Last month, Full Tilt poker announced some big changes to its player rewards and tiers.
Today, Full Tilt's changes have come into effect and have been laid out more explicitly. To make the transition simpler, we'll give you a breakdown of all the changes made at Full Tilt and what those changes mean to you; the players.
Full Tilt's Big Changes
Full Tilt's big focus with this update is player tiers. Their worry is that the level of play in Poker has become so high that it's like a school sports day being held in the middle of the Olympics.
The best players are getting better, whilst casual players just want to play the game as they always have. Stuck in between them are the mid range players, who aren't invested enough to join the pros, but can still run circles around casual players.
All the best players have joined Full Tilt's own elite membership called Edge. This leaves everyone else playing in the same lobbies, with huge divides in their skill level.
This has created a problem because it puts off casual players, who are the majority of their customers. Given that there are so many alternative ways to play Poker, away from the elite players, this has broken Full Tilt into a bit of a sweat.
Because of this Full Tilt have done two things:
- Added a new player tier called “Player's Club”
- Increased rewards for players outside of Edge membership
Anyone who signs into Full Tilt will have an account with Player's Club. Even Edge members will have a membership with Player's Club.
Player's Club is a way to reward the general player. Previously, only Edge members had access to regular high stakes tournaments, random prize drops and large jackpots.
However, that's all been changed now. Player's club is getting a plethora of Edge member benefits, such as:
- Daily added money tournaments
- Doubling rewards for freeroll tournaments
- Mystery prizes given to those who play a few times a week
The library of games is even being expanded with a new game called ‘The Deal'. This will be available to all players. There are no details at the moment, but it is described as “fun, fast action”, which can't help but peak interest.
The final big update is the inclusion of a huge $100,000 jackpot which all players are in the running to possibly win.
The Huge Jackpot And How It's Paid For
It's impressive that in the process of adding a whole new player tier, prizes and tournament types, that Full Tilt would also add in a constantly winnable jackpot of such a high value.
What's even more impressive is that they promise to double it to $200,000 within the next few months. So you can win even more, more often.
You may question where this prize money is coming from, since Full Tilt haven't increased their prices for membership or added in any hidden subscription fees. Luckily, Full Tilt are very open about where they have taken this increased revenue and it seems to be a fair and well executed approach to making the overall experience more exciting.
In their original update announcement they made it very clear that they will also be restructuring their raking contribution, or effectively, how much commission they take from the pot.
- They have increased the minimum micro stake bet in some game types from $0.01/$0.02 up to $0.05/$0.10.
- They have also increased their rake cap within the higher stakes range ($5/$10 and $10/$20).
- All of their other ranges will be left alone and their rake will remain as it always has.
In the end, this costs the consumer very little and adds in a whole new range of prizes and jackpots to be won. However, some could argue that their rake increase in the lower tier stakes and not in the higher stakes could indicate that they don't want to impose extra costs on their regular high spending customers, therefore chasing them away.
What This Changes For The Players
Full Tilt's entire philosophy with this update is to reward their lower tier players, whilst keeping their elite players happy. By more narrowly categorizing players into games which match their skills better, they have made a step towards accomplishing this.
Edge players do get a Player's Club account, but the assumption is that they will return to their Edge membership and continue there. The gesture appears customary, since the point of the update is to rank players better. Edge players using Player's Club would defeat the point of this.
- Casual visitors will be getting more of their pot raked, but now have access to a larger Jackpot, more regular prize drops and a much fairer experience.
- The hope is that Edge players will remain in the Edge member matches.
- Mid range players will use Player's Club, to have the experience of a membership without laying down the extra price to join Edge.
- Finally, the casual players will continue as they always have and enjoy a fairer experience against other casual players outside of both memberships.
Fundamentally, the changes for everyone but Edge members are minutely higher pot costs and a more balanced experience.
What About The Edge Players
It is clearly a worry of Full Tilt's to not alienate their higher end players. They have made a few additions to Edge membership to show its members that they are still concerned with their experience.
The addition of a new game, a big jackpot and mystery prize drops are all part of this. Similarly, they have specifically changed reward earned by only Edge members. Unfortunately, they haven't gone into further details about this, but it is proof that they are aware of upsetting their loyal player base.
The Future Of Full Tilt
Full Tilt has put into action its plans to make their experience fairer and tailored to the wants of each one of its customers. How effective this will be, we'll have to wait and see.
But they've walked a fine line in pleasing new customers, while proving to their existing customers that they still care about their experience. It's an impressive update and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out into the future.