With the re-launch of Full Tilt Poker just three weeks away, more details are coming out about what players can expect from their online poker experience at the once-powerful internet poker room.
On Friday, Shyam Markus, Full Tilt’s Poker Room Manager, explained on the Two Plus Two poker forum how much of his poker room’s new loyalty program would work. Gone is the 27 percent rakeback that many players were getting from affiliates. Gone is the popular Iron Man promotion. In their place, Full Tilt hopes, is a simpler program that will benefit all players.
Markus, who used to post as “FTPDoug” on Two Plus Two, said that the company is not prepared to reveal all the details of the loyalty program, but the meat of it was made available for public consumption.
The biggest aspect of the program that players needed to digest was the elimination of affiliate-paid rakeback, replaced with weekly cash rewards payments, essentially internal rakeback. The payments will be based on the number of FTP points earned during the week and will max out at $2.50 for every 100 points. Because Markus said that the $2.50/100 will be the top rate, it is understood that there will be loyalty tiers based on levels of play, though those tiers have yet to be explained.
Thus, as far as a flat “rakeback” system goes, players can earn as much as 25 percent. One benefit of the new system that Markus touted was that when FTP points are spent in the store, there will be no fee reductions like there were with the old Full Tilt. Therefore, players will effectively earn an extra few percent “rakeback,” increasing the value of all promotions.
Because the cash rewards will be doled out based on Full Tilt Poker points, points will be awarded based on the Weighted Contributed method, instead of the Dealt Method, as they had been during Full Tilt’s previous incarnation. With Weighted Contributed, players are given FTP points based on the percent of the pot for which they directly accounted in a hand. For example, if a player bet $2 during a hand in which the pot grew to $10, that player’s weighted contribution was 20 percent. He would then get 20 percent of the FTP points for that hand.
As a mentioned, the Iron Man promo will disappear, but players who were left hanging on Iron Man when Full Tilt disappeared last year will be rewarded in some unspecified way. Markus said they “will likely get a leg up in the new program from the start.”
The same “leg up” goes for Black Card players, though Black Card will return at some point after the relaunch. Details have yet to be released, though Black Card will be different than it once was. The Black Card store will be available to all players in the top tier of the new loyalty system, a tier which Markus said will be “significantly easier to achieve than Black Card was.”
So far, reaction on the poker forums has been mostly negative, though it should be noted that form posters skew towards the high volume grinder population. Because players were used to 27 percent rakeback and heaps of rewards promos like Iron Man, they are disappointed with what is perceived to be a reduced rewards system. At the same time, it seems to many that low stakes players will suffer, as they will not be able to reach higher rewards tiers and therefore not come close to the 27 percent rakeback they once received.
Additionally, the move from the Dealt Method of FTP points calculation to Weighted Contribution is something that usually gets players upset. Others have maintained a “wait and see” approach, wanting to see exactly how easy or difficult it will be to reach the upper tiers of the rewards program before decided whether or not the new system is satisfactory.