Full Tilt Poker – A Consise History
In the Beginning …
Full Tilt Poker was originally conceived in 2003 as an online poker site where you could “Learn, Chat and Play with the Pros”. Started by a number of world´s leading poker players such as Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, Howard Lederer and Eric Seidel, Full Tilt Poker was launched in June 2004 with the help of a software development company (Tiltware) and the company´s CEO, Ray Bitar. Although there were estimated to be 500 other sites providing online poker at the time, Full Tilt Poker quickly rose to prominence due the unprecedented volume and quality of its star names, and due to some impressive software never before witnessed on an online gaming site.
Full Tilt Poker News
The Full Tilt Poker news keeps coming in on a regular basis, stay informed by following us on Twitter or join us on Facebook using the buttons on the top right of our site. Here you find an overview of the 5 latest Full Tilt Poker News articles:
- Full Tilt Poker goes Whale Hunting Posted on: March 28, 2013
- DoJ Hires Full Tilt Claims Administrator Posted on: March 14, 2013
- Full Tilt Poker to Offer Seats to PokerStars EPT London Posted on: January 24, 2013
- Mini-FTOPS XXI Reaches Climax This Weekend Posted on: January 18, 2013
- Howard Lederer Gets Off Light in SDNY Settlement Posted on: December 20, 2012
The Early Years of Full Tilt Poker
Throughout the first few years of operation, Full Tilt Poker grew to be among the top ten online poker sites on the web. Software updates and aggressive marketing had attracted more players to register online poker accounts, and Full Tilt Poker was able to add more well-known, high profile poker players to its professional Team Full Tilt roster. A rewards program, the introduction of the quarterly FTOPS series in August 2006 and valuable sponsorship packages which provided a strong presence throughout the televised 2006 World Series of Poker (the most valuable ever played) all helped Full Tilt Poker grow in stature.
The Effect of UIGEA
In September 2006, the US Government passed the Safe Port Act – a piece of legislation intended to regulate port security – which included the completely unrelated Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This Act prohibited “gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law”. As a result of this legislation, the biggest provider of online poker in the States at the time – Party Poker – withdrew its operations and left a huge void in the market; one which was to be filled by two sites who remain adamant that poker is a game of skill and not an act of gambling – PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.
Post UIGEA Growth
Following a burst of growth, Full Tilt Poker was able to make further improvements to its software, offer more valuable prizes to tournaments players and started to sponsor live poker tournaments. Further television advertising and sponsorship of programs such as “Poker After Dark” and “Learn with the pros” increased Full Tilt Poker´s exposure and, by 2008, they were firmly established as the clear number 2 online poker site in the world.
In a “Rush” to Break Records
On their fifth anniversary in 2009, Full Tilt poker smashed the world record for the highest number of online poker players competing in one tournament and, although the record only lasted less than a day, the achievement highlighted the speed at which the site had grown in just five years. Within six months the world´s most valuable online poker pot ($1,356,947) was contested on Full Tilt Poker between Patrik Antonius and Viktor Blom, and in January 2010, the company announced the introduction of “Rush Poker” – a high speed game which enabled players to compete in over 360 hands per hour. As the popularity of “Rush Poker” grew, the NL Hold´em cash games were extended to more stake levels, to tournaments and to PL Omaha tables.
An Annus Horribilis for Full Tilt Poker
2011 has been a dramatic year for Full Tilt Poker. Twelve months ago, the company and the players on the site were looking forward to another record breaking year. Already noted for the 100 biggest online poker cash game pots of all time, Full Tilt Poker was about to enter it´s twentieth FTOPS series and had just developed a Smartphone app to enable fans of the site´s incredibly popular “Rush Poker” to participate in the games on their mobile devices. Then came Black Friday.
Ratted Out by Tzvetkoff
On April 15th, Full Tilt Poker was one of several poker websites shut down by the US Department of Justice and have its domain name seized by the FBI. As a result of Intabill´s Daniel Tzvetkoff turning State´s evidence to avoid his own charges of fraud and money laundering, Full Tilt Poker was charged with violation of United States federal gambling laws and were temporarily closed. Despite this setback, and the loss of its American market, Full Tilt Poker was up and running again within six days outside of the States – but even their “Rest of the World” operations were soon to come to a halt.
Suspended in Alderney
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission – the entity responsible for issuing Full Tilt Poker´s operating licence – suspended the company´s licence on June 29th, stating that they were concerned about the liquid assets of the company and their ability to pay back players with funds in a Full Tilt Poker account. After a three-month long investigation, the Full Tilt Poker was permanently revoked due to “serious breaches of AGCC regulations include false reporting, unauthorised provision of credit, and failure to report material events”.
Rescued by Tapie
However, during the period of suspension, directors of Full Tilt Poker were in negotiations with several investment groups interested in buying the company. One of the conditions of the sale was that players whose assets were now frozen were repaid when the company was re-launched. Groupe Bernard Tapie – a French investment consortium – emerged from the many names being rumoured as interested, to strike a deal with the US Department of Justice, agree a sale price with the directors of Full Tilt Poker and bring the company back from the dead to the point where it could be up and running as soon as January 2012.
What the Future Holds for Full Tilt Poker
Groupe Bernard Tapie are already hinting at big plans for Full Tilt Poker in 2012, and will be keen to rebuild credibility for the beleaguered web site. How exactly Full Tilt Poker develops from here will be carefully observed by online poker players throughout the world, and it is hoped that it regains some of its former glories over the coming months.