Why Play at Full Tilt Poker?
Full Tilt Poker is the perfect room for all players. If you're new to the game, there are many daily freerolls and promotions to build a bankroll from nothing. The first deposit welcome package, including a $600 deposit bonus, is a great way to start increasing your bankroll. Their Edge Rewards VIP program is setup to reward the hardcore grinders, giving back up to 30% of your rake generated. Traffic is high enough for low, and high stakes, to be active at all hours of the day for cash games, SNGs, and MTTs. Full Tilt Poker is consistently updating their software, releasing new innovative features such as Rush Poker. Now under the management of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker is backed by the most trusted online poker room today.
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History & Background
Full Tilt Poker launched in July 2004 under the control of Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Ray Bitar. The original Team Full Tilt included the founders and Phil Ivey, Andy Bloch, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, John Juanda, Clonie Gowen, Gus Hansen, and Erik Seidel. Over time, Full Tilt Poker would add over 200 poker players to their Full Tilt Pros roster, with 14 official Team Full Tilt members.
Almost overnight, Full Tilt Poker exploded to become one of the top online poker rooms, with their brilliant marketing and using the slogan "Learn, Chat, and Play with the Pros." Full Tilt was one of the first online poker rooms to offer high stakes games and fans could rail live games such as Phil Ivey playing Gus Hansen heads up. To this day, the largest pot in history was played on Full Tilt. Patrik Antonius won the $1,356,956 pot over Isildur1 on November 21, 2009 playing $500/$1,000 PLO. As of March, 2014, the largest 228 online poker hands were all played on Full Tilt for a combined total of $125,545,331.
UIGEA and US Players
On September 29, 2006, a little over two years after Full Tilt's launch, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in the United States. This controversial bill, which was attached to the SAFE Port Act, basically made it illegal for banks and other payment processors to fund transactions for online gambling. No where in the bill did it state that it was illegal for an US citizen to play online poker for real money, however.
This bill caused a lot of panic in the online poker industry, and caused other major online poker rooms, such as the then online giant, Party Poker, to pull out of the US market. Within a few days, Full Tilt Poker (along with PokerStars) broke their silence stating that they would not be leaving the US market and planned on fight for online poker and the rights of US poker players. Organizations such as the Poker Player Alliance were formed to try and lobby for poker being a game of skill instead of luck, stating that poker should not be included with other casino gambling games, such as slots and roulette.
Over the next few years, Full Tilt Poker would continue to increase their numbers in a race with their only major competitor, PokerStars. During this time, they would release many innovative software and game features, such as Rush Poker, which was a form of poker which allowed players to play up to 4 times as fast as regular poker games. They also continued increasing their marketing budget, hosting live poker shows such as Poker After Dark, Late Night Poker, Million Dollar Cash Game, and more. In January of 2008, Full Tilt Poker would host peak traffic around 70,000 users. By January of 2011, this was up to 210,000 users.
Everything came to a stand still on April 15, 2011, which has been dubbed Black Friday. The Department of Justice seized the domains of various online poker rooms, including Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, charging them with violating the UIGEA, money laundering, and bank fraud. The DOJ indictment mentioned 11 people total, including Ray Bitar (former CEO of Full Tilt Poker) and Nelson Burtnick (former Full Tilt Poker executive). Shortly after, Full Tilt Poker stopped accepting US players for real money. They still kept real money games going for those outside of the US, however.
Shutdown & Re-Payment Issues
There were many problems after Black Friday for Full Tilt Poker, and eventually the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended Full Tilt Poker's license on June 29, 2011, which lead them to close for all players. After being shut down, many behind the scenes issues came to light, including a $134 million backlog of deposits that were never collected, many from US players. On September 20, 2011, the DOJ released a statement accusing Full Tilt Poker of being a Ponzi scheme which was setup to steal deposits from poker players and paying it out to share holders. A total of $444 million was paid out, largely in part to Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Ray Bitar.
