Full Tilt Poker rolled out more drastic changes today designed to attract and retain more recreational players.
Hinted at by Managing Director Dominic Mansour at the 2015 WSOP the changes are widespread and dramatically alter the player landscape at Full Tilt.
The principal change is the removal of table and seat selection from the lobby to mimic the feel and set-up of a live poker room and eliminate the targeting of weaker players.
If you want to play $1/$2, you can pick that game in the lobby but you can’t choose where you sit.
Tables start automatically when there are enough players – usually three or four – and are merged when players leave.
There will be a check box where you can request to get moved to another table. You’ll be moved if there’s a seat available anywhere.
Heads-Up Tables Eliminated at Full Tilt Poker
To further level the playing field all heads-up tables have been eliminated. According to Mansour:
"We’re doing this for two important reasons; firstly, Heads Up games were being adversely impacted by the minority of experienced players who targeted ‘weaker’ opponents rather than take on all challengers.
"Secondly, new players who tried out the Heads Up games found it intimidating and confusing (asking themselves 'why are all these guys not playing each other?')."
Also eliminated are the Stud, Draw and Mixed games and the Nosebleed tables that made Full Tilt famous.
Multi-tabling is now limited to six tables per game; four if you’re playing Rush Poker. You can still play more than six tables if you play different levels at the same time.
The general idea is that you can’t sit down to try and beat certain (recreational) players, but rather you have to beat a level against any players there.
Virtual Timers, Hit-and-Run Prevented
Also coming into play will be virtual timers.
Players who try to join and leave table after table in hopes of being seated at the "right" one will be locked out if they join too many tables within a two-hour time span.
Player Ambassador Marc Kennedy
Hit-and-run players will be required to buy-in with all the money they just won, even if it’s more than the minimum buy-in.
If they just doubled up they can’t join a new table with anything less than what they have.
Full Tilt's not done with changes, either. Mansour has indicated more changes are to come and the banning of HUDs and all third-party software will be up for discussion in the near future.
Full Tilt could go from a "reg" site to a “no trackers allowed” site.
New Era for Online Groundbreaker
As always some players like the changes and some don’t. A discussion on 2+2 has started with newly appointed FT player ambassador Marc Kennedy (sparky999 on 2+2) fielding questions about the changes.
The majority of the community seems to agree with the new face of Full Tilt although player numbers are dropping even further in the immediate face of the changes.
As Global Poker Index CEO Alex Dreyfus suggested it's a measure of short-term pain for long-term gain:
Bold moves @FullTiltPoker to make it a recreational centric poker platform - Short term = hard, long term = good— Alexandre Dreyfus (@alex_dreyfus) July 28, 2015
Full Tilt has already raised the rake on micro and low stakes games to generate funds for new promotions. Major changes to the rewards programs are also planned to further incentives for casual players.
There are also plans to start a live tournament series, Mansour says. Read more about Full Tilt on our review page.