PokerStars To Shut Down Full Tilt Poker
PokerStars is finally pulling the plug on Full Tilt Poker. The operator giant has announced that come Feb. 25, Full Tilt’s entire database will be merged with that of the PokerStars platform, thereby discontinuing Full Tilt’s own mobile and desktop platforms. As for existing account balances, information, and bonuses, these will all be automatically migrated to PokerStars’ own platform.
As for the reason behind the closure and mass migration, PokerStars explained that its focus on the development of the Full Tilt brand has not been completely what it should have been, with all of its available time and money and other resources largely spent on improving the PokerStars experience, and the PokerStars platform instead. The time had therefore come to merge the two platforms so as to ensure a quality experience for all customers across the board, said the famous Poker provider.
The Full Tilt Story
Launched in 2004 by an alliance of Poker professionals, Full Tilt soon grew to be the second-largest online Poker site in the world. If anything, the Full Tilt platform enjoyed a reputation of quality players, professional ambassadors, and fantastic software.
But it all came crashing down on April 15, 2011, when it emerged how an investigation had exposed Full Tilt as nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. An investigation by the US Department of Justice had unearthed evidence of massive scale fraud and money laundering, and a general violation of several US laws.
Instead of paying remuneration and bonus incentives from operating cash on hand, which had at the time been determined to be around $60 million, executives were earning their keep from the actual balances of players. Of the $390 million in player balances on hand, at least $150 million had belonged to U.S. players. This was essentially the funds that were being used to pay Full Tilt executives.
About PokerStars’ Involvement
PokerStars eventually ended up purchasing Full Tilt’s IP assets as part of a whopping $721 million settlement deal of its own with U.S. law enforcement authorities. But even though Full Tilt would be relaunched by PokerStars in November 2012, it never did reach anywhere near its previous heights or prominence. It eventually became part of the bigger PokerStars network in May 2016.
As for Full Tilt’s proprietary software, it doesn’t seem as if PokerStars has any plans of selling this off to anyone. PokerStars itself changed hands in May 2020 when owners The Stars Group merged with global gaming and entertainment giant Flutter Entertainment.