There is a buzz online at the moment as people start to become aware that the return of Full Tilt Poker is imminent. It could be as soon as next month… and hopefully before the 1 year anniversary of Black Friday in April! This post is a collection of my thoughts on various themes relating to this return. Covering: Whether players will flock back, Whether Full Tilt will continue rakeback, US Players getting their money back from the DoJ and what could a year of improving the software have in store for us.Well, I’m really looking forward to playing Rush again!
Full Tilt Poker’s Return: Will Players Flock Back?
When they first went down I was wondering if it would be possible for them to regain their former player levels without the US, and having broken the trust of many of their regulars. Closer to the time my view has changed, I think FTP will regain the number 2 spot very fast – maybe within 6 months. We can look at how Pokerstars did this year to see the potential non-US market out there… and lets be honest, iPoker and Party have not really stepped up with anything special to make the most of the gap. Not only are there former players itching to get back to the tables, there are many thousands of people who got into poker in the last year who are feeling the buzz and anticipation… they are sure to be checking the tables. When they do they will be impressed, remember the software and the games? They were great! One small aside. There are a lot of people saying they would never play there again after being treated so badly / corrupt site etc etc. I hear you and if you genuinely have a moral position then more power to you. Having said that, this is all to easy to type into a forum / blog for US players wanting to sound cool… since they can not play at Full Tilt anyway. I’ll pick a figure here, 90% of those coming out with this ‘moral high ground’ line would go back if the site was available to them… maybe even more. I’m sure some people will mail choice words to tell me I’m wrong, haha. One more thing on the traffic – I have the feeling that some US commenters are FAR more pessimistic than those in Europe. Over here you can tangibly *feel* the anticipation over the return of FTP… Every damn player you speak to is looking forward to going back!
Full Tilt Poker’s Return: What About The Sticky Subject Of Rakeback
FullTilt made a complete mess of the rakeback thing, and only slightly sorted it by the time they went offline. I am wondering whether the restart will be a good opportunity to start fresh with a VIP loyalty deal similar to the other big sites? Offering some people rakeback and not others, then capping the percentage to affiliates, then allowing a black market for 100% deal accounts was ugly – and that is before we even get to the fact that corrupt rakeback affiliates who ran off with everyone’s money in the aftermath of Black-Friday would still get their 2%! A VIP club would level the playing field and keep grinders and new players equally happy. I hope that they have realized this and make a fresh start!
Full Tilt Poker’s Return: US Player Refunds
Another ugly subject, it looks like US players are going to have to apply to the DoJ to get your money back. For many this will be straightforward enough… I’m going to bet there are a lot of grinders who had not got around to filing their winnings on a tax return yet – I’d bet even more than the DoJ will check this. While I have no support for tax dodgers in any country… this does look like a cynical move from the DoJ to ensure that they get to keep a bunch of money.
Full Tilt Poker’s Return: A Year Of Software Updates
Going to finish this post with some more cheerful thinking! Many of the key staff in the Isle of Man and elsewhere will have remained at Full Tilt… hopefully this included some of the software wizards responsible for Rush Poker and their cool poker client. I am wondering what a year away from the day-to-day support will bring us in terms of new games, improvements to play and innovations such as mobile / tablet clients… Again, the process of return will not be sequential… nobody is waiting for the last sign on the dotted line before brushing up the software client and making a marketing plan. With Bernard Tapie himself saying he had hoped for the 1st of March (now looks unlikely) you can be sure that the message went through the whole organization that everyone had better be ready, everyone including software, marketing, affiliates and finance… Well, of course, we will all have to wait and see… I have been wrong before! GL at the tables, Mark PS: If you have a comment or any of those 'choice words' then feel free to join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sngplanet
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