Full Tilt v PokerStars
They were quite simply the two biggest online poker rooms in the world, and even though things have changed for Full Tilt, both rooms still offer outstanding tournament selections, the biggest promotions you will find anywhere, and marketing budgets some rooms can only dream of. They have both had their well documented troubles, and it looked very likely that Full Tilt would be no more, however PokerStars bought the company out - bought the competition some would say, and so even now that they are owned by the same company they keep their separate brands and software, meaning that they are still two very different offerings. The main changes over the past few years have been that the problems faced by both, were different, and while PokerStars paid their fines, made their apologies (to a certain extent) and carried on doing business outside of the US, Tilt's story was very different. They got embroiled in long legal battles, only just recently having been finalized, their US players have still not been paid, and along the way they have lost plenty of players from the regulated market, were closed for business for a while and are lucky to still be around, but still around they are.
How Things have Changed
It was only a few years ago that both were riding high, however the change in fortunes has meant that, from whatever angle you look at things, there's only one clear leader now and that is and always will be Stars. Their success in the regulated poker markets, the fact that they have launched very successful country clients, the .es offering being a prime example means that right now PokerStars is a huge global brand and Full Tilt is no competition to them at all. The sheer amount of players on PokerStars at any given time is testament to this, and of course due to this, they simply make more money, therefore being able to offer bigger and better rewards, promotions and player benefits. It seems that there's not a few months go by when Stars isn't just about to deal it's 100 billionth hand or something equally ridiculous and with the signing of world wide sports stars such as Rafa Nadal and Ronaldo, they simply further cement their place at the top of the tree. The demise of Full Tilt Poker is in many ways a loss to the industry and the case of money laundering against Ray Bitar has been well documented, but they will be missed as they were innovative and bought something different to the game...their TV commercials for one thing were hilarious. However, it is what it is and we move on, or at least PokerStars do, it will be a very long hard road for Full Tilt.
What the Future Holds
The immediate future will hold few changes, as Full Tilt attempt to rebuild from the ashes and almost start all over again, one huge issue they did face was when they re-opened their doors, many players simply logged in to withdraw their funds and never went back again. They say that time heals all wounds, but poker players don't forget things easily, and for the serious players it would be hard to return to Tilt, even though some huge names of the game have gotten behind the re-launch. On the other hand, the future looks very bright for PokerStars, the only blip on the horizon is that fact that they would probably not be allowed to enter a Federally regulated market in the states, should that in fact happen one day. Tilt will make a go of things, of that there is no doubt and they will attract players, however the future belongs to Stars.