Posts Tagged ‘Full Tilt Poker’

Post-Blom/Hansen Full Tilt debuts New Advertising Campaign

Friday, October 24th, 2014

It’s only been a few days since Full Tilt dumped Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom. And already the online poker site has debuted their new marketing approach, which seeks to appeal to the average person, rather than skilled players who actually care about pros.

Anybody who previously read about Full Tilt’s move away from “Pro-centric advertising” shouldn’t be surprised at the angle that these commercials take. Dubbed “The Call” and “The Bluff,” these new ads are pro-free and feature amateurs trying to make important decisions.

In many ways, the commercials hearken back to the mid-2000s, when poker was seen as a somewhat mystical game where untold fortunes lay. Furthermore, the ads are all about regular guys, with one shoving all-in because he doesn’t think his opponent “has the heart,” while the other guy considers the call because he’s “not leaving without a show.”

All in all, Full Tilt should be applauded for their new approach, which is miles away from their old motto of “Learn, Chat and Play with the Pros.” Take a look at the ads for yourself and see what you think:

Daniel Negreanu reveals why he chose PokerStars over FTP, UB and Party

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

It seems like Daniel Negreanu has been the face of PokerStars forever. So it’s hard to remember him representing a different online poker site at any point in time. However, going back to 2004, Kid Poker was actually involved in his own poker room called FullContactPoker.

Some players today may recognize this site because it’s where Negreanu writes all of his blog posts from. But back then, it was a full-fledged internet poker room that mainly attracted Americans.

Negreanu helped FullContactPoker quickly experience success by undertaking a massive promotional effort. This included doing up to 50 radio interviews a day across the United States and Canada, plus getting the word out through other channels. His poker site showed such promise that one company even wanted to buy him out for $170 million.

However, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) came about at the end of 2006, thus throwing the US-friendly poker market into disarray. This forced Negreanu to quickly find something else to do with FullContactPoker. So he ended up signing a deal with PokerStars and moving his player base there.

While this and the $170 million deal are interesting enough, the selection process used by Negreanu to pick PokerStars is a story in itself. Here’s a look at what he told about why he ended up choosing Stars:

Signing with PokerStars was as simple as this, there were several sites interested in having my services including UltimateBet, Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker. For me it came down to integrity and which site I trusted the most, had the best software and the best vision for the future. It wasn’t about the highest bidder for me; it was about who’s the biggest, who’s the best, and who’s going to be the biggest in the future.”

I believed in PokerStars from the start, as the company was built by a group of IBM professionals. They weren’t some random poker-playing dudes who wanted to be businessmen. Full Tilt was off the mark; I wasn’t going to sign with them, because I didn’t trust the infrastructure even back then. If I was going to attach my name to something, game security, integrity, and longevity were most important.

Given that Party Poker’s player base has dropped considerably, Full Tilt had to close before being bought by Stars, and UB Poker went completely under never to resurface again, PokerStars definitely proved to be the right choice. Furthermore, it appears as if Negreanu is about as good at reading business deals as he is with poker opponents.

Tom Dwan to address Issues with Full Tilt Poker Soon

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

For over two years now, Tom Dwan has been taking heat for being uncooperative in finishing the Durrrr Challenge with Dan ‘Jungleman12’ Cates. But as it turns out, Full Tilt Poker may have a large role in why Dwan hasn’t continued playing the Challenge more recently.

The famed high stakes player didn’t give out many details about exactly what the beef is with his former sponsor. However, Dwan did drop a big hint that he’s not on a friendly basis with Full Tilt when asked about a penalty involving the Durrrr Challenge. “I haven’t been comfortable playing on Full Tilt cause I have a really big issue with them,” he told Bluff Magazine.

Dwan added that he’ll probably reveal his problem with Full Tilt in more detail, but he doesn’t want to get into something like this on “3 hours of sleep.” It doesn’t sound like the Durrrr Challenge is any closer to resuming either. Dwan said that Jungle knows what the Full Tilt issue is, plus he has a lot of other things going on right now anyways.

