Online poker company PokerStars announced today that the company will officially retire both the desktop and mobile apps for Full Tilt Poker on Feb 25th 2021, and that account information and balances will be merged to players’ corresponding PokerStars accounts.
During the online poker boom, Full Tilt Poker was one of the big players in the poker space, competing with PokerStars to have the most global poker market share. The site was famous for the FTOPS online poker series, and the highest stakes cash-games online, known as “the nosebleed stakes” of “Rail Heaven” cash games with $500-$1,000 blinds, featuring legends like Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Phil Galfond and the mysterious “isildur1” playing for huge 4 and 5-figure pots .
Full Tilt’s roster of sponsored professional players we regarded as “the elite” poker players in the world at the time, and included Jennifer harman, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Phil Ivey and Erick Lindgren.
After what became known in the industry as “Black Friday”, it was revealed that the company was insolvent and could not honor players account balances. The U.S. Department of Justice infamously called the site a “global ponzi scheme” and shut it down, in April 2011, along with PokerStars and Absolute Poker.
Ex Owner of PokerStars Isai Scheinberg made a deal with the US Government to acquire the company and its assets for $547 million, and as part of the deal, PokerStars would repay all of the U.S. players who weren’t paid back by the previous owners.
At the time of the deal, both PokerStars and Full Tilt were permitted to operate in the U.S. market.
The Stars Group now runs legal poker in the USA in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, but the Full Tilt Poker platform was never reactivated in the U.S since “Black Friday”.