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In furtherance of a commitment to fix online poker and make the game more appealing to recreational players, Full Tilt announced a few massive changes to its ring games that include the removal of nosebleed, heads-up and mixed games, as well as doing away with allowing players to select the tables at which they’d like to be seated.

A blog post by Full Tilt Managing Director Dominic Mansour detailed the reasons behind the move, which were implemented in order to level the playing field for casual players. Those recreational players were being targeted by pros, ruining their online poker-playing experiences and keeping them from returning to the virtual felt.

Table Selection

Players will still be able to select the game type and stakes at which to play, of course, but will be taken to an open seat rather than choosing that seat themselves. Gone is the ability to peruse tables in the ring game lobby and searching for players who are known “fish” and easy prey.

Mansour likened the new procedure to that of a live poker room where a poker room manager typically seats players. Full Tilt will now do the seating, including combining certain tables when players depart and too many seats are open.

“This new system will ensure that your success is determined by your talent at the table, not your skill in choosing opponents,” Mansour stated.

Indeed, all too often in online poker winning sessions have been determined more by who you play than perhaps by how you play.

Heads Up Tables Removed

Along the same lines of protecting weaker players was the abolishment of Heads Up action from Full Tilt’s offerings. The poker room found that new players who sat down at HU tables did not fare very well against the pros who sat down first and waited for a fish to arrive. So much so that the new players often didn’t return.

Those newbies were befuddled as to why the HU tables were loaded with one waiting player, and that player would rather wait than take on another player who was waiting at another HU table. Those of us who are not recreational players know that the reason is, of course, that the regs or more highly skilled players don’t want to play each other. Better to wait for a fish than to play a good player and possibly lose.

Nosebleeds, Draw, Stud and Mixed Games Taken Down Too

High stakes or nosebleed tables were normally occupied by big-name pros. While Full Tilt garnered considerable attention from railbirds who loved watching the likes of Viktor Blom, Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen, that big money action no longer jibes with Full Tilt’s desired new image as recreation player friendly.

With regard to Stud, Draw and Mixed, those games failed to draw much action. The decision to remove them follows in the desire to make things a bit more “clean and simple” at Full Tilt, according to FTP Poker Room Manager Shyam Markus. Players can still enjoy those variants in tournament play.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.