PokerStars, these days owned by FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment, said on its website that as of Feb. 25, “the Full Tilt desktop and mobile applications will no longer be available.” Existing FTP accounts will be fully converted to PokerStars accounts.
“Our commitment to improving PokerStars software and the PokerStars customer experience in recent years has limited the amount of focus and resources we could apply to the evolution of Full Tilt,” PokerStars said in a statement. “We feel it is time to consolidate brands so that everyone has access to the newest features and most innovative games which are available exclusively on PokerStars.”
As PokerFuse noted, FTP had been existing as merely a skin for the PokerStars global network since 2016, so the once standalone platform had been defunct for years. It still existed as a prominent iPoker brand, but compared to the past, FTP was essentially dead, especially for Americans. The FTP brand never made a return to the U.S. following the infamous Black Friday in April 2011.
Players basically robbed
From the mid-to-late 2000s it was a real-money online poker arms race between PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, as well as several other smaller competitors, for share of the unregulated U.S. online poker market. Fast forward to 2021, and FTP is soon to be no more.
FTP was acquired by PokerStars in the early 2010s as part of a settlement with the federal government after the Black Friday indictments. PokerStars helped provide the funds necessary to the government for former customers of FTP to receive their account balances, after the site went down with missing player money.
About $160 million in money that belonged to U.S. players was missing, and the former owners of FTP were accused by the feds of orchestrating a “global Ponzi scheme.”
PokerStars gradually wound down the FTP site over the coming years, during a time when PokerStars itself was diversifying into a broader online gambling firm (casino and sports betting), relying less and less on peer-to-peer poker than ever before.
PokerStars was able to secure re-entry into the U.S. under new ownership thanks to approval in New Jersey in 2016. It launched in Pennsylvania in late 2019 and debuted in Michigan last month. All three states are ring-fenced markets for now, but liquidity-sharing in the future is a good bet.