from the cashier.
Full Tilt Poker makes a commitment to make withdrawals as easy as depositing. Funds are always held in segregated accounts meaning there will never be issue like Full Tilt experienced under former ownership. Like deposit on Full Tilt, withdrawal options also come in a variety of options depending on your location. Some of the more common options include Neteller, Skrill, echeck, PaySafeCard, ClickandBuy, Ukash and Instadebit.
Full Tilt Poker Safety
Full Tilt Poker is an extremely safe online poker site to play on these days. In the wake of the Black Friday debacle, they were rescued by PokerStars in 2012. The unquestionable number one online poker site — by traffic and reputation — in the world since 2006.
PokerStars and Full Tilt have since been sold, this time to Canadian-based Amaying Gaming. While not quite on-par with the original owners unwavering support of player interests and security, there is no reason to believe that Full Tilt Poker is any less safe for players, certainly not any more so than other major European brand.
In addition to their excellent worldwide product – which is licensed by the respected Isle of Man jurisdiction – PokerStars or Full Tilt also holds licenses in the ring-fenced markets of France, Italy and Spain. And politics is likely the only thing holding them back in entering the emerging United States regulated market, although PokerStars did launch in New Jersey in late 2016.
Is Full Tilt Poker Legit?
As a PokerStars-owned site, Full Tilt Poker is arguably among the most legit online poker rooms in the world, but players are probably best served signing up to PokerStars instead for a better experience.
Full Tilt Poker Bonuses
Full Tilt Poker Deposit Bonus
100% up to $600
- 60 days to clear
- 20 VPPs per $1
- $10 increments
Full Tilt Poker offers all new players a 100% up to $600 first deposit bonus. If you don’t have $600 to maximize the bonus, the first three deposits made within 60 days will qualify for this bonus. The bonus is cleared at a rate of 30 VPPs for every $1 in bonus and released in increments of $10.
VPPs are awarded at a rate of 30 for every $1 in contributed rake paid. Clearing a bonus will earn players the equivalent of at least 27% rakeback when earning a bonus.
How to Earn FTP Points
Player will earn 5.5 VPPs for each $1 (or equivalent currency) in contributed rake or buy-in fees earned. Players at limits of $0.05/$0.10 and below will earn 7-10 VPPs per $1 in contributed rake. VPPs are not earned at higher limit games at $5/$10 and above (NL, PL) or $20/$40 (Limit).
Full Tilt Poker VIP Programs
Full Tilt Poker has removed The Edge and Players Club Rewards program for the VIP program shared with PokerStars, which has been seen by players as one of the most rewarding VIP programs around. In 2016, PokerStars introduced as series of changes which nerfed the program a bit, including lowering the value of points and the decreasing and capping of rewards.
There are six levels in the Full Tilt Poker program: BronzeStar, ChromeStar, SilverStar, GoldStar, PlatinumStar and SuperNova. Players will earn anywhere from 8%-30% rakeback depending on the status level earned.
Perks of qualifying for the Full Tilt Poker program will include the ability to purchase StarsCoin for cash and other items, freeroll entries and VIP support (SuperNova players).
Full Tilt Poker Tip – How to Earn StarsCoin
You will earn StarsCoin whenever you complete a step within a VIP status level. Your progress in the step is affected by the accumulation of VPPs.
Full Tilt Poker Promotions
One of Full Tilt Poker’s major strengths is its innovative promotions, which have broad appeal among players and can increase the traffic to the site while they are running. For this reason, if you sign up to Full Tilt Poker, make sure you are subscribed to their newsletter so you know right away what is upcoming.
Ongoing promotions at Full Tilt are a bit weaker, but here are a couple of the more notable offerings, which tend to cater to the recreational player at Full Tilt Poker.
Spin and Go
Get $30 in free play at Spin and Go games when you make your first deposit of $20 or more
Each day, a pinball puzzle is available every day in your Challenge Window. If you collect five of the puzzle pieces, you will receive a prize up to $5,000. Then get the chance to collect the rest for another $5,000.
