Now that the whole Full Tilt saga is at an end, and players can be expect to be paid in just over one month, what opportunities does this $150,000,000 influx of money into the poker economy present for other online poker operators?
Let’s discount the still barred US players for now and focus entirely on European players. Of the many players I’ve asked none of them so far have said that they won’t play at a realunched Full Tilt, the consensus of opinion being that PokerStars’ ownership lends a once tarnished brand a guarantee of integrity and the security of deposited funds. Naturally some funds will leave the system as players transfer some (or all) of their old Full Tilt bankroll over to their news home and so forth. So, let’s say that 70% of player funds are retained within Full Tilt, that still leaves 30%, or a whopping $45,000,000, to be snapped up by the other online operators, PokerStars included.
Assuming nobody is silly enough to play at the likes of Revolution Gaming, Merge, the doomed Ongame, Entraction or any others of that ilk, it’s a straight carve up of the loot between PokerStars, PartyPoker, 888poker and iPoker.
Based on current online poker traffic stats, the distribution of withdrawn funds could look something this:
With this new found wealth to be had, can we expect to see headline grabbing promotions or increased tournament guarantees in the coming months from the main pretenders?
For PokerStars, it equates to an extra 168,000 buy-ins to the Sunday Million – can we expect to see an increased guarantee in September or, with WCOOP just around the corner, and rumours of an inter platform transfer facility between Full Tilt and Stars on the way, will they roll out a monster guaranteed WCOOP? Whatever happens, it’s win, win for PokerStars as they can expect to retain 93% of the total $150,000,000 owed to European players.
iPoker operators on the other hand would do well to keep their down, you feel, as any injection of funds they can expect into the network could well be offset by their Black Friday acquired grinders migrating back to Full Tilt. For 888poker and the sluggish PartyPoker it’ll be business as usual, pretty much.