After being shut down, it was clear that Full Tilt Poker was unable to process any cash outs. This lead to over $300 million being tied up on the site and no players being able to withdrawal any funds. Players outside of the US were eventually repaid in November of 2012 by PokerStars striking a deal with the DOJ. US players had to file claims through Garden City Group and were repaid in the first quarter of 2014.
New Ownership & Re-Launch
On July 31, 2012 it was announced and confirmed that PokerStars and the DOJ reached an agreement allowing PokerStars to purchase Full Tilt Poker. This purchase cost over $750 million, and included $547 in fines to be paid to the DOJ. PokerStars remained open to non-US players and planned to re-launch Full Tilt Poker as a separate brand.
On November 5, 2012, Full Tilt Poker re-opened to non-US players and remains open today, under management of PokerStars. Although the Full Tilt Poker brand was tarnished during the events surrounding Black Friday, they have quickly turned that around under the guidance of PokerStars and are consistently increasing their player base.
US Players Repaid
On February 28, 2014, US players who successfully filed a claim via Garden City Group were issued their funds. In total, more than 27,500 reimbursements were issued totaling about $76 million.
The original Full Tilt Poker consisted of a roster of 14 professional players and was referred to as Team Full Tilt, along with hundreds of "red pros" that represented the website. It was very common to see many Full Tilt Poker patches at the final table of televised events.
When Full Tilt re-launched under the control of PokerStars, they vastly downsized their sponsored players to only three; Gus Hansen, Tom "durrrr" Dwan, and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom. This team was referred to as The Professionals.
Full Tilt also added other sponsored players under the name of Tour Ambassadors. These players consist of lesser known players from various countries around the world. As of March 2014, there are 14 Tour Ambassadors for Full Tilt.
In December 2013, it was announced that Tom Dwan was no longer sponsored by Full Tilt Poker. A spokesperson for Full Tilt offered the following comment, "Full Tilt Poker and Tom Dwan have agreed to part ways following the recent expiration of Dwan’s contract. To have one of the most respected names in poker on our team has been a great pleasure. We will continue to watch Tom at the tables and wish him every success in the future." In an interview in February 2014, Dwan mentioned a "Really big issue with them," speaking about Full Tilt, without further details as to what that may be.
As of March 2014, the current roster of The Professionals for Full Tilt consists of two members; Gus Hansen and Viktor "Isildur1" Blom.
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Software & Interface
Full Tilt Poker's software is widely regarded as one of the best available today. It has come a long way since the release in 2004 by taking the pro’s and players' opinions into consideration for new upgrades. The animations are smooth and the program uses a lower amount of resources, so playing multiple tables is a breeze.
Full Tilt offers users a multi-lobby system, which allows you player to choose whatever setup suits you best. There are three options: Standard View, Basic View and Mini View. These can be changed any time with the "lobby" option at the top of any of the three views.
There are also multiple views, classic round table style or racetrack view (a more oval poker table), either with or without avatars. There are many custom features, such as resizable tables, preferred seating, auto top up, and many other customizations you can make to enhance your playing experience.
Cash Table (Racetrack)
MTT Final Table
Full Tilt Poker was the first online poker room to launch a "fast version" of poker, which they called Rush Poker. Rush Poker, as the name implies, allows you to play more hands in less time. The basic idea is this: whenever you fold your hand, you’re instantly transferred to an active table and re-dealt a hand. As a result, you are not stuck on a single table at a single position, but rather you are part of a larger pool of players that rotate among many tables.
Joining a Game
While playing, there is an instant hand history function at the table. Just pressing "last hand" in the upper right hand corner will show your last 50 hands played at that table using a replay format display. All you have to do is press play on any given hand history, and the action will repeat itself in front of your eyes, complete with player hesitations and table talk. This is a great function, which enables you to very easily look through your hands and analyze your opponents' play all without skipping a beat on your current hand.
For even more details on the Full Tilt Poker software and features, see our download & software review.