Use your StarsCoins for a chance at a huge payday at Full Tilt Poker’s sidegame ‘The Deal”. Play The Deal and if you get at least Ace High you will win a prize ranging from 1 StarsCoin to the jackpot round for a royal flush. Spin the wheel to get a chance at the progressive jackpot prize.
Full Tilt Poker Game Selection
Since Full Tilt Poker shares a player pool with PokerStars, players will have access to more online tables and games than any other poker site. Traffic is so high that that you can usually find a game up to $10/$20 at the No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha tables and even higher if you play heads-up. Action at the other games is also very good compared to most other poker rooms. Limit Hold’em, Stud, Omaha Hi/Lo and 5 Card Omaha often have many tables running, especially at the lower limits.
If you like mixed games, you will be able to find HORSE, 8 Game and a mix of No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Only 8 Game, gets decent traffic, however.
Fast-fold games all started with Rush Poker at Full Tilt; however, Full Tilt Poker now uses PokerStars Zoom tables. These tables are populated with players at its No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha games, starting at limits of $0.01/$0.02 up to $50/$100. Most of the action you will find at Zone Poker will be at tables with limits up to $2/$4. These tables get plenty of traffic so you will get to experience much faster gameplay and more hands per hour.
In the tournament side, Full Tilt offers players a large variety of different types of MTTs and SNGs with the largest guarantees in online poker. Guaranteed tournaments are available at Full Tilt Poker with prize pools up to $1 million. Sunday is particularly great day at Full Tilt Poker. In addition to the Sunday Million, there are a handful of additional tournaments with guarantees well over $100,000, which would be the largest tournaments on most sites.
Daily guaranteed tournament guarantees reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars with $100k Payday tournaments held throughout each day. A large selection of tournament types at Full Tilt Poker will keep players busy: Turbo, Hyper Turbo, Splash, Bubble Rush, Knockouts, Zoom and many others.
SNGs at Full Tilt run from $0.02 up to $5,000, with most of the higher buy-in contests available at heads-up. Many regular Sit N Gos get going up to the $2100 buy-in level. Players can also find sit n gos in a variety of types including Fifty50, 4-max tables, Zone, Knockouts and Survive the Clock.
Beat the Clock, Spin and Go and Knockout are popular enough at Full Tilt Poker that they have their own dedicated tab in the poker client. Check these games out if you are looking for something a bit different.
- No Limit Hold’em
- Fixed Limit Hold’em
- Pot Limit Omaha
- Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
0.01 / 0.020.02 / 0.050.05 / 0.100.08 / 0.160.10 / 0.250.25 / 0.500.50 / 1.001 / 22 / 43 / 65 / 1010 / 2025 / 5050 / 100100 / 200200 / 400
0.02 / 0.040.05 / 0.100.10 / 0.200.25 / 0.500.50 / 1.001 / 22 / 43 / 65 / 1010 / 2015 / 3030 / 6050 / 10100 / 200
0.01 / 0.020.02 / 0.050.05 / 0.100.10 / 0.250.25 / 0.500.50 / 1.001 / 22 / 43 / 65 / 1010 / 2025 / 5050 / 100100 / 200200 / 400
0.01 / 0.020.02 / 0.050.05 / 0.100.10 / 0.250.25 / 0.500.50 / 1.001 / 22 / 43 / 65 / 1010 / 20
0.04 / 0.080.10 / 0.200.25 / 0.500.50 / 11 / 22 / 43 / 65 / 1010 / 2030 / 60100 / 200
Full Tilt Poker History
Full Tilt Poker launched for real money on July 10, 2004 where it was met with much fanfare in online poker forums and across the poker world. The software started out as very innovative compared to other online poker sites at the time which were largely stagnant and indistinguishable. The marketing of the website involved over two dozen well known professional poker players including Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Jennifer Harmon, and Andy Bloch. Pro players were identifiable by a personalized avatar using the pro player’s likeness and a red lobby indicator to show what tables these pros were playing at the time. This type of marketing was the first of its kind in online poker.
