Troubled poker room Full Tilt is running a mini-series from Sunday until January 20. If this is not successful, it could be curtains for what was once one of the most exciting rooms on the Web.
Details of the mini-series can currently be found here. These series have been extremely popular in the past primarily because of the small buy-ins, complete with satellites, but this one needs more than ever to succeed.
Over Christmas, Full Tilt and its new owner PokerStars were offering a $20 no strings attached freebie, and although there is now no rakeback, Full Tilt is currently offering both a generous reload bonus and a decent player loyalty scheme. The big question though is, will this be enough to retain and grow its membership base?
The Black Friday domain seizures of April 2011 killed two of the Web’s most popular sites, Ultimatebet and its sister site Absolute Poker, although the former struggled on bravely for a while. For a long time it looked as though Full Tilt would go the same way, but salvation was at hand. But, and this is a big but, it was away for over a year, which is a long time even for the most loyal and dedicated of fans to wait. Last night as ever there was a long list of voided tournaments, including especially the not so popular games, like razz. Having said that, by 10.20 London time this morning, the $20 + $2 pot limit Omaha hi lo event in the mini-series had 179 buy-ins, which at this stage are probably mostly direct. If the other events are as well patronised, Full Tilt may still be in business this time next year.
A screengrab from the “new” Full Tilt Poker. Less than ten thousand players on the site, and a long list of voided tournaments, including freerolls.
[The above article was published January 2, 2013. I have replaced the link in the second paragraph with a link to an archived version of the Full Tilt promotions page. I have also made one or two very small corrections, including replacing a colon with a comma].