One other interesting tidbit that he dropped during the Bluff interview is when he said, “We don’t even have the hands from Full Tilt which is ridiculous because they didn’t even put up a page, but I have another more pressing issue with him (Jungleman).”

The last topic that Dwan discussed in this short interview involved how he’s at the Aussie Millions right now to play in some of the big cash games there. However, he did say that he still spends most of his time in Macau because the games are just so much bigger there.

The big takeaway from this 3-minute conversation with Dwan is that he’s definitely not happy with Full Tilt. And it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to duck Jungleman’s challenge, but rather wait until everything is right between he and Full Tilt. But don’t expect that to happen any time soon, given how he was dropped by FTP less than two months ago.

Dan Cates describes going from Loner to Poker Star

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

These days, Dan “Jungleman12” Cates is known as one of the most successful No-Limit Hold’em players in the world. But there was once a time when Cates was an unknown, lonely high school student. Cates recently discussed his humble beginnings with, and here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I didn’t get along with my family that well, but it was not like we were fighting all the time. I was mostly isolated and played a shit ton of video games after discovering them,” Cates started recalling some of his early childhood memories.

“In school I was pretty lonely, as I didn’t have many friends and I wasn’t too good at making them. I was good at school, very good actually, and I went to the only magnet school in the area called Eleanor Roosevelt High School where I was in the science and tech program.

Cates goes on to describe how he played Command and Conquer for endless hours, despite his family’s best attempts to stop it. But there was definitely some good to come out of all this because Jungleman credits his experience with this game for helping him become a better poker player.

When Cates did get into poker, he had some rough experiences in live games. In fact, he felt like a lot of people cheated him in these games. When Jungleman began playing online poker, he started out with $5 and $10 sit and go’s. Eventually, he joined CardRunners and began playing heads-up cash games.

This is the point where Cates’ career really took off because he kept improving his game and making lots of money. As Cates says, he got to a point where he was playing against many of the people who served as his instructors.

After 2010, Jungelman became a bonafide star when he won $5 million in online poker. Since then, he’s remained a top NLHE player, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars at Full Tilt over the past few years.

Will $82m in Full Tilt Repayments give Online Poker a Boost?

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

By now, much of the poker community has heard that the US Department of Justice has approved $82 million worth of Full Tilt Poker repayments. Over 30,000 players will be receiving money back that was previously locked up on Full Tilt.

With the US DOJ’s approval now official, the Garden City Group can begin distributing tens of millions of dollars to affected players. And now that people will finally be getting their money back, one huge question is if this is going to have a big impact on the poker community.

Most of those who are owed money didn’t have a significant amount on Full Tilt. It’s being reported that the majority of players are looking at getting back $200 or less. However, there are also a number of grinders who are going to receive a fortune.

Take Blair Hinkle, for instance, who won the FTOPS XIX Main Event along with a $1 million prize. Hinkle took this event down just weeks before Full Tilt stopped servicing American players due to Black Friday. Shortly after Black Firday, he wanted to cash out $48,000 of the winnings, but was given the runaround by Full Tilt’s staff.

This was just a precursor to what many other pros would experience in the aftermath of April 15th, 2011, when $82 million worth of American players’ funds were stranded on Full Tilt. And when the US DOJ took over following the site’s financial meltdown and PokerStars buying Full Tilt, it only delayed the process. But now, many of these pros are getting their money back, which could mean great things for poker.

With so much cash going back into players’ hands, we should definitely expect some more high stakes play. Furthermore, we can expect more players at all cash stakes and tournaments. This is $82 million that was taken out of circulation over two and a half years ago. So it’ll definitely be nice to see at least some of it returning to online poker and making the games more juicy.

Viktor Blom answers Poker’s Tough Questions during FTP Challenge

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom recently took on 100 challengers at Full Tilt Poker during a promotion. And Blom was his usual self, multi-tabling heads-up sit and go’s against five players at a time.

