Our commitment to improving the PokerStars software and the PokerStars customer experience in recent years has limited the amount of focus and resources we could apply to the evolution of Full Tilt.The last remaining assets of the Full Tilt software are set to be taken offline on February 25. On that date players will no longer be able to access the iconic brand, pokerfuse has learned.
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.
On Thursday next week, this will no longer be the case as the Full Tilt desktop and mobile application and its branding will be completely ceased and replaced with PokerStars, its original buyer.
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.
- For more than a decade, PokerStars has led the industry with the best software, largest player pool and safest environment to play.
- Great Welcome Bonus: $30 freeplay on your first deposit, letting you play real money games for free, or a huge 100% up to $600 deposit bonus.
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Full Tilt Shutdown Process Already Started in 2020
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 dot-EU players in October last year.
In fact, this was speculated by our industry-focused sister site Poker Industry PRO in early 2020 considering the cuts the operator had been making. Ten months later, the operator took its first step and switched the download link for Full Tilt.EU desktop and mobile platform with that of PokerStars.EU.
It also released a FAQ page that is now available on PokerStars’ .EU and .COM sites.
“Our commitment to improving the PokerStars software and the PokerStars customer experience in recent years has limited the amount of focus and resources we could apply to the evolution of Full Tilt,” the FAQ page for the pending shutdown states.
It remains to be seen whether FullTilt.com website will remain available once the software is gone. PokerStars has yet to respond to our inquiry.
One and a Half Decades of Full Tilt Poker
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 others.
Post-UIEGA, it became the main competitor of PokerStars and the second largest online poker room worldwide. It also became home of nosebleed 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 wildly success innovation and is now ubiquitous.
However, Black Friday happened in 2011 and this led to the brand’s downfall. It did return in late 2012 after it was bought by PokerStars with its own player pool and software and continued to operate for few more years, but its traffic was nowhere close to pre-Black Friday.
In 2015, the operator adopted a dramatic strategy to make the poker room more attractive to “recreational” players by removing table selection, heads-up games, nosebleed games and mixed games.
It then revamped its reward program to please casual players, a pivotal moment for the industry in its approach to player loyalty.
No, Full Tilt Software Is Not Up for Sale
However, this was not well received by the players and its cash game traffic took an immediate hit.
We feel it is time to consolidate brands so that everyone has access to the newest features and most innovative games which are available exclusively on PokerStars Ultimately, Full Tilt was migrated to the PokerStars platform in 2016.
Initially, the site retained the old Full Tilt branded games such as Jackpot Sit & Go’s instead of Spin & Go, and Rush Poker in place of Zoom. But the branding was gradually changed to match that of PokerStars.
At that time, a Full Tilt representative told PRO that the original software would not be put up for sale.
Over the past few years, PokerStars has made several changes to its platforms, including introducing a new game engine, Aurora, and a new Mobile NG platform for its mobile apps.
Keeping Full Tilt in sync with these upgrades was obviously an extra burden for the operator. Although it did eventually bring Aurora on Full Tilt, it had fallen out of step in many key areas such as lacking new games like Grand Tour, Tempest and even Spin & Go Max, which was launched many years ago.
Considering that the operator had been putting more focus on PokerStars brand, the shutdown of Full Tilt ultimately seemed inevitable.
“We feel it is time to consolidate brands so that everyone has access to the newest features and most innovative games which are available exclusively on PokerStars,” the site states.