Full Tilt Poker no longer exists as a stand-alone poker site as of the 17th May 2016. While the software still runs (with some minor changes to things like fonts and logos), this is now a ‘skin’ of the larger PokerStars.
A ‘skin’ in poker network terms refers to a site which shares the same players with others. The biggest true network (where many brands share a common back end poker room) is the iPoker Network. Stars / Tilt have adopted a different approach. You can only have 1 user id with players that had 2 of these moving to their PokerStars Id on the new platform.
What Has Changed?
Where the two sites had obvious duplications in their games, the PokerStars versions are the ones now available to players. Rush Poker was the first ‘fast-fold’ type poker game. This no longer exists, as the Rush tab will lead you to the Zoom Poker tables of Stars instead. This makes good sense – there were 10x the players in Zoom (at least!) compared to Rush. The other major omission is FTP’s Jackpot Sit N Goes. These are now gone, instead you’ll get to play the PokerStars Spin N Go Games.
The major tournaments in the schedule are all still listed. You’ll find these in among the huge list of PokerStars tournaments – making it difficult to spot what is what.
Is this Change Positive?
It is easy to understand this change from a business perspective – why have 2 sites when you can consolidate into one huge one… From the player’s perspective there are plusses and also drawbacks.
On the positive side, you can still play on the FTP software, only with a lot more games to choose from (think 10x more). The bigger prize pools, bigger and better poker bonuses and promotions and loyalty points all in one place can also be positives.
The main drawback for me is that choice is being restricted. Full Tilt was an excellent stand alone site, had its own payout structures (less players getting paid = bigger prizes for the final tables) and unique feel. The smaller tournament fields meant that you do not have to invest half a day to reach a final table (if you play the 2000+ player games on Stars then you’d better write off 6 or 7 hours).
An End to Full Tilt’s Checkered Past
Full Tilt was considered a legitimate site by the poker playing population. It came as a huge shock when it went under back in 2011 – taking the bankrolls of 10000’s of players with it. For many, the repayment via the US authorities never materialized, and players / business partners around the world lost out. For a lot of those players, the fact that the owners / celebs behind the site were never brought to book still leaves a bitter taste.
After their 2014 comeback under the ownership of the Rational Group, Full Tilt did regain a lot of ground – becoming a top 5 site is no mean feat in today’s competitive environment. For me at least, they never regained their former glory.
Should I Play at the new Merged Site?
In many ways, the biggest and best poker site just got even better.
While I recommend non-US readers check out the famous Sunday Million and enjoy the slick software. I do feel obliged to mention that there are a lot more ‘pro grinders’ at the tables than you will find at rival sites like iPoker and 888.
Sign up via PokerStars, and you’ll get up to 3 ‘first’ deposit welcome bonuses.
Use Marketing Code PSP3018 when you register (choose this from the drop down list of where did you find us).
When you deposit, you can either choose STARS600 (works up to 3 times for $600 in total) or FREE20 for an instant $20 match.
Check out the (even bigger) PokerStars / Full Tilt for yourself at www.pokerstars.com now!