The Full Tilt platform will merge with PokerStars on May 17 and consequently create a new iPoker market leader as the game’s two biggest online networks unite. First announced in February by parent owner Rational Group, the unification will lead to the closure of Full Tilt’s software.
The goal is to unify all of Amaya’s properties, the Canadian gaming conglomerate that paid $4.9 billion for PokerStars and Full Tilt’s parent organizations in 2014, and have players use a single account for PokerStars, BetStars, StarsDraft, and Duel.
“Players will benefit from a larger pool of players,” Rational CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said in February. Ashkenazi also explained that focusing on one poker network instead of two will allow the company “to innovate more quickly and enter newly regulated and existing markets swiftly.”
Full Tilt players should expect an advisory email soon on how the merger will transpire. For those already with existing PokerStars accounts, the transition should be seamless, with VIP points and cash balances moving to the PokerStars client automatically.
Full Tilt Circle
Rational and Amaya’s decision to combine Full Tilt into PokerStars effectively brings an end to one of the most popular, and one of the most scandalous, iPoker networks in history.
Founded in 2004 by a group of poker pros, Full Tilt was one of the world’s biggest Internet poker players prior to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) seizing of its dot-com domain on April 15, 2011.
Along with PokerStars, Absolute Poker, and Ultimate Bet, Full Tilt was charged with fraud, money laundering, and violating gambling laws in the US. The DOJ dismissed all civil complaints against Full Tilt after it was announced that PokerStars would buy Full Tilt.
Five years later and now under the Amaya umbrella, the Full Tilt story is coming to a close.
While PokerStars was able to weather the DOJ storm, the site now back in America thanks to its licensing in New Jersey, Full Tilt was never able to overcome its tarnished reputation in the US.
A sect of players are still trying to be reimbursed by Full Tilt. The official Full Tilt Poker Claims Administration reports that 94 percent of player balances have been repaid, but the latest group of petitions has been denied.
According to the Garden City Group (GCG), the claims administrator for the settlement, the DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section denied 1,500 petitions. A specific reason for the denial isn’t listed publicly, but GCG says petitioners received details on the action through email.
The last round of payments came in March when the GCG delivered another $2.6 million to approximately 1,180 former Full Tilt customers. More than $130 million has been delivered by the GCG through 11 disbursements.
Information regarding this week’s denial was quickly posted to the Two Plus Two poker forums.
“I just received an email stating they are recommending me for denial because my balance after affiliate payments is zero,” Two Plus Two poster “razorbacker,” said. “My plan is to resubmit all of the documentation and also include in the letter that I am being punished because a shady company set up my account.”