All true geeks of the world share an understanding of one very important principal: no matter what it is, it's always better after it's been modded, customized and hacked.
Being a true geek, I've come to the conclusion that using the standard images and sounds that ship with the standard Full Tilt client just won't do.
Modding Your Poker Client is Simple
The beauty of modding your Full Tilt client is that it's actually very simple and will only take as much time as you're willing to put into it.
The first thing to understand is this is 100% legal. Full Tilt ships its software with its sounds and images unprotected and easily accessible. Only you can see the changes you make and it does not affect the game play in any way.
The First Step
Regardless of which way you choose to mod your client, the first step is the same. The golden rule for modding or hacking is universal: back up everything before you do anything.
The only folder you're going to be working with is the Graphics folder found in the Full Tilt program folder. On most computers the Full Tilt program folder can be found here:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics
Copy this folder to someplace safe, like your desktop. This way if anything goes wrong, or you just want to revert back to normal, you can simply copy the folder back (or if all else fails, re-install the program to reset to default).
There are hundreds of people out there who have modded their clients long before you ever thought about it.
Many of these people will offer up their mods for free or for a fee, depending on how nice they are. You can find these mods in most poker forums.
All you have to do is copy their folders over your own, re-start your client and you're up and running. Simple as that.
Some of the more tech-savvy modders out there have created a self-install program for their mods.
These are identical to the previous example, only instead of you having to click and drag folders into the correct spots, you just hit install and it does it for you.
Other than that, there are no differences between a self install and simply having someone send you a ZIP of all the files and folders.
Do It Yourself
The true geek always wants something original, something personal. Even if it sucks, it's just something you can look at and say "I did that."
For that reason, I'm going to show you how to mod the bejesus out of Full Tilt by yourself.
Everything You See Can Be Modded
You can change just about anything you see. The more you want to change, the more time you're going to have to spend. But to make a really slick custom experience, it only takes a few hours (assuming you're decent with Photoshop).
I'll show you some of the changes I've made and how to make them. To make more, just browse through the Graphics folder and see what you recognize and would like to change.
The Log In
The first screen you see when you start up Full Tilt is the Log-In screen (unless you have it automatically log you in). This is the first screen I've made changes on. The default screen looks like this:
Since that's not very much fun, I made just a few changes:
The biggest change is turning Patrik Antonius into Mr. Burns. To do this browse to:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\Log-In\Pro-Antonius.png
In there you'll see the photo of Antonius. You want to open that photo and replace Patrik with Mr. Burns (Or whatever you'd like to put there. Other options I considered included: Megan Fox, Foghorn Leghorn and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man).
When editing photos you need to make sure you do not alter the actual photo size, properties or format.
The simplest way to make sure you don't do this is to open the Antonius photo in Photoshop and create a new layer. Put what you want over top of Antonius and then hide the Antonius layer:
Save the photo over top of the old one (you've backed up the original right?) and you've finished your first mod.
As you can see I changed the Full Tilt logo to my own PokerListings logo and I've changed the Chris "Jesus" Ferguson video intro to Stewie.
These two mods will appear in the client lobby as well. You can find the files here:
Logo: C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\Logo\Logo.png
Video Cover: C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\MIA\Content\start_plate.jpg
Creating Custom Poker Avatars
If you have avatars enabled, this can be one of the most fun things to mod. Here's an example of a Brian avatar I made for myself.
The first thing to note about creating a custom avatar on Full Tilt is that you will be the only user who can see it. The rest of the world will see the stock avatar your custom one is replacing.
To edit an avatar, simply head to this folder:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\Table\Avatars\Public
In this folder you will see 72 numbered folders. Each folder contains four images which make up each avatar's various moods.
To find your avatar to change, open the public.png picture located at the bottom of the folder.
Find your avatar and count how many places your avatar is from the left. Since the folders start at 0, if your avatar is the 15th from the left, you'll find its images in folder #14.
Open that folder and edit the image 0.png in Photoshop. Change it to whatever you would like, then save your new avatar over the old one.
You will only have your custom avatar for the one "neutral" mood unless you copy your avatar (or a separate version of the avatar) over the remaining .png images in that folder.
You can see your newly edited avatar in the avatar selection list in the Full Tilt Client.
Creating Custom Poker Tables
Modding the log-in screen is fun, but the actual tables are where you spend 99% of your time with the client. This is where you want to spend the majority of your time modding.
