After being absent from the poker world for over 16 months, Full Tilt Poker is scheduled to re-open in non-U.S. jurisdictions tomorrow.
In the time since Full Tilt went offline we’ve seen the rise and fall of the Epic Poker Tour, Phil Hellmuth finish second in the WSOP POY race in back-to-back years and the migration of U.S. online poker players to countries where they can still play.
In short: a lot has happened.
It’s been so long and there’s been so much controversy it’s easy to forget what made Full Tilt Poker great in the first place..
Obviously the best thing about Full Tilt Poker’s return is that players (at least European ones) will finally be getting access to their account balances.
Outside of that here are the seven items that have us excited about the Full Tilt Poker revival.
7. Best Looking Software in Poker
Despite over a year without upgrades there is something timeless about the look of the Full Tilt software..
It’s simple but not boring. It scales well and runs fast. It feels like professional-grade software compared to the amateur offerings from rivals.
Every feature of the software from the very functional lobby to the card animations has been carefully designed.
6. Nosebleed Cash Games
There’s a good chance you don’t actually play the nosebleed high-stakes games on Full Tilt Poker but they are damn fine entertainment.
The actual Full Tilt team has been cut down to Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom but there’s a good chance it won’t take long for players like Dan “jungleman12” Cates, Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond and Patrik Antonius to return to the site where they made names for themselves.
The high-stakes games on Full Tilt Poker were legendary and Isildur1 brought the poker world to a standstill when he went on his record-setting multi-million dollar swing in the fall of 2009.
Some of the high-stakes action has since moved to PokerStars but we're guessing that Gus Hansen and Viktor Blom can convince more than a few pros to take a crack at Full Tilt's elite games.
Full Tilt, high-stakes online poker and Rail Heaven will always be synonymous.
5. Best Avatars in Poker
Yeah this one is pretty subjective and we tend to play with avatars hidden.
But ninja, surfer guy and wizard are arguably more famous than some of the former lesser-known red pros on FTP.
After spending some time playing play money over the last week it looks like all the avatars will be returning to FTP.
Remember, Surfer Guy is a calling station.
4. Full Tilt Poker to PokerStars Transfers
The whole Full Tilt situation since Black Friday has been a complete and utter mess.
Countless players have had countless sleepless nights wondering when, and if, they would ever get their money back.
There is at least one positive to come out of the situation: Full Tilt Poker to PokerStars transfers.
Being able to transfer cash between the two biggest online poker sites in the world is pretty awesome no matter how you look at it.
Want to take a shot at the high-stakes cash games on Full Tilt after binking a tournament score on PokerStars? Done.
Need some extra cash on PokerStars to make SuperNova Elite? Fine. It’s a whole new world.
3. Custom Tables, Lobby and Interface
Despite its signature look, Full Tilt Poker was also one of the easiest poker clients to mod and some players had fantastic custom set-ups.
First of all Full Tilt offers the ability to change the lobby thanks to its configurable widgets.
You can go even more in-depth, however, and completely change the entire Full Tilt experience.
With a little technical know-how it was possible to modify logos, avatars and backgrounds to create awesome custom creations.
Check out our How to Mod Your Full Tilt Poker Client article to see how to customize your Full Tilt client.
OK, while it’s true that the traditional affiliate-based rakeback offered by Full Tilt in the past won’t be returning, the new Edge program has the potential to be lucrative in its own right.
Edge is a pretty simple cash-back program where there are five different status levels including bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond.
Make it to silver and you’ll start earning $1 every week for every 100 Full Tilt points earned. If you make it all the way to diamond status you’ll receive $2.50 for every 100 Full Tilt points earned.
The program is universal so every player has access to it. That’s cash being deposited directly into your account every week.
The end result works out to be 10-25% rakeback and while that’s not as good as the old 27% rakeback, once you add other bonuses into the equation, there are still some good deals to be had on Full Tilt.
1. Rush Poker
The market has been inundated with fast-fold poker games but Rush Poker remains the original, and best, version.
Full Tilt also offers Rush MTTs, which is something the rest of the industry hasn’t quite caught up to yet.
The old Rush On Demand tournaments started when a set number of players had signed up, like a Sit & Go, but players could then register late to create massive prizepools.
The $4.40 On Demand Rush tourney always seemed particularly soft and multi-tabling On Demand tournaments was a create way to crank out FTPs.
It's time to get busy.