Full Tilt Poker Review
- Great Variety of Games
- Heaps of Deposit Methods
- Varied Tournaments
Back in 2004, Full Tilt was the place to be for the serious poker player. Glitzy adverts on TV, the site where the likes of Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson and Phil Ivey played, it was the coolest (or hottest if you want to look at it another way) poker seat in town.
Then their world came crashing down on them when in 2011 and after years of refusing to accept warnings about allowing US players to play there – that came from the Gambling Enforcement Act – the Department of Justice in the US charged the company with money laundering, fraud and violation of federal gambling laws.
Not only were Full Tilt’s management in serious trouble but so were US-based players who were (allegedly) 82 million US Dollars out of pocket. In what was the sort of poker equivalent of the Wall Street Crash, the day they announced they couldn’t be paying back players’ money, became known as Black Friday.
What followed was litigation, and a rescue package that saw Amaya Gaming merge them with Poker Stars and spend the next few years trying to clear up the mess, starting with paying everyone back their money.
It’s important to understand the history of Full Tilt so as to understand how far they’ve come in terms of earning back trust and rectifying past mistakes. These days they don’t accept US players at all and many pro players from other countries have returned to a busy, trustworthy site with plenty to offer. Let’s look at what they’ve done really well and if there are any areas for improvement.
Full Tilt Screenshots
Bonuses and Promotions
So, what are they giving away when you first start out? The answer is an 100% welcome bonus up to 600 AUD but it’s worth explaining that this isn’t completely straightforward.
It’s not like an Online Casino or Sportsbook where you instantly have that money available as soon as you make the first deposit. Rather, you see that bonus being slowly released as and when you play real money games. Five points are given for every 1 AUD wagered and for every 180 points collected, that’s another 10 AUD straight to your account. Crucially, unlike at Sportsbooks and Casinos, that’s cash with no wagering requirements.
So yes, on the one hand it really won’t be easy to get all that bonus money but at least when it’s released, it’s yours. You have four months to keep playing and earn the respective bonus for each deposit made.
Freerolls and Other Bonuses
If freerolls are your thing, then Full Tilt may just be the place for you. They’re mostly multi-table events where the style of play is pretty loose and though playing that way doesn’t always see you rewarded, at least you’re not hanging around all day grinding it out, to earn a few bucks. It can be over and done with within an hour, at times.
One of the cool things about Free Tilt is that they don’t just focus on Texas Hold’em when it comes to these tournaments. We all know that’s the most popular type of poker and therefore the one that has the most freerolls, but the likes of Omaha Hi/Lo certainly haven’t been forgotten about and if you’re a fan, you’ll always have a decent freeroll of that format to enter.
For larger amounts, you can enter some of their freerolls which you don’t pay actual money to enter but instead, use player points. Which brings us to their loyalty program. Playing real money games sees you get 100 reward points for every 1 AUD wagered.
The more points you get, the more chests you open, which give you Stars Coins. The Stars Coins can then be used to purchase Full Tilt merchandise like hats and t-shirts, or entry into tournaments. Just like the ones mentioned above.
In fact, their loyalty program mirrors that offered over at Poker Stars.
Creating an Account
You should get this over and done within a couple of minutes. Select your country of residence, an e-mail address, username and password and you’re almost good to go. That will be your account pretty much set up and then you just need to choose a deposit method.
We always advise players to opt-in to receiving Marketing communications about promos and offers. You’re not going to take them up on all of them, obviously, but it’s good that they’re there in one place when you do want to take advantage.
We’re not fans of card rooms that only use e-mail to contact Customer Support. It makes us feel like you’re a prisoner who has to wait till they’re good and ready before you hear back from them. So sadly, they get a couple of black marks for that. Get yourself a phone service or at least Live Chat and we’ll happily remove those black marks.
We’ve already gone over the history of Full Tilt, Black Friday and the fact that they were merged with PokerStars. When that merger took place in 2016 there were changes in term of software- Full Tilt moved to PokerStars’ platform after Amaya Gaming, who owns both brands, decided that was the way to go. What that meant was that if you had an account with any card site belonging to Amaya, which also included Duel, StarsDraft and Betstars, you could play on any other site on the same platform.
And not only did customers benefit from the extra security provided by the original Pokerstars site but the new management also resolved a lot of unfinished business in terms of old accounts and money owned, at one stage paying back 7.6 million US Dollars to one player alone.
So, we think they’re back to the point where they can be fully trusted.
Frequently Asked Questions about Full Tilt Poker
No, both sites are owned by the Amaya Group but operate separately, although they’re on the same platform.
No. There are plenty of other permitted methods to deposit, including Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller and Paysafe but at present you can’t use Bitcoin as a payment option.
Yes, playing any sort of cash game or tournament gives you points as part of their Loyalty Program, which give you the right to open chests. In those chests are rewards including bonuses and special coins. Those coins can be used to buy tickets to tournaments and Full Tilt merchandise.
You have to download software, but it doesn’t take long, and you only ever have to do it once.