Wednesday February 17,2016 : AMAYA TO MERGE FULL TILT WITH POKERSTARS
Momentous move scheduled for Spring 2016.
A press release from Amaya Inc late Tuesday advised the world that it plans to merge subsidiaries Full Tilt and Pokerstars into "one market-leading poker product."
"This platform migration will allow Amaya's development and technology teams to focus on improving one market-leading platform rather than two, leading to a better gaming experience for all; improvements and features will be delivered faster and more efficiently rather than doubling development requirements. For instance, rather than splitting resources developing Full Tilt Jackpot Sit & Go and PokerStars Spin & Go features independently, teams will be able to work together on delivering the best possible product on one platform."
Rafi Eskenazi, who heads up the Rational Group for Amaya as CEO, said:
"Players will benefit from a larger pool of players offering greater game choice, bigger prize pools. It will also make us more nimble as we can focus our technological innovation on one platform, rather than two, so we will be able to innovate more quickly and enter newly-regulating and existing markets swiftly."
Amaya admits that although Full Tilt continues to be a profitable poker room, the gaming brand's market share has been in decline since its 2012 re-launch. But it says that Full Tilt players will continue to enjoy the brand experience they prefer, with the continuation of Full Tilt avatars and innovative rewards, such as The Deal.
Players will also have access to a larger variety of games, buy-in levels and tournaments, as well as access to larger prize pools and faster service, whilst on the Pokerstars side players will enjoy a boost in liquidity, as well as improved software from a larger and more focused development team.
The Amaya statement prepares for the worst by noting in its statement that the migration will result in the elimination of a number of roles in the company's Dublin office, advising that staff who are at-risk have been notified and the company is in the final stages of a formal consultation process to determine the extent of the redundancies and expects to conclude that process in coming months.
The statement advises that Full Tilt players will be contacted directly and will be provided with a link to comprehensive information on how the merge changes will affect them.
Once the migration has taken place, players will have one single account that can be used to play on the shared platform through either the PokerStars or Full Tilt branded software. The migration process will automatically identify whether players have an existing PokerStars account and combine the accounts if needed; for those that do, their PokerStars username will take precedence.
If a player does not have a PokerStars account they'll be given the option to keep their screen name – if it's available – or create a new one.
Full Tilt players will join the PokerStars rewards program, VIP Club, with play on both brands counting towards a combined VIP Club level.
Amaya says that it is committed to a dual-brand strategy on Full Tilt and Pokerstars, giving players choices and the benefit of a more robust gaming experience, and assures Full Tilt players that they will keep the brand's promotions, table layouts, specialist tournaments and branded differences, such as Rush Poker (instead of Pokerstars' Zoom Poker).
Full Tilt Casino is included within the migration process and will be subject to the same automated account changeover process. Initially, Web Casino, Video Poker, Baccarat and Double-Ball Roulette games will not be available, but may be made available at a later date.
The statement notes that Full Tilt casino players will benefit from access to additional slots games.