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Network & Traffic
Last Updated on May 5, 2014
Average Daily Player Count: ~15,000
Peak Traffic: ~35,000
Most Popular Time: 15:00 ET
Most Popular Day: Sunday
Full Tilt Poker is its own network, which means it doesn't share its player pool with other poker sites. As of May, 2014, Full Tilt Poker is the fifth largest online poker room, with around 35,000 players online at peak times and a daily average of 15,000. Peak hours are from 13:00 ET to 16:00 ET daily. Sunday is the most popular day of the week, largely due to the Sunday major tournaments such as the $250K Guarantee. They do not accept US players for real money play.
Cash game stakes range from $0.01 - $0.02 ($2 max buy-in), up to $500 - $1,000 ($100,000 max buy-in). There is an wide selection of cash game tables running at stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 through to $.50/$1. The traffic is somewhat limited at games of stakes $1/$2 and higher, especially at non-peak times. Most players are playing no-limit hold'em, and there aren't many other games being played during non-peak hours.
Sit & Go stakes range from $0.43 + $0.07, up to $4,930 + $70. At all times, you should be able to multi-table stakes $20 and lower, but games $30 and above aren't very common during non-peak hours.
Multi-Table Tournament stakes range from $0 freeroll buy-ins, and $0.50 + $0.05 up to $1,000 + $50 and higher for special events such as the FTOPS. The more popular tournaments during peak hours usually host fields around 500 - 1,000, depending on the buy-in. Full Tilt Poker's daily guaranteed MTT schedule gives more details.
Jump Into the Games at Full Tilt
Bonus & Promotions
All new players are able to receive a $600 bonus when they create their account.
There is no Full Tilt bonus or referral code necessary to enter when signing up or making a deposit.
All new players will also receive a welcome package after their first deposit. This package includes:
First time deposit bonus of 100% up to $600 over your first THREE deposits. There is no bonus or referral code necessary, so make sure you use the links on this page to qualify.
Free Tournament Ticket: Valued at $2.25. Can use in any MTT or SNG.
$50K Freeroll Series: 10 tickets to the $5,000 weekly freerolls, only for new depositors.
Edge Rewards VIP Program
Playing games at Full Tilt earns you Full Tilt Points, which can be used to buy into Sit & Go's and tournaments or exchanged for cash at the Full Tilt store. Through their VIP program, Edge Rewards, Full Tilt points can be converted directly to cash! Play more to increase your Edge level and thereby earning more perks and better bonuses. Edge Rewards is covered extensively in our bonus review.
Clearing & Rakeback
In order to clear your bonus, you must collect Full Tilt Points (FTPs). FTPs are earned when you pay rake in tournaments or at cash tables. You earn them at the rate of 10 FTPs for $1 in rake paid. The bonus cleared at the rate of $0.04 per 1 FTP - so basically, every FTP you collect clears 4 cents of your total bonus. The bonus is released in $20 increments, or every time you earn 500 FTPs. The bonus must be earned within 180 days. Any uncleared portion will become invalid.
Clearing your deposit bonus nets you a 40% rakeback return when playing tournaments (1 FTP = $0.04, $1 in rake = 10 FTPs, so every $1 in rake paid, you're getting $.40 back, or 40% rakeback), and around 30% - 40% if playing cash games. (Cash games percentages depend on your style of play, so aren't exact like tournaments.)
For even more details on the Full Tilt Poker bonus, see our bonus review.
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Full Tilt Poker offers a wide variety of payment methods to fund your account and withdrawal your winnings. These options are shown below:
||$10||$600 ||$1||$2500 |
||$10||$1000 ||$10||$50000 |
||$10||$600 ||$10||$2500 |
||$10||$600 ||$10||$2500 |
||$10||$600 || |
||$10||$1000 ||$50||$2500 |
|| ||$1000||$5000 |
||$10||$100 ||$10||$2500 |
||$1000||$50000 ||$1000||$50000 |
||$10||$600 ||$1||$2500 |
||$10||$1000 || |
||$10||$600 || |
||$10||$600 || |
Note: Payment methods, currencies, and min/max amounts vary based on your location so you may not be able to use everything shown above. See the cashier in the Full Tilt lobby for the options available to you.
