Full Tilt Poker Makes Radical Changes to Game Offerings
If you have ever thought to yourself, “There is way too much game variety at Full Tilt Poker,” then this is your lucky week. The popular online poker room has made some serious reductions to its games roster, causing many of its customers to shake their heads in disappointment.
Let’s get right to it. Here is the list of the ring game tables that were eliminated, taken straight from the Full Tilt Poker blog:
• Adrenaline Rush games (from the end of April)
• Cap and Deep Stack Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em games
• Cap, Deep Stack and Deep Stack with Ante 6-Max No Limit Hold’em games
• Shallow Stack Full Ring No Limit Hold’em games
• Pot Limit Hold’em Heads-Up and 6-Max games
• Full Ring Fixed Limit Hold’em games
• Deep Stack Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up games
• Cap, Deep Stack and Deep Stack with Antes Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max games
• Deep Stack with Antes 6-Card Pot Limit Omaha Heads-Up games
• New to the Game tables for certain games (such as No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo 6-Max)
• Irish Poker
• HORSE, HA and 7-Game
• $0.25/$0.50 and $1/$2 Pot Limit Omaha Rush Poker games will be removed
• 6 Card Omaha, 8-Game, and 10-Game 6-Max tables will change to 5-Max
• Stud Hi, Stud Hi-Low and Razz 8-handed games will all become 5-Max
The changes have been met with much skepticism and concern, primarily from regulars who developed strong skills in some of the more specialized games. Full Tilt Poker’s Poker Room Manager Shyam Markus addressed some of these concerns on the Two Plus Two forums. When questioned about the switch from six-handed 6-Card Omaha games to five-handed, Markus wrote:
I agree there is some danger here of disrupting a game that was doing quite well (easily the third biggest game we spread after NLH and PLO). The change was mostly to address the feedback that the games could play quite tight because of how strong your hand had to be to win. We’re going to give it a try, and if it looks to hurt more than it helps, we’ll definitely reevaluate the decision. So give it a shot, and let us know how it plays (and whether or not tables break too quickly/often).
Not everyone agrees with Markus and Full Tilt on that, though. Two Plus Two poster “ChuckBass” replied, “I am one of the most active regulars in the 6c games. Over the time i’ve been playing it has been pretty apparent that the majority of players don’t like playing short handed. Tables run fine 5-6 handed, but as soon as we get down to 4 or less they break quickly the majority of the time. Now it only takes one person sitting out to start the domino effect.”
He received support from “CurryLover,” who said, “…. the change to 5max will, I suspect, lead to tables dying a lot faster than they did when it was 6max. We did indeed see this exact thing happen this afternoon when 5 tables died within minutes.”
“These games need very careful nurturing since it is a niche game with a small player pool,” he added. “It was working well at 6max, although partly this was due to a small number of regs working hard to start games and keep them running. Making it 5max is going to make it harder work to keep the games thriving and vibrant IMO.”
Another change that has annoyed a number of players is the removal of some of the highest stakes games. The top 2-7 Triple Draw game was $2,000/$4,000; now it is half that with the next highest stakes at just $50/$100. As for “big bet” games, the highest is now just $250/$500 with a gigantic drop to the next highest level, $25/$50.
Markus also remarked on some of the concerns about the nosebleed stakes games:
Looking at the data, $1K/$2K was the most popular stake level for 2-7 TD in March (based simply on number of hands played). $100/$200, $200/$400, and $300/$600, and $1.5K/$3K all got very little action (less than 10% of the hands of $1K/$2K) for the month.
$2K/$4K had very little HU action, but did get a semi-decent number of hands at 6-max in. And a case could potentially be made for $500/$1K since it got about 75% the number of hands as $1K/$2K. However, we’re trying to consolidate some players and the hope is the $500/$1K and $2K/$4K players can play $1K/$2K. If that proves wrong and there’s still strong demand for $500/$1K, we might (might!) consider adding it back in.
Full Tilt is certainly taking a risk in making all of these changes. They seem to be aimed at the casual player, as reducing the game offerings and cleaning up the lobby may very well make logging on to Full Tilt a less intimidating proposition than it may have been before. We’ll see if the risk pays off.