Full Tilt Managing Director Dominic Mansour: "The Poker Economy Is Broken"
"Full Tilt is making some big changes over the coming weeks and months to not only bring the fun back to online poker but also to make the site more exciting," the room's Managing Director Dominic Mansour announced in a long post published on the operator's website last week.
According to Mansour, the way the poker industry has developed in recent years has imposed a complete overhaul of the poker room's functionality to ensure business stays sustainable for both the operator and players active on the platform.
"The online poker and gaming landscape continues to change dramatically, with markets, regulation, technology, and consumer habits shifting quickly and, in many ways, turning the poker industry on its head," Mansour said.
To date, Full Tilt is the seventh-largest online poker room — the fifth if you consider only the 'dot com' market — with a seven-day average of 1,000 real-money ring-game players and a 24-hour peak of 1,833 according to PokerScout.
"In today's online poker world, unless you are the market leader enjoying the 'more you have, more you get' network-effects of mass liquidity, the ratio of the casual-to-professional player has become unbalanced," Mansour continued.
To reverse this, and to make sure that Full Tilt once again becomes a popular site for recreational players and beginners alike, the site is ready to implement significant changes in its rake structure and undergo a total overhaul of its rewards program.
"The skill gap between professional and casual players has grown."
"There are simply not enough casual players in the smaller networks and the skill gap between professional and casual players has grown," Mansour explained, adding that this causes "a worse experience, proven through shorter lifetimes and faster losses. Unless you are the leader, the poker economy in 2015 is broken, and that affects everything."
The New Full Tilt Wants To Be Attractive to "All Players"
"Full Tilt is making some big changes over the coming weeks and months," Mansour promised. "[We] will not only bring the fun back to online poker but also make the site more exciting, all while improving the poker-playing experience and in turn increasing loyalty."
Although it is not yet clear if the room's plans are to go down the road already explored by other companies like Unibet and partypoker, which have tried to refocus their long-term strategies and come up a more casual players-friendly approach to the game, Mansour hinted at some changes that will probably make the room's regulars raise an eyebrow.
"The rake structure will involve increasing contributions at the micro stakes (up to $0.05/$0.10) and increasing the rake cap at higher stakes ($5/$10 and $10/$20). It will remain the same everywhere else."
The rake changes, however, are not the only changes coming to Full Tilt, as Mansour went on to say: "We are reinventing our rewards program so that it's genuinely attractive to all players, not just those that play the most."
According to the room's Managing Director, the new program will go to the heart of what Full Tilt stands for: "Playing for the love of the game."
The 'new Full Tilt' will come with a new ring-game lobby aimed at making the playing experience "as welcoming and fair as possible," and will also offer mobile apps to make sure that those who like to play from smartphones or tablets are not cut out from the action.
"We consider this revamp to be the key to Full Tilt's commitment to fairness."
"We consider this revamp to be the key to Full Tilt's commitment to fairness, which in turn will attract more players," Mansour concluded. "We believe that good things happen to those who play and the steps that we are taking will see more good things happening to players at Full Tilt.