In the end, he was able to beat 62 of the 100 challengers, which was pretty good considering how he was multi-tabling. However, it’s worth mentioning that he put up $100,000 of his own money, and had to pay $1,000 to each winner. This meant he forked over $38,000 to the 38 winners when the challenge was over.

One really interesting side product of this challenge was that Blom answered some questions. He discussed everything from how look it took him to build his bankroll to who the best online poker players are right now. You can see all of the questions here, but here’s a look at the first several that were asked/answered:

@Nickkdevries: How did you came in contact with online poker?
Viktor Blom: A friend of my brother’s told me about it and I decided to give it a try.

@twsk8nst: how did you get financed in the first place circa 2008/2009
VB: I just ran up my bankroll myself.

@CakeEater12: most amount of $ you’ve flipped for?
VB: $50k I think, I ran so bad at flips.

@pvd_27: what’s your favourite board game?
VB: Malarky was fun. Good bluffing game.

@Pokerlifestkr: how about a shout out to all swedish fans grinding out there Viktor pokerlifegear
VB: lycka till vid borden!

@ChrisAbela1: How true are the stories regarding your earlier winnings on Euro networks?
VB: I don’t know what’s out there, so I can’t answer that one.

@PaulieRider: Victor, how do you cook a perfect boiled egg?
VB: No idea.

@Carrottoppoker: will you be coming to Australia anytime soon for any poker tournaments?
VB: I may go for Aussie Millions, not sure yet though.

@sjdaniel: Can you ship me 10k? I promise I will give it back, someday…
VB: I’ll play you for it.

@Vimio_NL: How much time did it take, to build your bankroll to 100K for the first time?
VB: 8-9 months since first time I played.

Chris Moneymaker talks Possible Full Tilt Sale, Improving his Game

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Unlike some WSOP Main Event champions, Chris Moneymaker has really withstood the test of time. Once a little-known account from Tennessee, the 2003 Main Event champ has carved out a very nice poker career for himself.

Moneymaker recently sat down with PokerListings to discuss how he’s managed to stay in the game so long, as well as the possibility that Full Tilt Poker could be sold soon.

In regard to the latter, Moneymaker was asked if he thought Full Tilt was struggling. He certainly doesn’t believe this is the case after citing the poker room’s sheer size. But he did say, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Full Tilt is sold off eventually.”

As for the potential buyer, the poker pro believes that a major land-based casino could make the investment. “No, it would rather be a brick-and-mortar casino like Caesars.” He continued by saying, “Any big, affluent casino that can afford to pay $950 million or whatever it’ll cost. Personally, I think that buying Full Tilt was an ingenious move. PokerStars gets lucky in spots, but they also make pretty good decisions.”

Like we mentioned before, Moneymaker has been steadily improving his poker skills over the years. He’s recently received a boost after hiring fellow pro Calvin Anderson to coach him. “Yes, I’m actually speaking to him more than ever. Only the other night we had a five-hour conversation,” he said. “I’m very happy with my game at the moment, all I need is some results coming in. I didn’t get very lucky in coin flip or similar situations lately.”

Moneymaker also offered some advice for aspiring poker players. He said, “If you’re a recreational player, you’re probably better off with a training site that shows video and teaches strategy. But if you want to take it to a professional level, investing money to improve your game is definitely worth it. I know players who haven’t improved in 15 years and the reason is that they’ve never really tried.”

Even 10 years after winning a WSOP Main Event, Chris Moneymaker is still working hard and getting better. This being said, we can expect the famed pro to stick around for many years in the future.

US Government should start making Full Tilt Payouts this Week

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

For well over two years, former US Full Tilt Poker players have waited for their money. Some of these grinders are even owed $1 million or more! Now it finally looks as if players might finally get their money back.

The Garden City Group, which has been tasked with making the payouts, claims that they’re very close to returning funds. It’s unclear exactly what day this will happen, but Garden City says that payouts should start being delivered by the “end of the week.”