Full Tilt Poker Success
After launch, Full Tilt Poker quickly became a top 10 online poker room. Players from around the world, including the US, created accounts at Full Tilt Poker to play against professional poker players that they had only dreamed of playing. Many pros would play in limits well below their bankroll to create action and draw players to Full Tilt. In addition to the standard pro players, popular online players and recent live tournament winners were signed as Full Tilt pros.
Many players signed up directly through Full Tilt Poker at launch. After the poker room had been live for months, Full Tilt Poker decided to allow players to receive rakeback through an affiliate, something that Full Tilt Poker did not initially allow. Full Tilt allowed players to request rakeback through their affiliate of choice if they had not used an affiliate when they first created their account. This would become a major problem down the road for Full Tilt as many players created accounts through an affiliate and could not get rakeback. The animosity among players caused to move their action to other sites such as PokerStars, which did not allow rakeback but did have an internal VIP program. The PokerStars VIP program paid players a form of rakeback based on tiers where higher volume players received more rakeback than lower volume players. Eventually, Full Tilt stopped the practice of allowing existing players to receive rakeback.
Full Tilt Stays in U.S. Market After UIGEA
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was signed into law by President George Bush on October 13, 2006. Full Tilt’s legal opinion was that the UIGEA did not apply to a poker only gaming site. Based on this legal opinion, Full Tilt decided to continue to accept U.S. action after the UIGEA was signed into law. Major poker sites Poker Stars, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet joined them in continuing to accept players from the U.S.
After the UIGEA went into effect, Full Tilt once again allowed players to request rakeback through an affiliate as long as they were not connected to another affiliate. Within a month, Full Tilt stopped this practice. It created a massive backlog of requests and caused anger among players that did not qualify because they had used an affiliate to create their account.
Full Tilt Becomes Second Largest Online Poker Room
Many companies that were bigger than Full Tilt poker pre-UIGEA left the U.S. market after it went into law. This included Ongame, iPoker, Party Poker, and 888. As a result of being one of the few sites to accept Americans, Full Tilt Poker’s traffic exploded. Within a month of the UIGEA, Full Tilt Poker became the second largest online poker room in the world behind PokerStars. This would eventually draw the attention of U.S. law enforcement.
Full Tilt Internal Rakeback Program
In 2008, Full Tilt decided again to start allowing some existing players to get rakeback. This was offered through a Full Tilt owned website located at Rakebackpros.com (no longer operational). Players tagged to an affiliate were still unable to receive rakeback. Rakeback Pros also accepted new players and paid them rakeback. The site was disguised to look like it was an objective rakeback site, drawing the ire of many rakeback affiliates.
On March 10, 2011, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York indicted Full Tilt Poker. In addition to the company, two officers were indicted — Ray Bitar and Nelson Burtnick. PokerStars and Absolute Poker also saw their companies and two officers indicted at the same time. Those indictments were unsealed on April 15, 2011, referred to by the online poker community as Black Friday. In addition to the indictments, the Fulltiltpoker.com domain name was seized by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The domain names Pokerstars.com, Absolutepoker.com and UB.com were also seized.
While the amount seized by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Black Friday remains unknown, the DOJ announced on September 29, 2011 stated that $331 million had been seized since the UIGEA had passed.
In addition to the funds seized by the federal government, Full Tilt Poker had processed approximately $128 million in U.S. player deposits in the months before Black Friday through electronic checks that they were never able to collect. Full Tilt continued to accept deposits from U.S. players even after they realized that their processors would be unable to collect this money from the U.S. banking system.
It was estimated that Full Tilt Poker owed $334 million in player funds. U.S. players were reportedly owed $150 million, while players outside the U.S. were owed $184 million.
