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Full Tilt Poker was started in July of 2004 by a group of poker professionals who were tired of the same old poker rooms. From a small original group consisting of Howard Lederer, Phil Ivey and Chris Ferguson, the team grew and now includes 12 of the world's best players. The last two to have joined the main group are Mike Matusow and Gus Hansen In addition to these 12, there is also a large group called the "Full Tilt Pros", who are called in at special occasions for tournaments or events. If you have seen poker on the television, it is more than likely that you have also seen Full Tilt members, who always sport clothes bearing the Full Tilt logo. As well as providing the guidelines for how the site was developed and functions, of course, these professionals also play there. When you see a row in the lobby with red text, it means that one of the professionals is playing at that table. And, there are no tricky nicknames to keep track of, they all play under their real names.
Full Tilt Poker has marketed itself aggressively since the beginning and that is really beginning to show in the number of visitors - it is not unusual to find more than 20,000 logged in players. It is excellent for a completely stand-alone poker room.
Full Tilt Poker is not part of any of the usual networks, it stands alone in the same way that Party Poker and PokerStars do. This means that Full Tilt's growth has been relatively slow, but now that it enjoys a large and stable base of players, it really pulls out all the stops to give back as much as it can to its users. Regarding Full Tilt's graphics, the site is really unique in the way it displays the tables. When you set up your account, you choose an avatar that will represent you at the table. This avatar can show different emotions, depending on how you're feeling. The table background can also be changed with a simple click, with options such as the Vegas skyline or outer space to choose from. In total, there are 8 different backgrounds available.
The software feels fast and stable and includes the majority of the normal features you expect to find in a poker room, such as notes and statistics. One nice feature is being able to quickly and easily see how previous hands have played out. You can also flick back and forth to any hand that has been played since your window was opened.
The Full Tilt lobby has a clean and pleasant look and is easy to navigate. The list over the tables includes the average pot size, average number of players and how many hands have been played over the last hour. Overall, the lobby is very well laid out.
As mentioned previously, at the beginning Full Tilt experienced a few difficulties with numbers of players. It was often the site would have good players trying it out, meaning that Full Tilt quickly built up a reputation as having the tightest games on the net. Over time, more and more people have come to the site and the majority stay, making Full Tilt their first choice among online poker rooms. The number of different tables on offer is huge and you can find levels from $0.05/$0.10 up to $1,000/$2,000. However, most players congregate around the low or medium levels. You can find the normal games, such as Texas Hold´em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud and Stud Hi-Lo, but the site also offers the more unusual Razz. Sometimes, special tables for H.O.R.S.E are set up; it remains to be seen if it becomes a stand-alone game in the future.
Full Tilt has really focused on being an enticing alternative for players who are interested in tournaments. They offer a huge number of tournaments with guaranteed pots. You can also find tournaments for all types offered as cash games, including Razz and Stud Hi-Low tournaments which may be difficult to find elsewhere. They are also offering H.O.R.S.E tournaments, which are becoming increasingly popular since its introduction with an event with a $50,000 buy in at the 2006 WSOP. H.O.R.S.E tournaments cycle between Texas Hold'em, Omaha 8/Better, Razz, 7-Card Stud High, and Eight/Better 7-Card Stud every tenth minute, making it very challenging but also enjoyable
Even if Full Tilt only offers support via email and through their FAQ, it is still good and provides its users with quick replies as they are open around the clock.
Email support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deposits: Neteller, Mastercard, Visa, FirePay, ePassporte
Withdrawals: Neteller, Check, ePassporte, FirePay
Minimum deposit: $50
The ability to play with 12 different poker professionals
Limited withdrawal options
A slightly higher than average rake