When PokerStars purchased Full Tilt for $731 million last year, this amount covered $184 million that was owed to Americans. This being said, many US players expected their money quickly. But people started getting worried when months passed by with no payouts being made. However, the wait looks to be over with Garden City Group ready to make transactions.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans are owed money from the old Full Tilt Poker. Noted pro Blair Hinkle is one of these people, and he’s still due over $1 million from an FTOPS Main Event victory. There are plenty of other pros who are owed fortunes as well.

As for Full Tilt, they were busted along with PokerStars, Absolute Poker and UB Poker by the US Department of Justice on April 15th, 2011 (Black Friday). Just two months after this, they lost their license when it was revealed that that they didn’t have enough funds to cover player deposits.

When Full Tilt went down, they owed players $330 million, over half of which included US player deposits. For a while, many people wondered if they’d ever see their funds again. Then PokerStars bought FTP from the US DOJ and quickly allowed international players to get their money back. Now it looks as if the US government will finally pay the rest of the players.

Phil Ivey having Tough Year in Online Poker

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Often referred to as the “Tiger Woods of Poker,” Phil Ivey is regarded by many as poker’s top all-around player. His past results definitely back up this sentiment since he’d earned $19.24 million in online poker before 2013. However, the key word in this statement is “before” since Ivey is having a miserable time on the cyber felt this year.

Perhaps emulating Tiger Woods’ struggles from a couple of years ago, Ivey has lost over $2 million in 2013. And dating back to November of 2012, when Full Tilt Poker came back online, he’s lost $2.55 million.

So what’s changed from the first decade of his poker career to now? Well he seems to have undergone quite a bit of stress over the past two years. First off, Ivey lost a great deal of money when the old Full Tilt went down in 2011. He then damaged his reputation by launching what many people saw as a self-serving lawsuit to get his investment/money back.

Last summer, he was also involved in an ordeal where he won £7.8 million from Crockfords Casino, only to have Crockfords keep the fortune on suspicion of cheating. Ivey just recently launched a lawsuit against London’s oldest casino to recover the £7.8 million.

Now based on these major events, it’s likely that the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner isn’t fully focused on poker. And if this is the case, it’s hard to keep up with talented and hungry players – even when you’re Phil Ivey.

Despite his recent online poker struggles, Ivey is probably making plenty of money in live games. Plus he had a very impressive tournament year in 2012, after earning $3,657,531 in live tourneys. With the 2013 WSOP right around the corner, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares here.

Full Tilt Poker gets Player Segregation Right

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

One of the bigger poker stories from last week involved Full Tilt Poker rolling out their ‘New to the Game’ tables. The games are meant to help new and/or recreational players get used to real money poker without being throwing into shark-infested waters (a.k.a. player segregation).

New to the Game tables are open to any real money player, they’re offered in low stakes NL Hold’em and Omaha ring games/tournaments, and players can try these tables for 2,000 cash game hands or 75 tourneys. Additionally, New to the Game tables run at a slower pace and players can only try two tables at a time.

The key in all of this is that players can only participate in 2,000 ring game hands or 75 tournaments. And this is where Full Tilt gets the idea of player segregation right, versus other rooms like Party Poker and Lock Poker.

Both Party and Lock run similar player segregation models where they prevent winning grinders from competing against losing players. In Party’s case, they didn’t even warn players about segregation; they just hid the losing players from winners and certain people happened to notice. In either case, there is no limit on how long the players are divided up, which really punishes winners.

Full Tilt, on the other hand, puts a restriction on how long players can try the New to the Game tables. Once the 2k cash game hands or 75 tourneys are up, people are forced to “graduate” to the regular games. What’s more is that everybody has a chance to try these tables, rather than being restricted to losing players.

Segregation is still in the early stages in the online poker world. So it’ll be interesting to see if more sites take a similar approach to the matter as FTP.