Full Tilt’s first sponsorship of a live event since relaunching last November has been underway for more than a week now and things are looking up for the poker site that was perhaps the most hated a little over a year ago.
Associating itself with the 60-event UKIPT Galway Festival has been a wise choice for the marketing department of parent company the Rational Group. It was not too long ago that many were concerned that the Full Tilt name may never recover from the company mismanagement and downfall orchestrated by the likes of Ray Bitar and Howard Lederer.
But following the purchase last summer by Rational Group, Full Tilt is back in business and perched in second place in player traffic numbers, the same position it held prior to having its virtual doors shut by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission in June, 2011. Operating as the sister site of PokerStars, Full Tilt now has much to be proud of and look forward to in the future.
U.S. Full Tilt players will soon begin submitting claims in the remission process and are due to receive more than $150 million that has been locked up in cyberspace for more than two years. Player pockets will eventually be filled with cash and reimbursement issues at PokerStars and Full Tilt will be nothing more than an anecdote to online poker’s history.
Full Tilt has also recently announced a transition beyond just online poker, with a plan in place to offer casino action to its Internet gaming menu in the future. This is likely a smart endeavor that will eventually lead the Full Tilt name to become associated with all aspects of online gambling.
But back to the UKIPT Galway, the Main Event is set to begin on August 8th with a buy-in of €1,100. Full Tilt continues to heavily promote the action by offering online qualifier tournaments to win seats to the €1,000,000 guaranteed live event.
“With the clock ticking down to the UKIPT Galway Main Event, we’re delighted to give players even more ways to win their seat at one of the season’s most anticipated live tournaments,” said Full Tilt’s Head of Marketing, Sarne Lightman. “Full Tilt Poker gives players a unique online experience and enhancing the live experience is just one of the ways we reward players. We are proud to be involved in Europe’s biggest-ever poker festival and our players and our promotions will help make it one of the most memorable.”
One day before the kick off of the five-day Main Event, Danielle “dmoongirl” Anderson will take on the role of host for a special screening of “Bet Raise Fold: The Story of Online Poker.” The documentary featuring Anderson will be shown at the Harbour Hotel Galway. Anderson will take to the tables the following day as a Full Tilt-sponsored player in the Main Event.
Also on August 7, a special No-Limit Charity Event Championship will be held that has earmarked funds for three separate charities — Positive Mental Health, the Galway Simon Community, and Poker for the Homeless.
On Saturday, August 10, a Main Event party that marks the festival’s last weekend will take place at the Full Tilt Poker Village, which was custom-built specifically for the poker tournament series. Live entertainment, refreshments, and appearances from special guests are on tap for those in attendance. The Main Event winner will be determined Monday, August 12, concluding Europe’s largest poker festival and the re-entry of Full Tilt as a live tournament sponsor.
UKIPT, the UK and Ireland Poker Tour, began season 4 this year in April with PokerStars as the sponsor. It started in the Hippodrome Casino in London in PokerStars’ poker room. The Rational Group elected to switch sponsors to Full Tilt for the stop in Galway, which may continue in future seasons.
Those who can’t make it to Galway can check out PokerTube.com for a live stream of Main Event action on certain days. Also, there are a number of episodes of UKIPT past seasons available, as well.
While a name change from Full Tilt had been considered before relaunching in November, it seems that sticking with the well-known brand was the correct marketing choice despite the Full Tilt name being dragged through the mud many times since Black Friday. In nine months of operation, the site’s image has been repaired somewhat and should get even better once the U.S. remission process begins cutting checks to players.
Future live sponsorships such as those in Ireland at Galway will also go a long way in bringing Full Tilt back to the respectability it had earned in players’ eyes prior to Black Friday. Expect to see the Full Tilt name associated with other live events around the world in the days ahead.