The player pools for PokerStars and Full Tilt will officially be combined on May 17, according to poker media reports.
PokerStars + Full Tilt = ?
The news that the two online poker platforms would be combined into one is not new — that came to light back in February.
But the timeline for the change wasn’t known until reports from Poker Industry Pro.
Full Tilt will continue to exist as a brand after the May 17 changeover, but any differences for players will largely be cosmetic. For instance, the look for those still using the Full Tilt brand apparently will be much the same as previously, including the use of the Full Tilt avatars.
The tournaments and cash games on PokerStars and Full Tilt will be the same across the platforms. According to OPR, one of the few remaining differences will be that “Full Tilt players will retain access to The Deal game which formed the centerpiece of the VIP scheme revamp implemented in late March.”
According to PIP, “Full Tilt players will be emailed with how the migration will affect them” in the coming days. Players will only use one account to access both the PokerStars and Full Tilt platforms moving forward.
Why the change for Full Tilt?
The Full Tilt brand on its own has not met expectations since it was acquired by PokerStars parent company Amaya in 2012.
Liquidity at Full Tilt has been much lower than during its pre-Black Friday days, when it was often the No. 2 operator in the space. During a recent check of traffic at PokerScout, Full Tilt was sitting at No. 14. It generally sits outside of the top 10 in cash-game liquidity across all online poker operators.
What’s next for PokerStars and Full Tilt?
Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of Rational Group, offered the following in a press release when the migration of Full Tilt players was first announced in the winter:
“Players will benefit from a larger pool of players offering greater game choice, bigger prize pools. It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly.”
Migrating players to a single pool will result in lower costs for Amaya, which will no longer have to support two separate player ecosystems and software platforms. The earlier press release also indicated that the change would result in layoffs from the Full Tilt office in Dublin.