When you play on Full Tilt Poker, there will be lots of bonuses and surprises available for you.
As you play, you start accumulating Full Tilt Points. These points can be used to purchase anything available in the Full Tilt Poker Store. Before we start, we need to make something clear, and that is how to earn the Full Tilt Points.
From the Full Tilt Website:
- Ring Games: For each dollar raked from a pot, every player who was dealt cards for that hand will receive 1 Full Tilt Point. For example, if $2.00 in rake is taken from a pot, each player who was dealt cards will receive 2 points. Fractional points are also awarded; if $2.25 in rake is taken, players will receive 2.25 points. A maximum of 3 points can be earned per hand.
- Tournaments: For every dollar paid in Multi-Table Tournament or Sit & Go fees, you'll receive 7 Full Tilt Points. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn per tournament. For example, if you play in a tournament with a $10 buy-in and a $1 tournament fee, you'll receive 7 points; if you play in a tournament with a $200 buy-in and a $16 tournament fee, you'll receive 112 points.
Please note: Points are credited at the end of a hand or when the tournament finishes.
And off we go. To spend the points, you have to go to the Full Tilt Poker Client Lobby, click “Cashier”, and then click Full Tilt Store - either the blue button or the smaller orange button. Within the cashier, you can also check your Full Tilt Points balance which is conveniently located on the right hand side, just below the orange “Full Tilt Store” button.
What does Full Tilt pack its store with? Well, surprisingly, quite a lot. Categories include Outerwear, Jerseys, Shirts, T-Shirts, Hats & Caps, Electronics, Electronics for Europe, Cardrunners and Stoxpoker subscriptions, Books, DVDs, Bags, Sport & Lifestyle items such as a Full Tilt Dart Board, Accessories for your Poker Room, and Luxury Items such as cars and lowrider bikes, and also other items such as sunglasses and drinking glasses. You can also spend your points by using them to enter exclusive Full Tilt Poker tournaments.
Thinking about getting some of the items? Not so fast there, Bilbo Baggins! First things first, you have to calculate if the item offered is actually a good deal for you to spend your hard earned points on.
Walk with me through an example. Featured uner the Luxury Items tab, there is a Harley Davidson Night Train offered for 4,000,000 points (price taken at the time of this writing, July 2009). If you average 1 dollar rake in a dealt hand, which would grant you one point per hand, it would take you 4,000,000 hands to get there. If you go to the H-D website, you may see the bike which is a Softail Night Train starting at about $16,000.
Here come the calculations you should be able to make. The MSRP for the item in question is $16,000. Full Tilt uses dealt hands, however, and not contributed rakeback, and this is huge. Basically, you have to be dealt in 4,000,000 hands *that has generated some rake* without having even partaken in the hand itself in order to collect your Full Tilt Points.
Now, at 4,000,000 points and an MSRP of around $16,000, this particular item will cost you 4,000,000/16,000 = about 250 Points/$.
These are rough estimates, of course, but knowing the points per dollar of whatever item from the Full Tilt Store you may be interested in will definitely give you a proper view on whether it's priced too high or if it's a great deal. Of course, what you should be looking for is great value.
One of the other Luxury Items, the Mini Cooper S, goes for 6,000,000 points. With a little searching, you can find the MSRP of this car, and adding a little extra for delivery charges, to be at around $21,000. This item's real value to you, the grinder, would be 6,000,000/21,000 = a whopping 500 Points/$. You can see that its actual price to you is significantly more in terms of how much you have to grind to get it, and also that it's overpriced in comparison with the Harley Davidson bike. A fair and comparable price in points would be $ 21,000 * 250 = 5,250,000.
Let’s review different, more common items. The price in points of a 2nd Gen iPod Touch 32 GB is 87,000. Its MSRP, according to Amazon.com, is $400. 87,000/400 = 217.5 Points/$. As you can see, the iPod touch is a better deal than the Harley Davidson bike and a much much much better deal than the Mini Cooper S, in terms of what it actually costs you grind-wise.
Staying within the Electronics tab, the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS costs 150,000 points. Its current MSRP is $600. 150,000/600 = exactly 250 points/$, which is exactly the same as the Harley Davidson bike. We can start to assume that 250 Points/$ is the average deal, lower than that is a good deal, and higher than that should be very carefully considered or avoided entirely.
Always keep this in mind when you are looking to buy anything from the Full Tilt Point store that is available somewhere else. Stuff which are Full Tilt specific, such as playing cards and Full Tilt sweaters, can obviously not be compared with MSRP because they are not available anywhere else, so you have to judge all on your own how much you need it and how much you are prepared to grind for it.
All in all, this guide was made to hopefully help you decide on your own which of the items in the Full Tilt Store are either a good value or a ripoff. Ultimately, the decision is up to you as to what to spend your hard earned points on, but hopefully, because of this guide, you will do so more wisely in the future.