Ivey vs Full Tilt
After Black Friday, Phil Ivey filed suit against Full Tilt Poker. The lawsuit sought to release him from his obligations to represent the brand. Ivey publicly discussed how his lawsuit was in the interest of players. In a later interview with Howard Lederer, it was asserted that the lawsuit was only brought forth to benefit Ivey and had nothing to do with helping players receive their balances. The lawsuit was later dropped.
Alderney License Suspended
Full Tilt Poker had a hearing before their licensing body in Alderney on July 29, 2011. The hearing was based on claims by players in the U.S. that they had not been paid. Players outside the U.S. also complained that their payments were slow. Specifically, Moneybookers payments were not being processed at all and all other methods were much slower than players outside the U.S. were accustomed to receiving them.
Full Tilt Poker’s license was suspended on July 29, 2011 and the poker room was immediately taken offline. Their Alderney license was revoked on September 26, 2011.
In addition to the criminal complaints related to Black Friday, the DOJ accused Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Rafe Furst, and Ray Bitar of defrauding U.S. players in a civil complaint dated September 20, 2011. The civil complaint sought forfeitures of over $150 million. This complaint accused these Full Tilt officers of paying themselves dividends out of player deposits and sought reimbursement of those funds. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused these Full Tilt officers of operating a ponzi scheme.
Attempts to Sell Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt made it clear that they were looking for a buyer. Groupe Bernard Tapie became the front runner and Jack Binion was another interested party. Neither group was able to complete the purchase of Full Tilt’s assets. There were too many issues including $128 million in phantom deposits, the seized funds related to Black Friday, loans made to Full Tilt pros, previous seizures, and the withdrawals that were processed but remained unpaid in the weeks preceding Black Friday.
PokerStars Buys Full Tilt
PokerStars eventually emerged as the buyer of the Full Tilt assets on July 31, 2012. PokerStars agreed to pay the DOJ three annual installments of $182 million. This money would partially go towards the reimbursement of U.S. players that are owed an estimated $150 million. PokerStars would also be responsible for reimbursing players outside the U.S. the $184 million that they are owed. PokerStars would receive the assets of Full Tilt Poker, including the software. PokerStars reopened Full Tilt Poker as a separate entity on November 6, 2012. Full Tilt Poker players located outside the U.S. were required to clear their funds owed through a wager requirement if they are owed more than $100.
Part of the agreement allows PokerStars to enter the U.S. market through either the PokerStars or Full Tilt brand. At this point, Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the only states that have a licensed online poker market. The regulations in Nevada that pertain to licensing specifically exclude companies such as PokerStars and Full Tilt from obtaining a license due to accepting players in the U.S. after the UIGEA went into law. Meanwhile in New Jersey, PokerStars could soon be launching in the United States’ biggest regulated markets, paving the way for a new chapter for PokerStars in the United States.
Full Tilt Poker Player Pool Merged with PokerStars
After years of declining traffic, the Full Tilt Poker player pool was merged with PokerStars, With the merger, the poker room is now essentially skin of PokerStars software, effectively ending the traditional Full Tilt Poker experience. The software, games and other aspects of the site which made Full Tilt Poker what they were have been removed. For all practical purposes, Full Tilt Poker is PokerStars under a different name.
Full Tilt Poker FAQ
Has there ever been a scandal at Full Tilt Poker?
What poker network is Full Tilt Poker a part of?
How do players deposit at Full Tilt Poker?
How do I withdraw from Full Tilt Poker?
What is Full Tilt Poker’s first deposit bonus?
Does Full Tilt Poker offer reload bonuses?
What games are available at Full Tilt Poker?
Where can I get Full Tilt Poker rakeback?
Where is Full Tilt Poker licensed?
Can I modify Full Tilt Poker tables?
Does poker tracking software work on Full Tilt Poker?
Is data mining allowed at Full Tilt Poker?
Can I play on Full Tilt Poker from a Mac Client?
Can I play on Full Tilt Poker on a mobile device?
How can I reach Full Tilt Poker customer support?
Does Full Tilt Poker offer live support?
How many tables can Full Tilt Poker players open?
What countries does Full Tilt Poker accept?