Depositing at Full Tilt Poker is painless. When you load the Full Tilt Poker lobby and click the red cashier button in the top-right corner, you'll see a number of options which vary based on your location. Clicking the red Make a Deposit button will bring up the Payment Method window:
If available to you, the quickest, easiest and safest method that we recommend is a MasterCard or Visa credit card. Click a credit card or other deposit method and you’ll come to the Deposit Page:
Now you need to enter some personal details, and also some numbers to identify your card/account information and the amount you’d like to deposit. Once all the fields are filled out with the proper information, just click the red Deposit Now button. You’ll receive confirmation of your deposit almost instantly and can begin playing for real money at your leisure. That's it! Your account should now be funded.
Full Tilt uses the latest in encryption technology so you may rest assured that your financial information, personal details and your hard-earned cash are all completely safe and secure.
Withdrawing money from Full Tilt Poker is a very easy 3 step process. Once the Full Tilt Poker client is running - click the cashier button in the top-right corner. Right below the big red deposit button you will see the withdrawal button.
Once you click on it, you will be redirected to the withdrawal window where you can choose a withdrawal method from the one’s that are available to you. Withdrawal methods may vary from country to country.
Once you choose the desired withdrawal method, press select. This will forward you to step 2 of the process where you will have to either enter the amount you wish to withdraw if you have used this method before or fill out the necessary information to use it.
After you have completed step 2, press continue. This will forward you to step 3 where you have to confirm that all the information you have entered is correct. Once you confirm, the process is done and your money is on its way!
It's important to note that in the Terms & Conditions on Full Tilt's website, they reserve the right to request documents & information from players looking to make a withdrawal, which may include:
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Country of residence
- Copy of a valid picture ID (such as a driver's license)
- Copy of a billing statement to prove your address (such as an electric bill)
- Copy of bank statement
They may not request this when you attempt to withdrawal, but be prepared in case they do. This is usually only necessary on your first withdrawal attempt.
Make Your First Deposit on Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker Mobile App
The Full Tilt Poker app is available in iOS (4.0+) and Android devices. Use the buttons below to navigate Full Tilt Poker to install the app on your mobile device.
The Full Tilt Rush Poker App has now been expanded to include ring games along with Rush Poker and Adrenaline Rush games. You can still play your favorite Rush and Adrenaline Rush games, but you now also have the choice to play regular cash games with the desktop player pool.
Full Tilt Poker Mobile Lobby
The Full Tilt Poker mobile app is limited to cash games only, in Hold'em and Omaha formats. There are no SNGs, MTTs, or Freerolls. The Stakes available for the cash games are the same as the main client, ranging from $0.01/$0.02 blinds up to $2/$4 blinds for regular No Limit Hold'em Rush and $0.02/$0.05 to $1/$2 for Adrenaline Rush and Pot Limit Omaha Rush. Limit Hold'em is also available at $0.25/$0.50 and $1/$2 limits, but games are not regularly running.
Playing Rush Poker Mobile
Control while at the table is made by using clear buttons and a bet slider, allowing you to make the same plays as if you were at a table on the desktop based Full Tilt. The software is easy to use, and runs really smoothly in tests we've run.
Full Tilt Poker Cash Games
Players can create new accounts and make a deposit right through the Full Tilt mobile app.
Since the management of PokerStars took over and re-launched Full Tilt Poker, their customer service has improved drastically. Full Tilt currently only offers email for player assistance, and does not offer live chat nor do they provide a telephone number.
Contact Full Tilt Poker
For any support issues, you should an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. It's important to email them with the email associated with your Full Tilt Poker account, or else they may not be able to assist you with account related inquires.
Final Thoughts: The Bottom Line
Full Tilt Poker has come a long way since 2004. Sure, they hit some road blocks along the way but after the re-launch and when you add everything up, it's clear why they're our #1 overall poker room for non-US residents.
Sign up at Full Tilt Poker now to start your poker journey!
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