Goodbye Full Tilt Poker
The life without FTP will never be the same again – the end of an era
An era of poker history come to a close as Full Tilt Poker is officially absorbed by PokerStars.
Full Tilt’s closure marks the end of a run spanning nearly 17 years, one of the longest to date in online poker history. Full Tilt Poker was launched in 2004, just three years after PokerStars’ inception. It was opened with the involvement of some of the biggest names in the industry: Raymond Bitar, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow,
Jennifer Harman and many others.
Post- Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), it became the main competitor of PokerStars and the second largest online poker room worldwide. It also became home of cash game action involving big pros such as Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey, Viktor “Isildur” Blom and Gus Hansen —who all became Full Tilt ambassadors.
The second-largest online poker room changed the landscape of online poker by introducing several unique features to its poker platform. It invented Rush Poker, a fast-fold poker variant that has been a success innovation.
In 2006, UIGEA was signed into law and Full Tilt Poker had a decision to make. Would they follow the course of publicly traded companies like 888Poker and PartyPoker and leave the U. S. market, or would they continue to service the country against the mandates of the UIGEA? Full Tilt, like the private company PokerStars, decided to stay in the country and reaped millions for the decision.
In April 2011, the U. S. Department of Justice dropped the hammer on the major online poker operations in the country – PokerStars, the CEREUS Network rooms Absolute Poker and UB.com, and Full Tilt Poker. While PokerStars was able to quickly negotiate a method to repay its U. S. players all monies they had on the site, the others – Full Tilt included – had not segmented their finances between being able to pay players and pay business expenses – in essence, they were using player money to fund operations, including paying their significant personnel.
Goodbye Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker really died then, in September 2011, when they lost their operational license from the Isle of Man. Sure, PokerStars bought them in 2012 and relaunched the site, but it was but a shell of its former self. Full Tilt Poker limped along for a few more years before basically becoming a “skin” of PokerStars and not an independent operation in 2016.
Since May 2016, Full Tilt had been operating as a skin on the PokerStars network under its own branding, sharing the same games and player pool, rewards program and account system.
The only differentiator was the cosmetic look and the retention of the Full Tilt assets including the classic cartoonish avatars and Full Tilt special table themes.
Now, existing Full Tilt users can migrate to the PokerStars platform using the same Full Tilt username and password, the FAQ page for the migration process states. Players’ balances and bonuses will automatically be switched to the PokerStars platform.
The decision to shut down Full Tilt did not come out of the blue. PokerStars began the process to close Full Tilt software for the players in October last year.