The Quick Summary
Celebrity-studded Full Tilt Poker was founded in 2004 and designed by some of the world’s top pros, including Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson. The former founded TiltWare, a software company that originally developed Full Tilt Poker’s proprietary software.
With a roster of over 65 sponsored players and an excellent variety of games, Full Tilt Poker has gone from strength to strength and looks set to keep its place among the top online poker rooms in the world.
Popularity: 9 of 10 – Excellent
Full Tilt Poker stayed open to US players, which means its traffic stayed high through the rough UIGEA patch. Besides this, their vast roster of sponsored poker celebrities – many of which play exclusively at Full Tilt Poker – attracts droves of aspiring poker players, who want a chance to rail, chat or play with the likes of Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Patrik Antonius.
Full Tilt Poker offers a wide variety of games: Hold’em, Omaha Hi and Hi-Lo, Seven-Card Stud Hi and Hi-Lo, Five-Card Draw and Razz, as well as mixed games HORSE, HOSE (HORSE without the Razz) and HA (Hold’em and Omaha Hi.) In spite of this variety, traffic is still heavily concentrated at the Hold’em tables.
Security: 9 of 10 – Excellent
As a large and popular site, Full Tilt Poker takes great pains to maintain high levels of security and trust: from using 128-bit SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online to keeping the servers that store sensitive information inside a locked cage. With no reported financial or security issues to date, Full Tilt Poker gets full marks for trust.
Player Competition: 8 of 10 – Good
Full Tilt Poker features both ends of the poker spectrum: you can play against the world’s most celebrated pros and leave your lifeblood (and bankroll) on the felt, or you can take advantage of all the star-struck poker beginners who come to the site attracted by the famous players and excellent advertising. Keep in mind that new players swarm at the lower stakes, but from medium stakes upwards the competition is harder than average. Some recommend trying the Omaha and mixed games, where many inexperienced players venture.
Site Software: 8 of 10 – Good
Full Tilt Poker’s unique software has been praised by some as one of the best in the industry. It is indeed fast, attractive and functional, with fun details such as different facial expressions for the cartoony avatars. It offers all the standard features: 4-color deck, hand histories, an option to disable unwanted sounds and graphics; hand history access and note-taking facilities are also top-notch.
Full Tilt Poker software allows smooth multitabling up to 8 tables, with special features such as mini-view, a “time bank” for tough decisions and the option to retain the same position in different tables.
Customer Support: 8 of 10 – Excellent
It is a pity that such a well thought out site does not offer more than email support, while smaller sites have chat and phone support as well. But nevertheless Full Tilt Poker’s support is timely and efficient except at times of great demands on the support team such as software updates.
Company Ethics: 9 of 10 – Excellent
A site designed by players and for players, Full Tilt Poker keeps improving its software and tournaments frequently to cater to its growing clientele. Their Responsible Gaming program is well thought out and publicized, including careful age verification and a number of measures – such as voluntary suspension and self exclusion – to prevent and combat problem gaming.
Site Promotions: 7 of 10 – Good
Full Tilt Poker’s sign up promos are not very different from the industry standard: they offer a 100% first deposit bonus up to $600 and an occasional 50% reload bonus. Their special tourneys are more attractive, including the Sunday Brawl, a $1 million monthly guarantee and special “happy hours” during which players accrue double and triple Full Tilt Poker Points for their play.
Overall Review: 8.29 of 10 – Very Good
Full Tilt Poker is highly recommended for its excellent software, high security standards and attractive tourneys – but above all for the chance to rub elbows with poker royalty at the tables.
Final Result: We give Full Tilt Poker Poker a final overall score of 8.29 out of 10.