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Full Tilt Poker Unveils Rakeback and Rewards Program

After the news that PokerStars was purchasing former rival Full Tilt Poker and gearing up for a November relaunch, the biggest question was answered; players would see players repaid. But plenty of other, smaller, questions still needed to be explained. One of the biggest questions left unanswered at was whether or not the new Full Tilt Poker would honor existing rakeback deals and offer rakeback to new players, and in what ways the site (now under the control of PokerStars) would revamp the Full Tilt Poker loyalty program. On Friday we learned precisely how the site would handle rakeback, their VIP Rewards Program, and a whole host of other promotional specifics.

The basic gist of the statement (which was posted on the 2+2 Poker Forum by Full Tilt Poker PR man Shyam Markus) was that there would no longer be rakeback offered at Full Tilt Poker, effectively ending the 27% rakeback most players at the site had. In its place Full Tilt poker will be switching to a VIP Program where the upper levels would reward roughly 25% rakeback. Full Tilt players will no longer see purchases from the FTP store go against their rakeback figures, so the extra 2% is really a non-issue.

Rakeback wasn’t the only thing that will be eliminated, as some of the other VIP programs offered at the old Full Tilt Poker will also be scrapped, but may return in the future. for now Markus stated that Ironman (a program that rewarded players for consistently playing each and every day) and the Black Card Program (a high-volume VIP Program) would be put on the shelf.

Here are the main points of Markus’ 2+2 post:

We aren’t quite ready to give all of the details of the new rewards program, but the general idea is that it will be available to everyone, and the main benefit of the program is weekly cash payments that are based on the number of Full Tilt Points earned that week. The program tops out at paying $2.50 for every 100 Full Tilt Points earned (which works out to 25%).

Some notes:

  • Unlike affiliate-paid rakeback, there are no deductions of fees (store purchases, promotions, etc…), so the 25% mentioned above will almost always beat the 27% that rakeback was giving.
  • Because the weekly cash payments are now based on points earned, FTPs will now be earned using the Weighted Contributed method instead of the Dealt method.
  • The weekly cash payments don’t use up the FTPs earned, so you can still spend them in the store. This means that, depending on how you spend them, points add an additional 4-5% to the program, giving the top level of the new program a giveback of up to 30%.
  • Since there are no fee deductions, all FTPs are worth more to former rakeback players than previously, which increases the value of promotions like Happy Hour and Take 2.
  • We will have a transition from Iron Man and Black Card to this new program, so long-term players of both promotions will likely get a leg up in the new program from the start.
  • The top level of this program is significantly easier to achieve than Black Card was.
  • The Black Card store will be changed so that anyone in the new top level can use it. This means that many more players will be eligible to purchase cash bonuses in the store.
  • If you qualified for the 2011 Iron Man Mid-Year Bonus, you will still get it when the site re-launches.
  • The Black Card program will return (not at re-launch, but eventually) in a brand new way. Expect a little news about that soon.

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