Modding the table isn't quite as easy as the other items, but it's not altogether difficult either. The first thing you need to know is that there are two different types of tables on Full Tilt: Classic and RaceTrack.
Most serious poker players use the RaceTrack tables. These tables give maximum area to the playing field, instead of avatars and graphics. But it's up to you to choose which one you like best and mod accordingly.
Tables are made out of multiple parts. There's a background, table, cards, chips, pods (where your username and info is) and other random pieces. You can change as many or as few of these elements as you like.
Before we get into actually modding the tables, there is one more important thing to know. The background and the table are separate files. Each table has its own unique background, while all tables share the same table image.
While the background images are simple JPEG images, the table image is an .SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic). To edit an .SVG you need vector graphic editing software, such as Adobe Illustrator.
In my opinion editing this is far too much work and is too limiting to be worthwhile. Instead of editing this table, replace the table file with a blank/transparent one.
This will leave all tables in the client "table less," with the chips and cards floating in space. This also allows you to add a custom table directly into the background image, giving you the freedom to mod your table separately for each background.
The Table.svg file can be found here:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\NewTable\RaceTrack\Backgrounds\Table.svg
If you would like to use a blank table, download the file below by right-clicking and choosing "save file as" or "save link as" and replace the Table.svg on your local disk.
Table.svg || Mirror
Now, it's time to create your own backgrounds. When doing this you need to decide what's more important: a cool looking table or a simple, easy-to-use table.
Most people who mod their tables do it to make things as simple as possible. The less distracting your tables are, the less likely you are to make a mistake while multi-tabling 16 tables.
Here are two tables I made for this example. I literally only spent five minutes on each one, as they are only made for this blog (so no need to point out flaws in the comments).
How to Install your Background into the Client
You have two options for adding your new table background into the client. The easy way is to open up any Table.jpg file found in any of the folders here:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\NewTable\RaceTrack\Backgrounds
Edit the file and save over the original. This will replace the table for whichever folder you opened.
If you saved over the Table.jpg file in the Green Carpet folder, when you choose Green Carpet as your table in the client, you will see your new table instead.
The true geek way to do it is to create your own folder for each background you create and add those folders into the table selection list in the client.
Steps to Adding your Folders
1. Create a folder in the backgrounds parent and name it something fitting.
2. Copy a Table.jpg file from any other folder into your new folder.
3. Edit that Table.jpg file however you want (remember to include a picture of a table if you used the blank vector graphic)
4. Save your edited picture
5. Open Backgrounds.ini in Notepad
The Backgrounds.ini file can be found here:
C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\NewTable\RaceTrack\Backgrounds\Backgrounds.ini
To open this file in Notepad, right click on the file and choose "Open With." Click on notepad.
You need to replace the default folders in the list and below with your own. Since the default backgrounds no longer have an actual table, you can simply remove them from the list.
Since I created two custom tables, I have both of mine in my list. Your file should look like this (with your folder names in place of mine "StayPos" and "Matrix".
You need to make sure that your backgrounds are all above "Final". And all of your tables have FinalOnly=1 as their bottom line. The one background with FinalOnly=1 is the table used for Multi Table Tournament final tables.
You can only have one final table background, and it has to be last in your list. I left mine as I found it.
6. Open Layout.xml in Notepad.
Layout.xml can be found here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\NewTable\RaceTrack\Layout.xml
This folder is filled with settings and information. Be careful not to mess around with anything in here unless you know what you're doing.
Hit Ctrl-F and enter "Marble" into the search box. It should find the word and highlight it here (I've highlighted the section we're going to edit in yellow):
Read through the first line until you get to Red Carpet. This you need to change to the name of the folder you used as the first line in the Backgrounds.ini list.
Change that, and change the id="" to the name used for the id in the Backgrounds.ini (it should be the same as the folder).
If you have multiple backgrounds, continue to edit lines below the first in the correct order. Once you have all your folders names added, you need to remove all lines between your folders and the line with the id="Final Table".
When you're done your file should look like this (only with your folder names in place of mine):
Hit save and you're done. Now start (or re-start) your Full Tilt Client.
When you first open a table the tables might be all white and messed up. Just right-click and choose the name of the background you would like to use.
Once you do that, you're done.
Browse around and make any more changes you like. If you have any questions, post them in the comments box below.